To ghost a person is to avoid answering someone after a time of conversation. For the person who gets ghosted, it can feel like the ultimate betrayal since they’re not given an explanation, only silence.
Today, top-tier talent is getting hired before they’ve even said: “I quit.” They’re being hired by companies that manage to forecast which positions they will need to fill in the future and are quick to act on it, and, at the same time, manage to tap into potential employees’ needs and requirements, both in terms of salary and benefits and how they’re treated by their new employer, a relationship that starts from the first point of contact. Those companies are simply skilled at keeping their preferred candidates interested all the way through, from initial contact to hire, without risking being ghosted. But, those who ghost, why do they do it, and how can you prevent it?
There can be several reasons why someone decides to ghost a company, personal and professional. However, it’s safe to assume that the Candidate Experience plays a significant part in the scheme of it all. Is your process and offer interesting enough to deliver a great experience for all candidates? It’s not rocket science; people want to be rewarded for their efforts and be treated with respect. The effort, in this case, is the time they’ve spent on applying to your company. With so many opportunities out there, you’re not special. Today's candidates have high demands on what employment entails; therefore, they’re willing to drop out if they’re not met with the same dedication as they approached you with. In fact, 48% of candidates feel frustrated by employers who don’t keep them updated on where they stand in the hiring process. If someone feels frustrated with you, what are the odds of them choosing to stay in a suboptimal process or reconnect with you in the future? Probably rather slim. But don’t fret; there are many actions you can take to maintain these relationships.
As previously mentioned, if you flip the script and stop seeing your company as a sought-after employer and instead ask the question: what will make us a sought-after employer? Your whole attitude will change because you’re no longer operating from a high horse that screams, “we are the sh*t” but rather: “what will make us the sh*t in the eyes of the candidates”? Candidates of today are not looking for jobs for survival but a job that increases, or lives up to, their opinion of what quality of life is. What that is varies depending on where in life the candidates are, but for your target group, it most likely revolves around a temporary job that enables them to travel or helps them be less of a broke student. By understanding this, your mindset and approach will change. You can begin by adjusting how you communicate with the candidates in your target group, which starts already in your job ad. At every point of interaction with potential candidates, base the interaction on these three questions: What am I offering? What am I promising? What is the reward?
Alright, so the candidate has made their way to your job ad. Perhaps they found it because you made an Instagram ad about the job? What type of language did you use in the IG ad, and did you make any promises? Since they pressed it, something must have been right; make sure to bring that energy into the job ad. Use inclusive language, be upfront with what type of benefits you provide, and stick to the promises you’ve mentioned. Oh, and don’t lowball the salary. With record-low unemployment rates, candidates know what they’re worth and will act accordingly.
After reading the job ad, they’ll most likely venture to your website to see what you’re all about and then head to your career page. On which they’ll seek information such as; what are other employees saying about working there? Does the company seem to live up to how it portrays itself in the job ad? What kind of future can they offer career-ladder-wise?
The candidate likes what they see and decide to apply. It’s your time to shine! How easy do you make it? Are you forcing them to create an account and fill in a 10-minute form? Big no-no. Keep it simple, for your sake too. If you’re using an automated resume screening tool, you want a to-the-point CV that can quickly be scanned by an AI, not their whole life story. Or, if you’re using Hubert, the candidates would apply on your career page and then be transferred to your ATS, where they can conduct an initial screening interview with Hubert — immediately (or when they feel like it) and with little effort.
Remember, from this point on; your communication game has to be on point.
Once the application is in, you need to ensure you’re keeping the candidate in the loop at all times: with automated email send-outs after each action, with a progress bar that shows them your timeline and where in the hiring process they are. For each one of these actions, you have the opportunity to add your tonality and touch to it. Make it feel personalized and fun; it’s not called a candidate “experience” for nothing. Behold, though - if you keep sending information without any coherent Call to Action, you risk losing the candidate out of sheer boredom. The reason behind every email should be apparent and preferably contain a CTA, such as: schedule an interview, complete a personality test, etc.
If you’re hiring younger talent, remember that they’re used to communicating on other platforms; therefore, they might not check their email every hour. You might have better chances of reaching them if you call or text them. Again, we’re avoiding ghosting here, so remind yourself of who you are talking with to avoid pitfalls.
It doesn’t matter if the interview takes place online or face-to-face; a pleasant interview is still a pleasant interview. An interviewer that seems bored and disengaged could be reason enough for someone to ghost you immediately. Because why should they give energy if they get none in return? Try to treat each interview as if you would interview you were being interviewed, be active, involved, and interested to know more.
So remember, with all this said, be the Pac-Man of recruitment. B:eat the ghosts.