Hess Associates

Haunted by Ghosting?

“Ghosting is on the rise… 83% of employers have been ghosted by a candidate – some even after the point of hire!”. Ghosting, in the talent search universe, refers to “candidates who suddenly stop replying to emails, don’t show up for interviews, and even [to] new hires who accept an offer, yet fail to show up to their first day of work.” This phenomenon represents an obvious challenge for employers, because they invest a lot of time and effort into talent acquisition, and time is money.

Earthly reasons?
We have been pale as ghosts thinking about these spooky happenings, and decided to quietly peek into why it might be happening to employers. What we unearthed were several possible reasons:
· Your hiring process takes too long.
· You have poor communications with candidates.
· A candidate might have a better offer than yours.
· Given the current low unemployment rate, candidates might feel they have less to lose than you do, and might feel they can be very choosy about which job/company they want to be associated with. Maybe your company is just not a candidate’s top choice.
· Candidates might wonder if your company is just a shadow of the values it portends to uphold.
· Maybe a candidate doesn’t get a good vibe from your company, or gets a bad feeling (spooked?) about something about your company’s culture.
· The candidate may have been ghosted by other employers in the past: According to Indeed via accurate.com, more than 3 in 4 candidates have been ghosted by hiring companies.

Earthly actions?
We also decided to research what companies can try to do to have a ghost of a chance of finding and keeping talented new employees, in the current ghost town environment. Here are some of the ideas we unearthed:
· Exude a positive culture: Avoid coming across as demanding, negative, or disrespectful; also, review and respond as needed to online reviews / content relating to your company’s reputation.
· Conduct surveys, such as of current employees, to determine if they have a positive impression of working at your company.
· Review your onboarding process, such as: Is it welcoming? Do you acclimate your new employees?
· Keep your candidates engaged and let them know you’re still interested, such as communicate with them regularly to signal that they’re important to you. Also, make sure interacting with you is easy for them.
· Additionally, in your communications, exude your humanness, helping candidates remember that their decision to say attend an interview or not could let a real person or maybe an entire team down. Form professional relationships with your candidates, and demonstrate empathy, because, according to hirehive.com, “Empathy begets empathy. If a candidate needs to remove themselves from the search, or turn down your offer, an empathetic candidate will do so respectfully.”
· Consider if it’s possible to reduce your hiring timeline, as if it’s very lengthy, your candidate might find another offer. Also, provide candidates with a clear timeline from the start, of what to expect.
· Exemplify your company’s core values.
· Generally, think about creating an “unghostable” candidate experience, hiring process and company!

Finally, if you are a little spooked — not sure if you see a ghost or not – maybe send a message to your candidate, requiring a response, and if no reply, consider if this behaviour might reflect a candidate’s true soul. And, then maybe note the ghost’s name, to lessen future scares.

Here’s a toast to making ghosting just a ghost from the past for your company!

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If you would like to discuss further, we would be happy to chat with you about this topic. Note, this blog post is just presenting some strange happenings and some ideas we have informally noticed lurking out there – it is not advice.


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