How to prevent ghosting by job candidates

Why recruiting and hiring teams need to be transparent and consistent with their communication

How to prevent ghosting by job candidates

Amid the great resignation, employers are also dealing with candidates disappearing on them without so much as an adieu.

Candidate ghosting (37 per cent) is now the top challenge for talent acquisition teams, according to a report from Brazen and Talent Board.

This ranks ahead of engaging passive talent (34 per cent) and application volume drop-off rates (34 per cent), finds the survey of 375 employers globally, conducted in February and March.

“It’s across all job types,” says Kevin Grossman, president of Talent Board. “Professional candidates, especially those that are in the running for multiple jobs, with multiple offers, may verbally accept, and then never respond again, because they took another job somewhere else.”

That number of jobs available to applicants is one of the factors powering this trend, he says. “For every candidate, there are two or three jobs available. So there’s a lot of jobs in the market, across industries.”

Compared to two years ago, more than four in 10 respondents (43 per cent) to a previous survey said it’s more common for job candidates to cut off communication. Also, employers are stepping up with their compensation and benefits offerings. Wages for hourly workers, for example, have increased more within the past two years compared with the past 10 years, says Grossman.

“There is a higher level of ghosting of these individuals that are [thinking] ‘I can get paid higher’.”

Poaching talent from competitors simply makes sense – especially with the pandemic, according to a previous study.

Costs for employers 

Being ghosted by employees is slowing down employers’ hiring efforts. And the cost of vacancy will add up over time, says Grossman.

“The long-term impact is that it will start eating away at the corporate revenue. If they don’t have the people they need to sustain and grow the business, the business will take a hit. When you have a higher percentage of individuals that are just disappearing, and those positions stay open for a much longer time than maybe pre-COVID, [that has a negative] impact for the business.”

More than eight in 10 (84 per cent) hiring managers are experiencing burnout due to the tight job market, according to a recent report.

Solution: better communication

While employers can’t control whether or not a candidate decides to ghost, they can control how they treat candidates, he says. Past Talent Board research shows that candidates ghost employers and drop out of the recruitment process due to slow or repetitive interviewing and screening processes, job offers that take too long to materialize and poor onboarding experiences.

“Recruiting and hiring teams need to be super transparent and consistent with their communication. And timely. Because that’s what they have control over,” says Grossman. “They don’t have control over a candidate that just disappears, but they do have control over the communication to those candidates that were interested.”

Employers need to engage candidates early in the process to build rapport, speed up screening and interviewing timelines and move candidates more quickly through the process, according to Brazen and Talent Board’s TA Teams Survey Report: Talent Acquisition Professionals Reveal Hiring Challenges & Strategies.

Nearly two in five (39 per cent) senior managers say their company is taking more time to hire in the current environment ― despite having access to a deeper talent pool, according to a previous survey by Robert Half.

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