Hiring Horror: Are you Spooked by Ghostings? Don’t Become Your Own Worst Nightmare!

As we crawl into the holidays, one of our favorites is Halloween!

Speaking of spooky times, have you heard of “ghosting”?

What may be a notorious and cruel dating practice is now creeping into the workplace as more employers report being “ghosted” by job seekers who NO SHOW to an interview or by their own newly hired employees who end all communications without any explanation or outright vanish without a trace.

But is “ghosting” just happening to employers?

Dear Job Seekers: Have you ever been invited to interview for a position you were really pumped about, felt like you nailed the interview (or did a pretty good job), and then never hear from the company again? Zero, zilch, zip, nada, nothing from the recruiter or the hiring manager. You’re left paranoid and confused and replay the conversations in your head. What did you do or say wrong? Did you misread their words when they said they liked your background?

Nope. You’ve just been ghosted.

Dear Employers: We find it a little bit funny that so many companies we meet complain of more frequent tricks of “ghosting,” when for nearly a decade, we witnessed managers hire without a thoughtful approach, drag and drop candidates down a two-month or longer hiring black hole, or worse NEVER communicate with candidates if something changed or they’re no longer interested in that candidate.

Let’s be honest, just like in the dating world, nobody thinks particularly fondly of somebody who never said good-bye.

With that, the tables are turned and commentators from a fascinating story published by LinkedIn have suggested that people today are repaying the favor of abrupt layoffs from employers and non-existent follow-ups from interviewers that in some ways feel like revenge.

How You Can Stay a”Ghost-Free” Zone?

While we can’t stop “ghosters,” there’s an easy way that businesses of all sizes can help reduce the risk of being “ghosted.” Don’t do the bare minimum and “post and pray” = Post job ads online and simply wait for job seekers to find you. Today, with the national unemployment rate sitting below 4% (lower than it has been in almost 20 years), there are fewer and fewer quality job seekers applying to job ads.

REALITY CHECK: The individual you just hired, you know, the person that came from a pool of 100 resumes, but only 3 applicants looked good enough to interview? that individual you just hired was the best from a very weak pool and likely not even close to the best person in the market.

Attracting better talent and increasing the quality of your candidate pool will 100% help reduce the occurrences of candidate “ghosting.”

Please Stop “Ghosting” Candidates by Committing to 3 Simple Acts

#1 Treat job seekers like valued customers.

Talent nowadays essentially has the ability with technology to “shop” for the right opportunity just like your customers. They measure their experience in the recruiting process with the same standards they use when they shop online. It’s the collective results of all engagements and interactions that you have with people from the moment a job ad is crafted to the first week when an employee starts work.

#2 Drive continuous feedback.

Ask both job seekers and current employees to rate you. This puts a human face on the relationship and makes ghosting more challenging! Being compassionate, communicative, and available can help people feel better about speaking up. What you really want is an open, informal, honest, two-way dialogue that strengthens relationships rather than one-way instruction and criticism. Soliciting and providing frequent feedback are vital business practices for building genuine, trusting relationships between people and employers and influencing desired business outcomes.

#3 Set expectations upfront.

During your first phone screening, educate your candidates on what the hiring process involves (e.g. number of phases, requirements of each phase, duration of process, etc.) and remind them how valuable everyone’s time is so you can let them know to give you 12-hour notice if they need to back-out of a commitment. Clear and consistent communication will start things on the right foot and help you make sure your own recruiting tactics don’t include “ghosting” tendencies. turnabout is fair play!

The future of recruitment is about making it a great experience for everyone. It’s a competitive environment so you want to offer respect from that very first application.

Maybe this is just the wake-up call that businesses need to finally take steps in helping create a more transparent, more meaningful, and more people-first recruitment process. Whether dating or at work, employer or employee, the point is?.

Be a treat, not a trick.