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How Recruiters Can Avoid Being Ghosted

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If you recruit today you’ve probably noticed that “ghosting” may be creeping into your hiring process by candidates who consider themselves in charge due to a tight labor market. A recent Washington Post article highlighted that candidates are blowing off interviews and workers are turning into no-shows, unable to be contacted further. It’s especially problematic in lower wage positions.

For years, candidates had been on the receiving end of this issue but now the tables have turned on hiring organizations. Until the job market shifts, candidates know they are in demand and will continue this behavior. The question now is what can you do about it.

For companies there are things you can do to minimize the chances of being ghosted. You’ll need to take a hard look at your hiring process and tighten up loose ends to make it more candidate friendly. Here’s five ways to do that.

Tell Them Where They Stand

Let Candidates know where they are in the recruiting process (and what to expect). Though keeping candidates in the loop can be time consuming there are some software solutions to help automate this. Many applicant tracking systems have built in reminder emails you can use to provide feedback to candidates as they progress through your process. Go beyond the standard “Thank you for applying” response by telling them what to expect next.

By detailing what will happen to their application once they apply you can make the process more transparent. Give them a time frame for their resume review and tell them what lies ahead. Constant communication is key.

Make a Point to Follow Up

If a candidate goes dark on you send a reminder email or text but don’t be pushy about it. Share a piece of content about your industry that they would find interesting. By adding value to your conversation you may be able to grab their attention. Or go a step further by adding phrases like “2nd Attempt” or “I’m concerned” to the subject line or opening sentence. This tactic works well in sales so it should also help you get a response if they realize you are wondering about them.

Make It About Them

If your candidates are ghosting you after the interview you may need to look at that phase of your hiring. Be sure you are asking about their career goals and how they might align with your career advancement possibilities. Make it clear that you have their long term interest in mind as they proceed throughout the interview process. The more invested you are in them, the more they will care about communicating with you.

Establish Clear Timelines

When it comes to making an offer to a candidate have both your recruiter and hiring manager follow through. The recruiter should extend the offer via phone followed by an email with the official offer letter. The offer letter should have a clear timeline of the deadline for which the candidate must make a decision. Once accepted, have the hiring manager place a call to the candidate to welcome them to the team and set expectations for the start date.

Fill the Cracks

Every major employer has candidates that fall through the cracks. It is still a common problem in the job search process. Most Applicant Tracking Systems allow you to see if a candidate has been “touched”. Dedicate a time each week to review new applications and avoid the dreaded resume black hole.

Every candidate that takes the time to apply deserves an acknowledgement that they have submitted their application properly along with a yes or no vote at some point for moving forward.

One recruiter we know goes a step further. Stacy Zapar, a third party recruiter in California does her own “Friday Feedback Blitz” when she sets aside a few hours each Friday afternoon to update every candidate in her pipeline on where they stand.

Ghosting is likely to continue in the job market until some kind of economic downturn hits. But by focusing on the tips above, your company can avoid being a victim of this new trend.