Appeared in 2016, the term “ghosting” is first used to describe a situation for romantic relationships where a person “disappears” and cuts all connections with the other party without any explanation. Recently, this practice has expanded from the dating world to the workplace and became a nightmare for both candidates and employers. Fortunately, there are steps you can take in order to avoid being ghosted by candidates.
What does it mean by candidates ghosting employers?
At first, “ghosting” was the issue of job seekers being ignored by recruiters, getting no reply at all even after a few rounds of job interviews or assessments. Back when the unemployment rate was still high, the act of ghosting candidates seemed harmless to organisations.
New, qualified, and unemployed candidates were not hard to come by, making employers unable to realise their bad behaviours towards candidates. This clearly is infuriating to most victims since they are left without knowing the reasons or how to properly respond to the situation.
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As time goes by, it seems that the table has turned. Today's job candidates are 'ghosting' their employers, exiting the recruiting process right in the last minute without providing any announcement.
In some serious cases, even current employees are quitting their jobs whenever they like with no notice at all. As the unemployment rate is gradually lowered, employers are now suffering from candidates not returning calls, not showing up for interviews and for work, and leaving without any notice.
This trend negatively affects organisations because all money and effort spent on recruiting and processing for a specific candidate are wasted and have no value in return.
Job candidates ghosting their employers needs to be minimised with suitable preventions and a well-invested hiring process. By studying the causes and reasons behind this behaviour, organisations can take initiatives to avoid being ghosted by their own candidates and employees in the future.
What should organisations do to avoid being “ghosted”?
1. Invest in candidate experience
The candidate experience you provide to the applicants is extremely crucial to building a strong relationship with them. Today’s job market has become increasingly candidate-centric; hence the power of choice is now in the candidate's hands rather than in the employer’s.
Candidates are able to make their own judgement of the company after checking the company social profiles on social media, company reviewing sites, and even the news sources, which give them a full picture of the organisation’s current status.
If candidates have a positive perception of your company brand, they are more likely to continue the interview process or decide to stay after the probation period. As an employer, you should be able to identify your candidates’ motivation, values, and their plans for career development. Based on this information, let your potential employees understand that you acknowledge and able to meet their expectations and aspirations and engage them throughout the entire recruiting process.
Treat candidates the way you want to be treated. Be responsive and communicate with them regularly. A responsive interview process will encourage applicants to keep in touch with you throughout the process. Avoid making your hiring process lengthy. Because candidates today have plenty of choices, keeping them waiting means letting them slip away from your fingers.
2. Focus on employer branding
Employer branding is how your organisation is perceived by people from both inside and outside of the company. Your employer brand reflects your organisational culture and values; it also shows how your employees can thrive in the organisation and how the company care about its employees’ work-life balance.
The younger the candidates are, the more they expect from their employers – besides a decent salary, perks and benefits are other attributes that affect their final decisions. These details help your brand to stand out from others and appear compelling to the potential talents. Social media channels are one of the useful tools to deliver the right messages to the personas that you want to attract, keep and successfully hire.
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3. Re-evaluate your hiring process
In fact, recruiting from internal referrals is highly beneficial to the organisation as it helps decrease hiring costs, reduce processing time, and obviously, eliminate the “ghosting” matter almost entirely. Hiring from within also shows that the company values its employee loyalties and truly invest in the employee’s career development.
In the case of external hiring, in order to minimise being ghosted, start looking into your current hiring process from-start-to-finish to identify where things can go wrong. You can ask questions like:
- Where in the process do candidates start disappearing?
- Are they picking up your calls? Are they replying to your emails?
- What is the tone they use to communicate with you?
- Has it changed throughout the process?
By identifying these signs of change, you can sort out the points of the hiring process that can end up pushing the candidate away. Gathering information enables you to improve the weak points of the hiring procedure, making it more holistic, and avoid being ghosted in the future.
In short, treat your candidates with respect and professionalism so that they understand that you expect equal treatment from their end. If applicants see that they own you fair game, they will be more responsible and upfront during the hiring process. Re-evaluate your own process and adjust your hiring process, show that you value and truly want to establish a professional relationship with them and you will see that ghosting belongs in the past.