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Why Are Your Candidates Ghosting You?

In Hiring Strategy — by Noel Diem

Many HR leaders are reporting the same growing problem: candidates ghosting them on interviews. What is ghosting? It is when a candidate that showed promise doesn’t show up to interviews, won’t respond to emails, and then won’t answer the phone. Sometimes, this is for the first interview but even more perplexing is that sometimes it happens when they have been offered a job. 

It is a candidate’s market right now and they know it. Unemployment is at record lows, so people have many more choices than they are used to having. Increasingly, the idea of finding the “right” fit over simply having a job has taken over. 

Society as a whole is also more accepting of the ghosting phenomenon – people ghost potential romantic partners, friends, doctors, and yes, human resources. Whether you work at a top national firm or a small business, you’ve probably had your share of ghosting candidates over the last few years. There are a lot of thought pieces about “winning back” ghosted candidates but most people report abysmal results – and it sets up a dangerous precedent for how HR will handle that candidate when they are an employee.

You have to be proactive about avoiding candidate ghosting from the start of your hiring process.

4 Reasons Your Candidates Are Ghosting You

So just why are candidates ghosting you? It’s probably a mixture of reasons, some you can control and some you cannot. These are four reasons why candidates ghost you, but there are dozens more.

You Need More Alignment Within The Hiring Process

When do you realize you have an opening that needs to be filled? Is it when someone fails on their performance evaluation? After failing to meet the goals of their PIP? Or is it when your company grows and you realize that you need more support? Whatever the reason for your opening is, you need to be aligned with all key players before you even start looking for candidates.

Once you post your job opening, you should also consider how you will track your applicants. Using an applicant tracking system or ATS, you can plan and ensure that your hire meets your needs so that when you do find that perfect resume, you can act quickly. Using a system, you can collaborate with multiple parties to get the perfect job description and either post that to job boards, put it on your website, or hand it over to a recruiter-or do all of the above.

Most hires will require input from multiple parties. Be sure that you have a system in place that gathers those opinions and puts them in one easy-to-review space. Collecting 360-degree reviews on your applicants can help you make the right choice. 

You Don’t Have Any Automation In Place

What happens when someone submits a resume to your job posting? Do they get a response? If you don’t send a reply to their submission, even something simple as a generic acknowledgement email, they may forget they applied at all. Then, when you reach out for an interview in a few weeks, they won’t even have a record of the application in their email. You can set up an email chain so that it automatically sends out a response to the submission to a link with the job they applied for initially.

You Are Taking Too Long

When we aren’t in a candidate market, human resources leaders can usually take their time and respond to people at a leisurely pace. This isn’t the case anymore: you have to move quickly and go after the person you want aggressively.

Other recruiters and HR leaders are working faster than ever, sometimes solely focusing on filling one position. You have to ensure that you move faster than people who are hiring for the same type of candidate. Often, whoever gets an offer out the door first will be victorious, even if they pay less.

Are You Being Realistic?

When we write job descriptions, we often aim for the idealistic candidate, and that isn’t a bad thing. If someone reads it and meets your expectations, they may apply and you will get a fantastic candidate. However, you need to ensure that it aligns with things like the title of the job, the salary, the benefits, and your own timeline. 

Being too generic isn’t a good thing, but being hyper specific can be detrimental to your search as well. Too often, people will apply for jobs and then not show up when they get an interview simply because they don’t think they are “good enough” to make it through the interview process and actually get an offer.

So what can you do? Instead of listing everything as a requirement, think about making a “Nice to Have” section. Or, you can include a sentence about being willing to work with people who may have less experience on a certain basis. You get to determine what that is. 

If you are too specific and are looking for someone that maybe doesn’t even exist, you are going to get applicants that are just seeing if they get a callback, but they won’t actually show up or even schedule an interview.

One Additional Tip: Think About Your Communication Style

Increasingly, the world is virtual. This means that ghosting is always going to happen. However, by following the steps above, you can at least lessen the number of candidates you have that ghost you. If you still have problems with ghosting, there could be another culprit: your communication style.

  • Try to answer emails in a timely manner
  • When you do answer, be complete
  • Check for spelling or grammar errors
  • Make the candidate feel respected
  • Don’t use a “formulaic” response that may not answer a candidate’s specific question

How you communicate with potential employees matters – not only so they show up for the interview, but because it sets the tone for how you will communicate with them as an employee.

You’ll Always Have To Reevaluate Your Hiring Methods

As the world continues to change, shift, and evolve, you are going to have to change your hiring practices and policies. You will never be able to completely eliminate ghosting, even when people are fighting for jobs. However, you can start to notice trends and pick out who might ghost you if you use hiring metrics and analytics to help you organize your processes (surrounding everything from training and onboarding to hiring), then you use hiring software to automate some of the busy-work so that you can focus on making the best choices for your people.

No matter what, human resources needs support right now, and using the best all-in-one platform for attracting, retaining, and engaging your employees (existing and potential) is always a great idea. Schedule a demo of Trakstar’s Platform today to see everything in action.

Trakstar Hire is considered the most user friendly hiring software on the market. If you’re ready to take your recruiting and hiring to the next level, request a Trakstar Hire demo today.

Who is Trakstar?

Trakstar is a multi-product HR software provider helping organizations put the people back in people management. Develop and align your staff through better recruiting and applicant tracking, performance management, and learning management. For a more integrated solution to talent management, check out our website and request a live demonstration today.

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