The competition for talent is fiercer than ever and filling open positions with the right people takes time, money, and strategy. Companies are focusing heavily on their employer brands, enhancing their candidate experience, and leveraging recruitment marketing tactics to improve their hiring efforts.
Yet even when an HR department succeeds in scheduling interviews or getting a candidate to accept a job offer, there are new and frustrating challenges employers are facing in today’s candidate-driven market: interview ghosting and job ghosting.
Interview ghosting and/or job ghosting is when a candidate simply doesn’t show up. They disappear without a word, never to be heard from again.
Ghosting is a term commonly used in the dating world to describe when one person in the relationship essentially vanishes without warning or explanation and ignores all future attempts at communication.
Knowing how to avoid being ghosted by candidates has a lot to do with understanding why job seekers ghost employers in the first place. When there are more open jobs than people to fill them, candidates will likely have their choice of positions. They’ll simply skip out on interviews or jobs once they get a better offer. And unfortunately, this may be a learned behavior: one of the top complaints for years from job seekers was never hearing back from companies after applying or interviewing.
Even though the tables have turned, there are things you can do to protect yourself from this alarming trend.
Our first tip to avoid job ghosting and interview ghosting starts with your employer brand. You know your company is awesome, but does everyone else? Verify that your job ads and career site clearly communicate why your organization is a great place to work. Make sure information on employee benefits and perks is easy to find. Post employee testimonials on your social media pages.
You can’t stop your top candidate from getting a better offer or finding a more exciting opportunity, but you can take the time to strengthen the communication of your employer brand and put your best foot forward.
Incorporate candidate communication “touch points” throughout your recruiting and hiring process. Send reminders ahead of phone or in-person interviews. Reach out every few days or so during the time period between when an offer is accepted and your new hire starts. You’ll keep candidates engaged and strengthen your rapport. People are less likely to ghost someone they like.
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Be a source of valuable content for job seekers. For example, you could provide fact sheets on how your application process works, what to expect during the interview, your company’s dress code, and directions to your office. Interviewing is scary for most people, so if you can help them feel prepared, they’re less likely to ghost you if nerves get in the way. Make it clear from the start that you want them to do well and demonstrate that you value their time by being helpful.
Find compelling and personalized ways to incentivize interviewees and new hires to show up. Offer to have their favorite tea or coffee drink ready for them when they arrive. Set up an interview at their favorite restaurant. Let them know every candidate gets a “thank you” box of company swag after interviewing. Send them a picture of their future workspace. Candidates and new employees may feel guilty leaving you high and dry if you’ve gone the extra mile for them, and those who were planning to show up regardless will appreciate the gesture.
When a candidate accepts your offer, do everything you can to have them start as soon as possible. If your new hire needs to give their current employer two weeks’ notice, is in the process of relocating, or has some other extenuating circumstance, remember to stay in touch and keep them “warm.”
Give your new employee onboarding tasks to complete ahead of their first day. Have team members get in touch to start introductions early and talk about upcoming projects. Make them feel like a part of your family so job ghosting doesn’t cross their mind!
Interview ghosting and job ghosting are unfortunate realities in today’s hiring space, but there are steps you can take. Communicating proactively, strengthening your employer brand, and treating job seekers like your most valued customers will all help increase the likelihood that candidates will show up and you’ll find the right hire for your team.