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Are Job Candidates Ghosting You? Try This Recruiter’s Advice

Spooky season is upon us! People are carving pumpkins, dressing in crazy costumes, and swapping scary stories. So, in the spirit of Halloween, we’re taking on a truly horrifying subject. This is so frightening it can make a hiring manager’s hair stand on end at the very mention. That’s right. We’re talking about candidate ghosting. Beware!

Is Ghosting For Real?

Oxford Languages defines ghosting as “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”

When somebody ghosts you, they stop replying to your messages, they don’t answer calls, they stop all forms of communication. There’s never any explanation—they simply disappear without a trace.

Originally a dating term, ghosting is becoming increasingly common in business, especially in the context of recruiting. For example, a 2021 survey by Indeed found that 28% of job applicants had an employer—10% more than in 2019. And today’s reality seems much worse. In fact, a U.K. poll earlier this year found that more than 75% of job hunters admit to ghosting in the past year. Scary statistics, to be sure!

Why Do People Act So Creepy?

There’s no single reason why candidates ghost potential employers. But ghosting clearly seems more common when job vacancies are prevalent in a particular sector. 

When more opportunities are available, applicants have less incentive to keep in touch. They will often receive viable offers more quickly, so when they do, they’ll accept the most attractive option and move on.

However, ghosting also happens when vacancies are few and far between. We’ve seen it up close at our own recruiting agency, even in niche roles where very few opportunities exist. 

In a discussion with our team, one brave team member confessed to ghosting a prospective employer in the past. She explained, “I was pretty far into the interview process when a few issues raised concerns for me. These were mainly about time off, travel expenses—things that probably should have been resolved up front.”

The truth is, we can make some educated guesses about a candidate’s motivations, they can ghost us for any reason. Without an explanation from the candidate, you’ll never know for sure what happened—and that’s what makes it so frustrating.

The Business Impact of Ghosting

Probably the worst impact of ghosting is that it wastes time. You could spend months sourcing credible talent and conducting interviews. You may even get to the stage where you’re negotiating a package. And then without warning—poof!—that top candidate goes silent. 

Ghosting is not only time-consuming—it is expensive as well. Consider this:

The average U.S. cost per hire is $4,700 for a non-executive role and $14,936 for an executive, according to Zippia. Most roles are filled within roughly 42 days, but it can take much longer when ghosting comes into play.

And it’s not just about the extra cost of a delayed hiring process. It’s also important to take into account the business cost of an unfilled role, which can cost employers dearly in terms of lower business productivity, quality, and responsiveness.

How Can You Combat Ghosting?

Although it’s impossible to shut down ghosting altogether, we’ve learned some techniques to help employers prevent candidates from vanishing into thin air.

1) Invest in the Relationship

Put yourself in a candidate’s shoes. As one recruitment specialist told the BBC earlier this year, “Candidates are being approached all the time with an abundance of jobs to choose from […] if they have multiple applications on the go, it can be easier to simply ignore one of them.”

If a candidate is in contact with multiple recruiters or hiring managers, it’s easy for several to fall off of the radar. But if you develop a working relationship with candidates, you’ll remain top-of-mind. Just as you would with a friend or colleague, make sure you stay in regular contact with candidates. Show that you care by touching base when you say you will and by keeping them updated throughout the hiring process.

2) Be Transparent From the Start

Before you move forward, strive to clarify what a candidate is seeking in a role, and reflect on whether your offer will meet those expectations.

People may feel uncomfortable telling you they’re unhappy or unsure about an aspect of a role. Instead, they may find it easier to simply move on. So be sure you understand their job requirements from the start of your working relationship.

In particular, don’t keep the details of an offer secret. For example, if a candidate is interested only in working remotely, an in-office location will likely be a dealbreaker. It’s best to be upfront about every aspect of the role before you make an offer. This saves time for both you and the candidate.

3) Establish a Long-Term Connection

Smart hiring managers and recruitment specialists help candidates recognize the value of maintaining a relationship throughout their careers. Rather than just completing an immediate transaction, recruiters can introduce candidates to influential people within their industry and help build their professional network over time.

Ghosting can cause unintended reputational damage. So, if you help candidates see the long game, they’ll be less likely to abruptly end your communication. 

4) Respond Kindly to a Rejection

We’ve seen employers lash out at candidates who decline an offer. This is a surefire way to encourage more ghosting! If a candidate rejects a job application, remember they’re doing you a favor by responding at all.

Keep responses polite and professional. Thank the candidate for their transparency, wish them well, and keep the door open for the future. It’s a surprisingly small and very well-connected world. So think about how much goodwill a gracious response can help your organization, in the long run.

5) Ask People Not to Ghost

Sometimes the best way to encourage candidates not to ghost you is just to…ask! Tell people upfront that if they change their mind about the opportunity at any point, you would really appreciate a heads-up.

This approach has often worked for our team. It lets us be more proactive in filling roles for our clients. Because we have spent time nurturing trust with our candidates, they tend to be candid in sharing their thoughts.

