Ghosting in the Hiring Process: What It Is and How to Stop It

You have reached out again and again, but there is radio silence on the other end. No phone call, no email, not even a text or a LinkedIn message. The other person has just vanished. You have been officially ghosted.

Ghosting is the practice of ending a personal relationship (or in this case professional) with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication. This phenomenon is not just in the online dating world of Tinder and Match.com, but it also has increasingly crept into the workplace, and it’s causing headaches in the form of lost time and resources for employers, HR and recruiters alike.

 

For job applicants used to waiting on employers who never respond to their applications, the ghosting trend of no-show interviews has without question turned the tables in this competitive job market with low rates of unemployment and a lack of qualified applicants for certain positions. Here are some concrete steps that employers and HR can take to avoid being caught off guard, left in the dark and ghosted.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

From the onset of the recruiting and hiring process, it is absolutely critical for an employer to keep the lines of communication with job candidates open. This means that an employer should be transparent with respect to the position it is looking to fill and provide job candidates with a timeline and framework as to how it will be filling the position.

The employer should also make sure any job advertisements or job descriptions are accurate and carefully set forth the expectations and responsibilities for the job. Following up with the candidate during each step of the process is important as it keeps them in the game and lets them know where they stand in the process.

Candidates may be more likely to go AWOL if they feel as if they are being left in the dark and disconnected from the process. Therefore, it is important to encourage the candidate to come back to you if he or she has any questions or concerns – keep an open door. Use phone calls or skype sessions, rather than canned emails and form letters in an attempt to personalize the process. If there comes a point when the candidate is no longer being considered, the employer should be sure to promptly update the candidate so that the individual may pursue other job opportunities. In short, treat the candidate as you would want to be treated as the employer.

Conduct Meaningful Interviews

HR and recruiters should attempt to personalize the recruiting process and conduct meaningful interviews, preferably face to face sessions where they can get a good read on the candidate. It is important to attempt to ascertain the candidate’s motivations, long-term goals and aspirations and try to learn as much as you can beyond the resume or application. HR and recruiters should be open, friendly and receptive to questions and provide concrete answers so that candidates remain engaged.

Maintain a Positive Workplace Culture and Brand

Part of attracting good candidates is fostering and maintaining a positive workplace culture, one in which employees feel valued, respected and engaged by the work that they do. Through the recruiting and hiring process the employer needs to sell its workplace culture and brand and make potential candidates understand the benefits of working for the employer.

However, thanks to the internet and ever evolving social media websites, candidates are able to conduct thorough research on your workplace and gain insights into your workplace culture before ever stepping foot inside. And if they don’t like what they read, you may be at risk of being ghosted.

That’s why employers need to put their best foot forward and demonstrate how they maintain a diverse and inclusive culture, among other things. They also should avoid advertising or selling one thing in a job advertisement or initial interview only to have a candidate learn something much different from employees or in subsequent interviews.

Know What Your Competitors Are Doing

An employer will be in much better position with regard to recruiting and hiring if it knows who its competition is and what its competitors are offering with respect to salary, benefits, and job perks etc. Further, an employer should make sure it is recruiting from the same pool as its competitors while also seeking out new and additional job channels in which it may be able to find the right talent. If you’re not dipping into the right pool, you may not be fishing for the correct candidates, and this may increase the chance that your company will be ghosted.

Has your company encountered ghosting? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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