Let’s talk about ghosting. An appropriate topic for October, but I’m not talking about the decorations at your local Halloween store. Ghosting is an unfortunate dating term that’s been creeping into the working world. This term is typically used when two people go on a date and then one party just vanishes and cuts off all contact. If you’re an employer who’s recently needed to fill an open position, this vanishing act probably seems familiar.
Ghosting is on the rise among job seekers. According to USA Today, up to 50% of job candidates have been no shows to scheduled interviews in recent months. Even more troubling, is the more and more common occurrence of candidates, who have accepted a job offer, simply not showing up for the first day of work, presumably because they accepted a position with a different company.
So, what is causing this rise in candidate ghosting?
It may be that the chickens have come home to roost. The term may be new, but employers have been ghosting candidates for years. Anyone who has gone through the interview process in the past several years most likely knows that feeling of waiting for the company to call. And then waiting even more. The hiring manager may never give them any closure. Many job candidates never receive even a form letter letting them know the position has been filled and they didn’t make the cut.
Consider the cost of poor communication.
This practice of non-communication leaves a sour taste in the mouths of both sides. Why are we so bad at communicating? Do employers want to avoid the uncomfortable process of rejection? Or does the time it takes to make a final decision factor in? Whatever the reason, next time you’re accepting job applications and interviewing candidates, consider the ways ghosting could hurt your company:
- It damages your reputation.
A candidate might not be the right fit for the company, but someone in their network could be. You’ll never have the chance to meet that perfect fit if you’ve already made a bad impression through the candidate you’ve ceased contact with.
- You’ll have less internal referrals.
Your current employees can be a good source of referrals for positions that become available. But even your own employees can become wary of referring someone in their network to you if they know the hiring department frequently ghosts candidates. They don’t want to damage their own reputation within their network
- You could be missing out on a great fit down the line.
There must be something you liked about a candidate for you to invite them to interview. So, they aren’t the right fit for the position you need to fill today. What about two years from now? If you cut off contact now, you won’t have them in your talent pool for later. They likely won’t give your company a second chance at rejection.
There’s not much you can do to prevent the candidates you interview, or even those who’ve just accepted an offer, from ghosting. But eliminating the practice on your end can make the interview process a little better for everyone. No one likes receiving a rejection notice. It can be uncomfortable to let a good candidate down. Sometimes the time it takes, and the logistics of the hiring process make it hard to get back to each candidate in a timely manner. However, the benefits far outweigh the convenience in the moment.
When the hiring and interview process gets overwhelming, a recruiter can help you sort it all out. We can help you find the right candidate, set up interviews and keep up communication during the decision process. Contact us for your next job search, no ghosting required.