Got Ghosted?

Valentine’s Day just came and went and it got me thinking about how at times recruiting can feel a little bit like dating. Putting the feelers out to see if there is mutual interest, communicating often but not coming on too strong, being vulnerable and sharing what you have to offer, and seeing if the initial spark shows signs of compatibility. And if all goes well, it will develop into something lasting! However, to get to that point, mutual effort has to be put in it.

Even if things seem to be going well, there is something that can happen at any point in the process that can put a sudden halt to “happily ever after”. Ghosting is a term that has gained popularity recently and according to Merriam-Webster, it is defined as:

The act or practice of abruptly cutting off all contact with someone (such as a former romantic partner) by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc.

It is not news to anyone that recruiters are notorious for ghosting candidates and I personally know a number of people that have had it happen to them. For that, I’m so sorry. But did you know, recruiters aren’t always the guilty ones? According to this Robert Half article, LinkedIn posted a report that stated 95% of recruiters have been ghosted by candidates at some point throughout the recruiting process. It can be frustrating when it is your job to fill a position and a promising candidate starts sending red flags by not responding.

Instead of sitting in that frustration, take ownership of what you can control and your involvement in the process. Here are a few simple steps the article offers to lower the likelihood of being ghosted by a candidate:

  1. Streamline the hiring process. It can be tempting to wait to interview any candidates until there is a long list of potentials. If a candidate applies for your position, it is safe to assume they applied for others. In order to not lose a viable candidate, start moving them through the process and get them in for an interview.
  2. Play by the Golden Rule. If as a recruiter you don’t want to be ghosted, then don’t ghost candidates.
  3. Make an offer they can’t refuse. Be competitive!
  4. Use alternative forms of communication. There are many different ways to communicate, get creative with how you reach out to candidates.
  5. Craft messages that encourage a response. Keep candidates engaged. Don’t just operate out of a template, but provide tailor-made responses to candidates that show you are interested in moving forward with them. Always make sure they are aware of next steps.

At the end of the day, there is no way to guarantee you won’t get ghosted, but take some time to reflect and evaluate if adjustments can be made to your recruitment process. Maybe with some tweaks you may see greater success. If not, just remember there are bound to be other fish in the sea!

About the Author

Janae Swartz is a consultant with Morrison, working primarily in our People Solutions practice. To get in touch with Janae, please find contact information for Morrison here.


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