Of course, this may not work every time, but it can’t hurt to try.

6) Recognise When You’re Being Ghosted

…and move on. Don’t assume that a candidate will eventually get back in touch with you to seal the deal. If a candidate is wasting your time, then your energy is better spent on finding a more suitable applicant elsewhere.

Similarly, you should never put all your recruiting eggs in one candidate basket. With ghosting on the rise, it’s crucial to have at least one active candidate at any given time. But ideally, you should keep two or three more high-quality candidates in the running for an open position, as well.

7) Don’t Ghost

You may have been ghosted, but there’s never a reason for an employer to be a ghost. Employers who blow off applicants can quickly develop a bad reputation for ghosting and wasting candidates’ time, too. 

If we expect candidates not to ghost, we must treat them the way we would like to be treated. Recognizing the time and effort unsuccessful candidates have put into their applications is a must.

Employers should keep all candidates informed of the outcome of their application, whether it is positive or negative. Otherwise, that negative candidate experience may come back to haunt your organization in the future.

All this Ghosting Talk Is Kind of Scary!

But don’t worry, you made it to the end. And now you’re much better equipped to avoid those wicked ghosts. Poof!

#TChat Preview: How Global Megatrends Impact Employee Engagement Strategy

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT). The #TChat radio portion runs the first 30 minutes from 7-7:30 pm ET, followed by the #TChat Twitter chat from 7:30-8 pm ET.

Last week we talked about productivity and e-mail excellence, and this week we’re going to talk about how global megatrends impact engagement strategy.

For better or for worse, mind you. Consider the fact that the world is undergoing unprecedented change, driven by six global megatrends: Individualism, Digitization, Technological Convergence, Demographic Change, Globalization 2.0, and the Environmental Crisis.

And while economies around the world continue to bounce back from the financial crisis, millions of people are thinking about their next career moves. Not just thinking either — Hay Group research forecasts that almost a quarter of employees worldwide will change jobs by 2018.

These megatrends come with profound implications for how companies will be organized and led. But if leaders don’t adjust their approaches to employee engagement now, they will be unable to attract and retain talent through these major shifts.

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-creators and hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn about how global megatrends impact engagement strategy with this week’s guest: Mark Royal, Senior Principal at Hay Group who helps organizations design and implement employee engagement strategies.

Sneak Peek:

Related Reading:

 

Michael Bertrand: Employee Engagement Is About The People, Not The Tools

Meghan M. Biro: The Old Ways Of Working Are Not Working

Kevin Daum: 5 Simple Ways To Get Employees More Engaged

Russ Fradin: Here Is A Simple And Fun Way To Boost Employee Engagement

Jason Lauritsen: In Defense Of Employee Engagement

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guest and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: How Global Megatrends Impact Employee Engagement Strategy

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, November 12th — 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT Tune in to the #TChat Radio show with our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, as they with our guest: Mark Royal.

Tune in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, November 12th — 7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and Mark will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What are the big trends transforming the world of work today? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: What do employers and employees really care about in the workplace? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: What the implications for promoting and sustaining employee engagement? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

photo credit: Podknox via photopin cc

How To Make People Want To Work For You (Infographic)

Google received over a million applications last year.  For the fifth year running, it was named #1 on Fortune’s list of the Top 100 Companies to Work For.  And for good reason: it’s employees enjoyed 100,000 hours of free massages in 2012, in-office happy hours, all the free gourmet food they could eat, and hundreds of other amazing perks.  As you may have heard––thanks to its incredibly talented and hard-working employees––Google is also one of the most innovative companies in the world today.  It has gained that status by providing its workforce with an ideal environment in which to be creative, productive, and highly motivated.

In contrast, most employers stifle their workers.  Most employees count the minutes until five ‘o’clock when they can go home and forget all about their jobs.  But Google builds harmony between its employees’ lives and jobs.

So while many employers today are scratching their heads wondering why high salaries and prestigious titles aren’t attracting top talent any more, this generation’s brightest minds are seeking careers where they can cultivate their health, creativity, and professional skills simultaneously.  Traditional employment models have lost their luster.  So to learn how your company can adapt, innovate, and inspire the talent you need to succeed in the 21st century; check out this great infographic from Talent Puzzle.


Source:Talent Puzzle

To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday. To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!

photo credit: CarbonNYC via photopin cc

Close The Skills Gap By Attracting The Best And Brightest Talent

Written By: Tracey Arnish, Senior Vice President, Talent at SAP

The economy is improving, and changes in social norms have raised the stakes in recruitment. At the same time, there doesn’t appear to be enough people with the right complex skills entering the job market. How do you recruit the best and the brightest when there are five generations in the workforce? How do you reach them at all?According to a recent LinkedIn study, approximately 25% employed people are actively looking for their next role. However, a staggering 60% can be swayed to talk to a recruiter or their personal network about new job opportunity. And with the idea of a “job for life” long forgotten, talent is more willing to move than ever before.Recruiters are vying for the attention of a limited talent pool. But as we see from this LinkedIn survey, it’s not because people are not looking. In today’s competitive talent market, recruiters are tasked with finding talent that possess complex skills needed to guarantee future business success. And sometimes, these skills are so unique that it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

3 Ways To Find A Candidate For That Hard-to-Fill Position

With 7 billion people inhabiting our planet, how do you find that one person that can help raise your brand to superstar status? Here are three strategies for attracting the best and brightest talent our world has to offer.

