The concept of “ghosting” was born in the world of online dating, but in recent years it has become a phenomenon well-known in the work world, with job candidates not responding to a company’s efforts to woo them into their workplace – in other words, “ghosting” them.
Ghosting is when a candidate who has engaged with you abruptly disengages. That could mean he or she fails to show up for an interview, or just never gets back to you by phone or email. Candidates sometimes even ghost after accepting a job offer – simply never showing up for their first day.
It may seem like odd behavior from a candidate – someone actively seeking a job – but in a competitive hiring market like the one we are in, it happens. No matter the reason, ghosting comes at a big loss to your company. When you’re ghosted, you lose the time it takes to find and engage the candidate.
Here are five steps you can take to keep your company from being ghosted during the hiring process:
1. Make the process quick and painless.
If your hiring process is drawn out – whether you’re short staffed or simply disorganized, candidates can become inclined to bail. To minimize the possibility that they’ll decide to move on without notifying you, be sure to communicate clearly about the timeline and the process so candidates have clear expectations.
2. Develop a personal relationship with candidates.
Too many emails and not enough real communication is a liability. Whether conversations happen in person, by phone or over video calls, it’s important to sell the position and why this specific candidate is going to fit in the new company. It’s these interactions that will allow you to clarify the timeline and process to ensure that your job applicant’s desire to continue with the interview process remains high.
3. Request follow-through in your job posting.
Of course, no matter how quick and personal you make the hiring process, there will still be candidates who ultimately don’t want the job – and they may be tempted to ghost. But you can try to ensure that you get notice from a job seeker to protect your time and resources. Make a note right in your job description promising that you won’t disappear on candidates with whom you’ve initiated communication – and you request the same courtesy if they decide to drop out of the process for any reason.
4. Use automatic and short surveys.
It’s not always easy to tell someone – especially a potential employer – that you’ve changed your mind or found a job somewhere else. With that in mind, consider creating a survey that candidates can access throughout the process to provide updates on their availability and interest. That way, candidates who might be hesitant to tell you they’ve moved on in person have an option for opting out.
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