It's scary to consider what could have happened when the interview process was going great with your top candidate, but then suddenly - poof - they ghost you. No hiring team wants to be left wondering.
Our recent employer branding survey outlines some of the top reasons candidates part ways during their journey through the interview pipeline - or are too spooked to apply at all. Here are five reasons candidates withdraw from the process.
1. Eerie silence
If employees aren't speaking highly about your brand, candidates will notice. Some job seekers may disappear from the interview process before they do a deep dive into the company. Pay attention to what news is out there about your organization and what employees and candidates are saying about your company on social media and websites like Glassdoor and Fishbowl. Also, take note of what they aren't saying. Consistently going mute on important, timely issues will speak louder than words.
Fix: Treats not tricks
You can't be silent on important issues. Your website and reviews (and how you respond) tell job seekers what it's like to work at your company. If they sense that your story isn't authentic and rewarding, they'll ghost. Respond to news, reviews, and internal feedback. Make changes and hard choices to boot toxic managers or improve conditions in departments where people are burned out and overworked.
2. Heard it through the grapevine
Our research revealed that only 42% of surveyed employees are "highly likely" to recommend their current employer. Friends don't just hit up their friends for referrals, they also want the skinny on what's brewing, sort of like knowing which house gives out the best candy on Halloween. Recognize if your company is a full-size candy bar house or if you're out here giving pencils.
Fix: Honest communication
Talk to your employees regularly and foster a space where they can provide feedback without blowback - anonymously, if possible. Encourage leaders to start discussions on Fishbowl to better understand where your company is falling short and what steps you can take to fix the employee experience. They'll see you're listening and that you care, and positive referrals may follow.
3. Trick or treat, opportunity knocked: They found a better job
Even seemingly happy employees can be lured away by the promise of a better job - our survey showed 58% of the most satisfied employees are actively job searching or open to a better opportunity. If your current employees aren't staying, or your interview process is overly long, these are clues as to why people are dropping out of the interview process. "Better" is subjective, but if the working conditions are "frightful" at your company, you're scaring people away.
Fix: Improved employee development
Every employee has a different path and should be nurtured and developed appropriately. Without forward momentum - what that looks like to them - they'll be looking for a new role. Managers should be trained on how to spot overworked, dissatisfied, or disengaged workers and understand how to not only be a good listener but to problem-solve ways to increase satisfaction, engagement, and progression the way they want it to happen.
4. Scary benefits
While 65% of our survey respondents are satisfied with their employer's benefit offerings, chances are when they start looking at other companies' offerings, they'll find your "good benefits package" may not be that great. Maybe they're looking for more PTO and you're thinking two weeks off per year is "good." With candidates in high demand, more people are shopping around to find the best package, as things like healthcare costs and copays can greatly impact overall salary.
Fix: Offer the best candy you can
While you may not be able to move the needle on the health care package, look for ways to sweeten the overall pot in ways that will attract and retain top talent. Signing bonuses (with no strings attached), more paid time off, flex time, and other perks can help make a package more attractive and competitive. Bottom line: research what your competitors are doing and find ways to match or beat their offerings.
5. Bobbing for apples and coming up empty: low pay/low offer
More than a third of survey respondents are not satisfied with their employers' performance when it comes to fair pay. Whether their pay isn't competitive, is inequitable due to their race or gender (or both), or the company doesn't practice salary transparency, job seekers, and employees are actively looking out for number one and will ghost if they get a lowball offer.
Fix: Salary transparency and equity
Our research shows candidates and employees want salary transparency. Pay transparency isn't necessarily "one size fits all", but it can be critical to attracting and keeping top talent. Sometimes management needs to hear that the reason they keep losing candidates is because the offer is too low and that qualified candidates are going to other companies that offer more money and walk the talk on salary equity and pay transparency.
If your candidates are ghosting you, we have deeper insights to explore why this is happening and more ways to fix it. Download our employer branding report today.