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Tips to Avoid Candidate Ghosting

It’s a jobseekers market in 2021, especially for top talent. Candidate ghosting was a stark reality for recruiters prior to the pandemic, but the trend has accelerated in 2021. 76% of employers say they’ve been ghosted by a candidate within the past year, and 57% report that the phenomenon is more common than ever.

The fact is that jobseekers today receive more competitive offers than they did a few years ago. Add in the idea that some people are still reluctant to return to the workplace, and you get a severely strained talent market where potential candidates feel empowered to walk away from an opportunity in search of something better. Sure, it’s unprofessional and short-sighted, but it is happening. Here’s a few ways to minimize candidate ghosting.

Talk to Your End-Clients 

We advise hiring managers to truly assess and to understand what other options candidates have and how their opportunity compares. This means having an honest conversation with end-clients about the role and what they’re offering. Does the position offer work-life-balance? What about the option to work remotely? Is the offer competitive? A candidate’s initial impression will drive their behavior during a search, so employers need to put their best foot forward, especially for more senior level and tough to fill roles. 

Be Open with Candidates 

When it comes to potential candidates, don’t shy away from asking the tough questions early in the process. Is your candidate just seeing what’s out there, or are they truly seeking a new position? What are their salary requirements? Are they meeting with other recruiters? 

Though each person will respond differently, candidates will generally appreciate your willingness to be direct on these matters. Open communication will help minimize ghosting, and give you a clearer picture as a recruiter of a candidate’s interest. Something as simple as “If you have any hesitations about this position, or if there are changes in your search, please feel comfortable letting me know – this will help us work together collaboratively.” Building rapport helps candidates feel more invested, and less likely to disappear.

Shorten Your Time-to-Hire

A lengthy hiring process is one of the top reasons candidates walk away. This doesn’t mean you have to hire the first person who applies, but it does mean you should avoid unnecessary stalling as much as possible. Keeping a candidate engaged throughout the will be key. This means responding to candidate inquiries promptly, following up after interviews, and adding a personal touch to your communications. 

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket 

Similarly to candidates, it’s important to keep your options open as a recruiter. Don’t rely on a single candidate when trying to fill a role, even if they do seem like a perfect match. Jobseekers always have a backup plan, so it’s important that recruiters do too. This may not help minimize ghosting, but will make your job significantly easier if it does end up happening. 

If It Happens

When it happens, just breathe. While the unprofessional act of ghosting may be unacceptable, there is a way to handle it. Communicate with your sales team and end clients, and set deadlines as to when you need a response from the candidate in order to be considered moving forward. For example, “If I don’t hear back from you by Wednesday on the interview request, I’m assuming this position is no longer of interest and I will be actively pursuing the other candidates.”

As a recruiter, you do have influence and ability to lessen candidate ghosting in your process!

Photo Credit: Canva 

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