Have you ever been ‘ghosted’?
We thought ghosting only happened in the world of dating! The term ‘ghosted’ originated when people starting disappearing after what seemed like a perfectly nice date. You‘d eagerly sit watching your phone but never hear from them again.
This is now an unfortunate possibility in the recruitment process too. However, it’s not a new phenomenon: it just has a name now! For years, employers have said “We’ll get back to you once we’ve made a decision” only for candidates never to hear from them again.
The tables have turned. You’ve chosen the ideal candidate, the interview went well and they appeared enthusiastic to start. Days pass and there’s no sign of your perfect recruit signing their offer or submitting their work permit documentation. As in a relationship, it’s easy to take this personally.
So why are ‘no-shows’ becoming more frequent?
The fact is that modern technology has allowed us to remove many of the cumbersome conversations we used to have. We can simply send a quick message or email without having to hear the other person’s opinion. Perhaps it’s all too easy.
And many might say that we are losing our politeness. In the past, it would have been considered rude not to respond to job offers.
The principle reason for the rise in ‘ghosting’ is that the market is saturated with attractive offers. Knowing there are plenty more fish in the sea, a candidate may not worry about closing some connections.
Whether it’s the employee or the employer who is ghosting, it’s not nice to be on the receiving end.
That said, here are some ways we can reduce it.
#1. Clarify your recruitment process
It would be naïve not to realise that your prospective excellent hire for the position probably has several options. The longer you take to interview all of the candidates and make a decision, the more likely it is that they will have taken a job with another company. As soon as you read the CV of a well-suited person, get them in for an interview. ASAP.
#2. Treat people how you want to be treated
Aside from the salary, an important factor when seeking a job is the working environment. People want to know they will be in a position where they can thrive, where they are respected. Add a bit of a human touch or compassion to your interview. When you say something (such as “we’ll get back to you”), follow through with it. This will not only help the recruitment process but also improve your reputation.
#3. Make your offer stand out from the rest
You have a rough idea of the competing salaries so make sure your offer is at least within that range. If you can’t afford to beat that, you could offer other things that may appeal to people like flexible hours or a health package.
#4. Ask for a preferred contact method
Regardless of age, there’s a huge variety of contact methods. Don’t assume a phone call is suitable for you potential hire. During the interview, ask how they would like to be contacted and make a note to use this. It would be a shame to be ghosted because you sent an email rather than a WhatsApp!
#5. Treat interviewees as individuals not as part of a process
The language you choose to use and your treatment towards people will have a huge impact on their response to you. Take the time to read a CV thoroughly before the interview and talk about specific information regarding that candidate. Show them you’re paying attention.
Make sure too that they are fully aware of the recruitment process, what the next stage will be and when they can expect to be contacted.
Finally, if you are professionally ghosted, don’t let it have a negative affect on your attitude. Other candidates might pick up on this. Each fresh CV is a fresh start.
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