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2 months ago by Meg Fenner - Jamieson

Ghosting: What it is and how to prevent it

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“Ghosting” is a word that used to be exclusive to the dating world; when the person you’re dating suddenly stops replying to any of your communications.

But ghosting has crept into other areas of life, particularly the professional world, with job candidates choosing to ignore a company’s efforts to invite them into their workplace.

Unfortunately, not every candidate will show up to a job interview, or even call or send an email to say they’re no longer going to be there. Recruiters are dealing with disappearing candidates more and more frequently. It’s even known that a new hire may not turn up for their first day of work after accepting an offer.

Why do candidates ghost?

It may seem like counterintuitive behaviour from a candidate — someone actively seeking a job not responding to job opportunities — but in a competitive hiring market like the one we are in, jobseekers often feel it’s acceptable to ghost a potential employer.

Many of today’s younger jobseekers would rather dodge confrontation and awkwardness than give bad news. It could also be payback to the hiring managers who have long been known to ghost people after interviews.

Additionally, keeping up with emails and contact from many companies can be overwhelming, and a difficult interview process with many hoops to jump through can be additional turn-offs.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent yourself from being ghosted during the hiring process. Whether you use a recruiter to manage the hiring process or do it all in-house, here are a few tips you should follow next time you’re recruiting:

Build a relationship with candidates

Too many emails and not enough face-to-face or telephone communication to sell the position and why they are going to fit in the new company can kill a candidate’s desire to continue down the interview process. Assigning a point-person to lead applicants through the process can limit the chance of getting ghosted.

Don’t make them jump through hoops

Whether you’re understaffed or simply disorganised, the hiring process is often drawn out. If things take too long, a candidate may lose hope and decide to move on without letting you know. Prevent this mistake by communicating the timeline, and the process.

Other employers are also likely to be contacting your applicants too, so you need to move fast. Interview your top choice candidates immediately, rather than waiting to bring all your applicants in at once.

Treat them as you would want to be treated

Ghosting goes both ways - you don’t like it, and neither do your candidates. When you treat those your thinking of employing with respect, you and your organisation will have a reputation for being caring and professional. Make a point of communicating punctually and politely with all candidates — not just the ones you’re interested in hiring.

Make them an offer they can’t turn down

With unemployment at an all-time low, employers must forsake the luxury of advertising low salaries, even if prepared to negotiate higher for the right person. You can’t risk that perfect candidate scrolling past your advert because they saw the salary and were too put off – and if you can’t offer a higher salary, sign-on bonuses, flexible working and other employee benefits could be enough to attract the right person.