I’m one of the lucky ones.
I’ve been out of the dating game for more than a decade. I’ve never had to use Tinder, Match.com, or any other type of online or mobile dating app out there today. As a result, I’ve never been a victim of ghosting – in the dating sense at least.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for my recruiting days.
Although it was never an overwhelming issue, I definitely fell victim to ghosting – in the interviewing sense. Five years recruiting, hundreds of positions to fill, and I can count on both hands how many times a candidate or new employee just went dark without an explanation.
So, what’s changed in the market today?
For those who may not already know or haven’t quite figured it out yet, ghosting is exactly how it sounds. It’s when a person cuts off all communication with another person with no warning, no explanation, nothing.
Let’s be clear. Job ghosting isn’t anything new. Historically, people have no-showed interviews, accepted a job and vanished without showing up on the first day, and just stopped responding to emails and calls altogether.
Fast forward to today, and the job market is every candidate’s dream. Candidates have more options. In fact, the number of people quitting their jobs each month is the highest it’s been in 17 years, and it’s continuing to rise.
What’s causing this behavior to increase?
There are several theories around the rise of job ghosting lately.
More open jobs + less unemployed workers = more workers jumping ship
The national unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in over a decade. With the numbers trending positively for the working population, they have more leverage when walking away from an opportunity that doesn’t truly speak to them.
It all points back to inexperience with handling the current market
A good chunk of the existing workforce hasn’t had to deal with a candidate’s market before now. They are experiencing a high amount of outreach around new opportunities, receiving multiple offers at one time, and they just don’t know how to handle it.
Candidates are just being malicious to employers who ghosted them
Think back to 2007 during the Great Recession: people were being laid off, experiencing issues gaining employment, and as a result – companies were ghosting applicants. They weren’t following up with candidates, and it could be due in part to the high number of applicants. Either way, some candidates may be jaded by the past.
What can we do to minimize job ghosting?
It would be silly to make you believe that job ghosting can be completely avoided. To some extent, you have to accept that this is going to happen no matter your efforts to avoid or minimize it. You must be able to adapt to the changing talent landscape and the good and bad that come along with those changes.
However, if you’re looking for a couple of ways to offset the job ghosting, start here.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
This cannot be said enough. When you reach out to a potential candidate to setup an initial call, follow up promptly when they give you availability. Don’t leave your candidates hanging after an interview. Clearly communicate next steps, and be transparent. Don’t ghost them by failing to communicate before, during, and after the recruiting process.
Getting ghosted a lot? Use it to improve your process
If the number of candidates not showing up to interviews is high, or employees aren’t showing up on day one after accepting an offer, use this to improve your existing processes. Is it one particular recruiter? Is it a specific position? Identify where the ghosting is happening, and fix any gaps or inconsistencies in your process. Use it as a learning process for those involved.
Have you been ghosted by a candidate or employee before? Share your stories in the comments.