Job candidates are ‘ghosting’ employers and independent recruiters with increasing frequency. If this is a new word for you, the Urban Dictionary defines ‘ghosting’ as cutting off all communication with zero warning. If you have had a no-show for a call, no response to a text or email, or a recruit/hire that walked off the job or never showed up for the first day of work…you have been ghosted!
It is both a surprise and a baffler for HR and independent recruitment professionals. Much of this phenomenon can be attributed to demographics. There are too many job openings when compared to the number of available top-tier candidates. The power has shifted from the employer and independent recruiter to the candidates. These no-show situations are happening in all types of industries from very entry-level positions to much more significant responsibilities within a business. Candidates have multiple offers and are receiving great counteroffers by the employers they are leaving. Some candidates just decide to stay at the 11th hour.
So it is going to happen, particularly if no recruiter-candidate relationship has been established. For employers and independent recruiters alike, a candidate you met on LinkedIn 10 days prior to offer has very little invested in you. Don’t be surprised if your voice is ignored in favor of someone to whom they are closer.
Tips to avoid ghosting:
Stay in Contact
Do what you say you will do. Check-in for feedback regularly. Build a recruiter-candidate relationship.
Be honest about the job, the culture, the pay, the hours, the company, the hiring manager, the co-workers and everything else.
Shrink the Timeline
Do not stretch out the hiring timeline to a point of frustration for the candidate. Do not move recklessly, but unneeded delays create lack of passion and commitment to the new role for a candidate.
Sell the Opportunity
Make sure the candidate knows 3-5 reasons this new position is better than what they have.
Add Points of Confirmation
Make sure there is one person the candidate hears from regularly. Ask about doubts early and often. Address the concerns to avoid a no-show later in the process. Confirm and reconfirm. Make sure you have explored all of those the candidate is involving in their decision…parents, loved ones, friends, former employers, etc. Cover all the bases.
Share your worst ghosting experience here if you dare…