According to recent research from LinkedIn the problem of ghosting is getting worse…


                                                                                                                                                                       …….a scary thought.

Twenty-eight percent of job seekers say they’ve “ghosted” an employer—up 56% from 2019. From cutting off communication early in the process to skipping interviews without warning or failing to show up to the new role at all.

A ghostly trend

  • 76% of employers say they’ve been ghosted in the past 12 months
  • 28% of job seekers say they’ve ghosted an employer versus 18% in 2019
  • 77% of job seekers have been ghosted by an employer since March 2020
  • 10% have been ghosted after a verbal offer was made

Source: Indeed, Employer Ghosting: A Troubling Workplace Trend, February 2021.

While ghosting may seem like a minor inconvenience, when candidates end communication, don’t show up for interviews, or, even, skip out on their first day of work, it could signal a bigger issue within your organization. For example, it may indicate candidates don’t feel connected to your team, your company, or the role. Instead of communicating that they aren’t interested in the opportunity, they “ghost” instead.

Beyond that, though, ghosting can have a profound impact on efficiency at all levels of the recruiting and hiring process. With as many as 50% of candidates skipping out on interviews, your team could be wasting a significant amount of time vetting less-than-interested candidates and, later, waiting for them to show for interviews.

No-shows also affect productivity. pausing work to arrange and prepare for candidate interviews can cause sharp declines in efficiency and productivity. On average, it takes about 25 minutes to return to a previous task after being disrupted. A successful interview can compensate for this loss in productivity, but time spent waiting for a no-show is time wasted.

Ghosting and the pandemic

Ghosting isn’t a new trend—the phenomenon was on the rise before the pandemic, according to a 2019 Indeed survey, which noted that both job seekers and employers were fuelling the trend. And the problem has gotten worse: nearly half of job seekers acknowledge that employers are, likely, being ghosted more now than ever.

To combat ghosting, your recruitment team should implement measures to combat no-shows at every step of the recruitment and hiring process. That begins with improved communications between hiring teams and candidates—specifically, personalized touches paired with automated messaging. Keep in mind that, without a “face” behind your organization, candidates may be more inclined to ghost. By introducing a human touch to the process—e.g., a Zoom/Teams check-in, phone call, or personalized email—candidates may be more likely (at the very least) to contact your team if they decide to drop out of the hiring process.

How’s your communication style?

It’s also important to consider how you’re communicating with. The majority of Americans don’t answer calls from unknown numbers, and 14% say they don’t check voicemails. Even email is falling out of favour: 85% of smartphone users say they prefer mobile messages to emails and calls.

Depending on previous candidate engagement, integrating text messaging may be a simple way to deal with some ghosting. With 90% of people opening texts within three minutes—and texting having five times the open rate and eight times the response rate of email—this communication shift should increase the odds that candidates will read critical messages.

Although texting is fast becoming a go-to communications tool among HR professionals, make sure you acquaint yourself with texting etiquette before unleashing your staff’s thumbs. SHRM offers these three guidelines:

  1. Get permission from recipients first– i.e., don’t send unsolicited text messages to prospective candidates.
  2. Keep messages short. Texting is best used for automated notifications, sending basic information – e.g., interview times/locations – or asking fast follow-up questions. Use emails or phone calls for lengthier communications.
  3. Keep it professional.Resist the temptation to include emojis or clever abbreviations in texts to job seekers. Remember: your team’s texts and other communications should consistently uphold the brand.

Be flexible

Another potential ghosting solution: offer candidates flexible scheduling, including evenings and weekend time slots. By striving to accommodate candidates’ schedules, job seekers may be more likely to move ahead in the process, even if their current weekday schedules don’t allow for in-person interviews.

Given the increase in remote work and the desire for flexibility in time and location, members of your HR team may be open to shifting their schedules to conduct these interviews. For example, a team member might prefer to start work later (one or two days a week) in exchange for conducting after-hours candidate check-ins.

Virtual interviews are also a good option for busting some ghosts, even if your team has already returned to the office. Forty-five percent of job seekers say being able to interview from anywhere is appealing, and 37% say they feel less intimidated at the prospect of interviewing remotely.

Ultimately, it’s about putting yourself in a candidate’s shoes. What would you want from a recruiter and hiring manager right now? What would make a business stand out from the competition, and make you want to move toward an offer? Those engagement tactics are good next steps to help curb ghosting.

The above is based on research by LinkedIn and the links throughout will take you to the original post/research.


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Call Tom Waddell on +44(0)7960 354441 or Fiona Irvine on +44(0)7739 447369 or email [email protected]