Hiring new employees is always hard work, but having a good candidate “ghost” you or slip away for another job makes it even harder. The truth is that ghosting is sometimes unavoidable, but you can do things as an employer to help prevent it.


Understanding Why Ghosting Happens

Ghosting, a term coined from modern dating communication styles, refers to the sudden loss of contact with a candidate with whom you had been previously corresponding. It can happen at any stage of the recruitment process. But according to research from Randstad, a survey found that 43% of Gen Z candidates had accepted a job but reneged on their offer before their first day. In other words, they “ghosted” their future employer to accept a different job or pursue a different path.

While this might be a trend easily blamed on a strong labor market, this can also be accounted for by measuring candidate experience. If an applicant has a negative application experience, they are more likely to change their mind before investing in an employer who doesn’t respect their time or person.


Limit Ghosting with Clear Communication

To keep ghosting candidates to a minimum, make sure you are clearly communicating your hiring timeline. Candidate ghosting isn’t necessarily intentional. Instead, it could be the result of a misunderstanding about the recruitment timeline. What recruiters think of as “ghosting” might actually be the result of a slow application process in which candidates don’t know when they will hear back – and so they look elsewhere for employment.

To avoid missing out on talented candidates, maintain transparency throughout the hiring process, and outline the timeline so candidates have an idea of when they can expect to hear about the next steps. By keeping the recruitment process fairly quick and smooth, candidates will be less likely to move on.


Invest in a Personalized Application Process

Candidates want to be treated as people, not as numbers in a database. Personalization and face-to-face interaction are essential and help limit applicant drop out rates. Many candidates have a negative opinion of employers who rely upon impersonal interview methods, such as pre-recorded videos since they believed it to be an inadequate replacement for a first-round interview with a real person. While it’s unrealistic to assume that your company can meet with every candidate face-to-face, in-person interaction is essential once it comes to the interview stage. To keep candidates engaged throughout the process, give candidates who are invited to an interview the opportunity to speak with recruiters and even current employees in person so that they can learn about the company, too. Treat candidates as the people they are to ensure that they show you the same courtesy.


Speak to a Candidates’ Career Goals

Even if you are looking to hire someone for a temporary or short-term duration, understanding a candidate’s long term career goals will help you make sure that they are the right fit for your role. During the interview phase, remember that the conversation shouldn’t only be about the company’s goals. Candidates are interviewing the company, too, and they will want to see how working for the company is in line with their own future goals. Gen Z employees rank professional development opportunities as the top reason for accepting a job offer, prioritizing their learning and development more than other factors like compensation and company prestige. So make sure you are taking that element of their qualifications into account. Consider integrating professional development into the recruitment process itself through opportunities such as industry chats, resume reviews, and networking events. Both sides can benefit from this experience.


Find the Right Candidates with ESGI

For help finding the right candidates for your open roles this year, connect with the recruiting team at ESGI today.

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