Ghosting is when candidates disappear from the selection process without any warning, and is a growing and increasingly popular trend. In fact, according to a report by Indeed in February 2021, 28% of job applicants ghosted a prospective employer over the past year, an increase of 18% from 2019. There are various ways in which employers are being ghosted – some candidates are disappearing from the hiring process at the first steps, after an initial interview, and some are even failing to show up for the first day of a new job. According to a LinkedIn report, 95% of recruiters say that they’ve experienced ghosting, a trend which is leaving companies frustrated and confused.
The reasons for ghosting vary between candidates. According to the Indeed report, 20% of candidates say that they received a better offer, 13% were dissatisfied with the salary offered, and 15% decided that the job wasn’t the right fit for them.
Many candidates are ghosting employers without second thoughts, believing that there won’t be any consequences. However, some recruiters are taking action. For example, some companies keep track of candidates that have ghosted them in the past, to ensure that they won’t get past the first stages should they apply again.
Despite the growing problem of ghosting, there are actions and recruitment strategies that can be implemented to minimise candidate ghosting as much as possible.
The most effective way to reduce ghosting is to keep the candidate engaged and updated at every step of the hiring process. While this can be time consuming, in the long run, it benefits all parties, as it will help to reduce the amount of candidate ghosting that occurs. According to an article in Forbes, by improving communication and clarity throughout the hiring process, it will be much easier to keep candidates engaged. By being more open about factors such as salary, you can ensure from the outset that both you and the candidate are on the same page, which will reduce the chance of the candidate falling through the cracks at a later stage.
There are simple ways to ensure that candidates remain engaged and interested throughout the hiring process.
1. Keep candidates informed about where they are in the process
If candidates are not receiving any feedback from your company after submitting an application, they are likely to drop out and look for other opportunities. Although updating candidates regularly can be time consuming, it is worth investing some time in improving the candidate experience. If a candidate feels valued by the company, then this will have a fundamental impact on the decisions they make at a later stage, for example, whether they decide to inform you if they take another job.
2. During an interview, shift the conversation towards the candidate’s goals
The interview is a chance for you to work out whether the candidate is a good fit for your company, but it’s also for the candidate to decide if they want to work there. Therefore, it is important to dedicate some time in the interview to talk about what the candidate is looking for, and to talk about their goals. This will make it easier to adjust the conversation more accordingly. By making the interview more about the candidate’s personal and professional development, it shows that you are interested and invested in them, which will increase their investment in your company, reducing the likelihood that you will never hear from them again.
3. Set clear deadlines
Once the final interviews are over, make sure you don’t ghost candidates. Indicate when they can expect to hear from you, and inform them immediately after the interview. Candidates will appreciate clarity. If a candidate is invested in the role, and also knows that they are going to hear back from you, then they’re less likely to accept another offer or ghost you.
All of these points help to enhance the candidate’s experience, and to develop a stronger relationship with them. The result of this will be mutual respect, which in turn will reduce the likelihood that the candidate will ghost you, at any stage of the recruitment process. As we have seen, although candidate ghosting is on the rise, there is much we can do to improve the candidate experience, and ensure that candidates remain engaged and communicative throughout the process. If you are able to identify the reasons why candidates are ghosting you, then the next step is to implement strategies that will ensure a good candidate experience, and reduce candidate ghosting.