what is candidate ghosting?
Candidate ghosting refers to when a job candidate suddenly stops communicating with the employer during the recruitment process without any explanation. Ghosting has become more frequent in recent years, across all stages of the recruitment process.
how does candidate ghosting harm recruiters and organisations?
When a candidate ghosts recruiters, it can damage a recruiter’s reputation with the recruiting employer. Employers may be reluctant to work with the recruiter in the future, as ghosting could reflect poorly on their abilities to build an effective relationship with the candidate and to keep them engaged in the process. This situation may cause concern around the recruiter’s abilities to find, source and attract top talent.
Recruitment is a costly process. Organisations spend money on the recruitment process, from advertising, to external recruiter support, not to mention everyone’s time spent on interviewing candidates . A ghosting candidate wastes all the money, time and effort invested in them.
what causes candidate ghosting?
Several factors can contribute to candidate ghosting. While all of these may not apply to your organisation, understanding the causes can help you prevent them.
lack of communication
Suppose a candidate came in for an interview and they didn’t hear from you for weeks after that initial meeting. No feedback on how they performed during the interview or what the next steps might be. Then you suddenly decide after six or seven weeks that you’d like to call them back in for a second interview. The result? They ghost you. Not hearing back from an organisation after an interview or submitting a job application can create a feeling of frustration, reflects poorly on the recruiting organisation and eventually lead to ghosting. In a candidate driven market, those who respond quickly to talented candidates are more likely to secure them for their open positions.
a poor candidate experience
The recruitment process can be long, complicated, and impersonal. Candidates may find it challenging to keep track of the various stages and tasks they need to complete. The longer the selection process, the more likely to lose a candidate’s interest. A poor candidate experience can cause them to ghost the organisation.
When the process is not outlined and explained to a candidate, then expectations are not being set. Candidates may think a job offer is imminent, only to discover that they must undergo additional interviews or assessments. When this happens, they may become discouraged and ghost the organisation.
how common is candidate ghosting?
Candidate ghosting is becoming increasingly common in today's competitive job market. There are currently (as of Dec 2022) more jobs available than qualified candidates. In a candidate driven market, job seekers can afford to be more selective.
It’s not surprising that candidates are ghosting employers. They can quickly move on to other opportunities if they don't feel a connection with the organisation.
how can organisations prevent candidate ghosting?
The key to preventing candidate ghosting is to understand why it's happening. For example, is your recruitment process too long? Are you taking ages to respond to inquiries? Are you sending out generic emails or messages that don't sound personal? Have you set up a clear recruitment process? The more stages there are, the more likely it is that candidates will ghost your organisation.
Organisations should strive to make their recruitment process as streamlined, efficient, and personalised as possible. Let’s look at a few suggestions that may help you prevent candidate ghosting:
Employers often put forward an inflated image of what their job entails. Then, when candidates come in for interviews, they realise the job description wasn't entirely transparent.
So they might not return. Be honest and upfront about the role and expectations so there are no surprises down the line.
stay in touch
Constant communication is key when it comes to finding the right talent and keeping them engaged. Ensure that you keep candidates updated on the progress of their applications and let them know if there are any delays or issues. It's essential to stay in touch throughout the recruitment process and let candidates know you're genuinely interested.
speed up the process
No one wants to wait weeks for a response from an organisation. So, it's a good idea to speed up the recruitment process by keeping a concise recruitment checklist. Also, try to limit the number of interviews and assessments required.
A requirement period should not take longer than four weeks at maximum. Of course, some positions might require more, but if the process is too long and drawn out, potential candidates might become disinterested.
Try to incentivise candidates to stay in the process. It could be anything from bonuses, signing on bonuses or a golden handshake for successful applicants or reimbursing travel costs and expenses such as meals.
Providing incentives can encourage candidates to stick around and keep them motivated in your recruitment process. Additionally, it's a great way to stand out from the competition.
ask for feedback
Let's say you follow all the tips mentioned above, but you're still experiencing candidate ghosting. In this case, it's best to ask potential candidates for feedback.
Find out what they didn't like about the recruitment process and try to improve the areas that need it. It will help you build a better recruitment process in the long run.
bring in automation to streamline the recruitment process.
Hiring managers often take a long time to follow up with candidates because they're dealing with hundreds of applications. So, why not automate time-consuming tasks, such as interview scheduling and sending emails?
With hireful, you can do just that. Additionally, you can centralise communication to make it easier for both the hiring manager and the candidate. Automation can also help you track applicants in real time and set up alerts to remind yourself to follow up with applicants. Schedule a 15-minute intro call to learn what hireful can do for your recruitment process.