Candidate Ghosting: how your company can avoid this costly recruitment trend

Candidate Ghosting: how your company can avoid this costly recruitment trend

No longer confined to the dating world, ‘ghosting’ is a nightmare-inducing recruitment trend that has seeped into the professional world, too. Ghosting, for those unfamiliar with the term, means that contact with the person you were dating — or in this context, the candidate you were interested in hiring — suddenly disappears. No calls, no texts, no emails. Just vanished like a ghost, into thin air.

Seemingly unconnected to any industry in particular, ghosting behaviour from candidates is rife in all sectors. A recent article in HR News suggests that as many as 84% of employers in the UK have experienced candidate ghosting, with a third of firms estimating the cost of such behaviour costing between £2000 and £5000.

The reasons candidates give for ghosting ranges from accepting a better offer through to a change in personal circumstances and bowing out because of something that your company might have said or done on social media.

The most frustrating thing is, of course, that when you think you’ve found the perfect candidate and then they ghost you at the final interview, or even at the offer stage, you’re then back to square one. Not only that, you’re probably weeks, if not months behind schedule in the recruitment process.

So, what can be done to eradicate ghosting behaviour in candidates?

Well, in short, we’ll probably never get rid of it entirely. The whole concept of recruitment relies heavily on human interaction, and as we know, human behaviour can be somewhat unpredictable. However, employers can minimise their risk of ghosting.

Be aware of your employer brand

In an age where a brand’s reputation can live or die on the back of an Instagram post or a random tweet, your company is more visible than ever. Like it not, your ‘employer brand’ — how the outside world perceives your reputation as an employer — is more crucial than it’s ever been.

If you’re just about to embark on a recruitment drive, or you’re seeking out a specialist candidate for a particular role, then it’s worth checking out your company’s reputation online and if necessary, cleaning it up.

How will this help?

Candidates will research your company from the top down. They’ll scour LinkedIn for your executive team and key staff, download your financial reports from Companies House, and they’ll stalk all of your social media channels. If your business has skeletons in its closet you can guarantee that your candidates will find them. Some may not be too scary, but if there’s dirt to be dug up that casts a shadow over your company’s behaviour or ethics, you could be leaving yourself wide open for ghosting.

Improve your candidate experience

Your candidate relationship starts from the moment you place your job ad. Your company’s tone of voice and attitude says a lot about who you are and why a candidate should consider joining your team.

Now more than ever, candidates are motivated by more than just money, and the companies that are winning the war for talent, are the ones offering the flexible terms and benefits that modern job seekers really want.

Moreover, the candidate experience goes way beyond the lure of a great salary, free fruit Fridays and flexible hours. Every interaction that your candidate experiences during the recruitment process will contribute to the story of how they might be treated if they join your team.

If you want to attract the best and brightest, and turn away those ghosts for good, then revisiting your candidate experience is an excellent first step.

Use a recruitment consultant

Although this won’t prevent candidate ghosting entirely, adding a third-party buffer to your recruitment process will help to protect you.

Reputable recruitment consultants like Demob Job often have access to a pool of carefully selected and vetted candidates and are already well on the way to building great relationships with them.

Here is where your company can really win. If you have a great relationship with your recruiter, then the candidate recruitment process will be much smoother for you. Your recruiter will take the strain of candidate search and selection process and only present you with the applicants that they know will be a great fit for the job. The candidate is then the responsibility of the recruiter through the interview, offer and acceptance stage, and often into the first 90 days of employment.

This experience can be a huge boost of confidence that (hopefully) your top choice of candidates won’t go wandering off halfway through the process and leave you with a costly bill.

Candidate ghosting of employers is a growing trend, and unfortunately, it’s unlikely to end any time soon. However, by tightening up your recruitment practices, candidate experience, and relationship management, and by hiring a recruiter, you can significantly lower your chances of a haunting.

If you have experienced ghosting before I would love to hear your thoughts; adrian@demobjob.co.uk or use our online contact form.

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