1.  Target potential candidates before there’s a new job opening

Data is everywhere. So why should data scientists and analysts have all the fun? Data mining for recruiters can be as simple as a Google search, a trip to Facebook or Twitter, and a visit to key blog sites. However, if you really want to take advantage of all that data, you need tools that can help you pull it all together, analyze it, and uncover critical insights. With some of today’s recruitment analytics tools, recruiters can pinpoint strategic geographies—even specific neighborhoods, college campuses, or competitor office buildings—to attract top talent. You can even find out which social media channels your potential talent pool uses to connect with the      outside world.

But analytics doesn’t just show you where your potential candidates are, it maximizes time and ROI by telling you which candidates are worth your time and effort to develop a relationship. Predictive analytics can match ideal candidates to open (and future) positions and when the time is right to actively recruit the potential candidate.

2. Go where your future talent lives, works, socializes, and plays

Gathering place. Confessional. Neighborhood. Community. Whatever you call it, social networks have created a place where people all over the world are testing new ideas, flaunting their successes, and looking for support to learn when they fail.

Social media is where others can live vicariously through our personal experiences. In addition to recruiting activities such as job fairs and college campus visits, actively listening, watching, and engaging with future job candidates on social media platforms is a great way for recruiters to get to know them. By putting their ear close to the proverbial social-media ground, recruiters can find out who’s out there. What do they want from work? What do they value? Are they happy with their current employer and why?

In addition to performing primary and secondary research on potential candidates, social media provides an opportunity for recruiters to draw an audience for their employer brand story.

3. Treat recruiting like marketing—everyone loves a good story

The power of how you tell a story can inspire and excite. Does your employer brand story resonate with the best candidates? Good employer brand storytelling fosters a personalized connection and uses peer-to-peer experiences to show authenticity and generate trust. And the best people to tell that story are not recruiters or marketers—it’s your employees in every area of the business. They are the ones who can tell candid stories that give a realistic view of life at your company. By weaving those stories together into the employer brand, you encourage the right people to apply because they value the perspective of their potential peers and like what they hear.

You think you found the “one”? You’re not done!

Just because you found the “one” and convinced this person to work for your company, it doesn’t mean your job is done. Rather, it’s only the beginning. Hiring managers must consistently re-recruit their employees to keep them engaged and loyal.

Here’s some tips on how to get started:

1. Connect employees’ work with their individual values.

No matter the generation, all employees want to feel valued. They want to perform duties that have meaning and have an impact on the overall company. Find out what each employee values—even down to the social causes that are close to their heart.

2. Create opportunities for consistent, 360-degree feedback.

Another thing people always appreciate is feedback—and not just during annual performance reviews. This dialogue should take place weekly and provide actionable items, such as signing up for corporate learning, setting up a meeting with another colleague, or asking for the opportunity to take part in a meaningful project to gain leadership skills, make a greater impact in the company and world, or spice up daily life at work.

3. Help employees picture themselves moving through the ranks.

If employees see a future with their current employer, they are more likely to resist the temptation of a recruiter’s call. Look for internal talent when filling open positions. If your talent doesn’t have that one unique, critical skill set, see if it’s possible to help an employee develop that skill through corporate learning before you reach out to your list of potential candidates outside the company.

Above all, no recruiting strategy is complete without the right leadership—and that is especially true for re-recruiting plans. When there’s a management team that understands the value of developing a competitive workforce, you’ll have the time, money, resources,
and support to convince hiring managers that re-recruiting your employees is just as important as recruiting new ones.

Tracey(About the Author: Tracey Arnish was appointed Senior Vice President, Talent in March 2013. In this role Tracey is responsible for SAP’s End to end Talent strategy ensuring that SAP continues to live the philosophy that “Everyone is a Talent”, and that each individual is fully enabled to grow a meaningful career at SAP. Under Tracey’s leadership Talent Acquisition, Total Rewards and Talent Management and Development, are responsible for the design of leading solutions in support of a compelling career experience for each and every one of SAP’s 65,000 talents globally, and ensuring that SAP has the talent it needs now and for the future. With over 15 years of progressive Human Resources experience, Tracey has worked in both the private and public sector with organizations. Passionate about building an organization that attracts and retains the best talent, Tracey brings focus to developing a culture that enables the achievement of the strategic business plans and supports colleagues in achieving their career best with an employer of choice. A mentor and coach to others Tracey is passionate about supporting talent and helping others realize their full potential.)

To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday. To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!

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