Why do job candidates ghost employers and how can it be prevented?
To help you prevent candidates from ghosting you, we asked recruiters and business leaders for their best strategies. From not wasting candidates’ time to nurturing relationships, here are several reasons why candidates ghost recruiters and suggestions on how you can avoid it happening to you.
Here are 10 ways to prevent candidates from ghosting you:
1. Don’t Waste Their Time
No candidate wants to be underpaid. One reason why candidates may stop responding to a recruiter is simply because recruiters are reaching out to them with a job that isn’t worth their time. It’s a bad idea to assume that a job seeker should be grateful for whatever you throw their way. More often than not, if a job is well below the level of the person you want to recruit, they’ll be at least apathetic and at most somewhat insulted. Do a bit of research on your candidate, know what job they last worked, and get a general idea of the pay range they might have had. If the job you’re offering is well beneath their pay grade then don’t waste their time. A recruiter that brings proper jobs to proper candidates is far less likely to go ignored.
Boye Fajinmi, TheFutureParty
2. Shorten the Hiring Process
A candidate may ghost a recruiter if the hiring process is too long. No job is worth it if it takes months. Applicants will usually back out if there are more than three rounds of interviews — especially if each interview takes over an hour. Businesses need to ensure it’s a smooth process and won’t be such a time-consuming effort.
Corey Ashton Walters, Here
3. Be Supportive and Understanding
A candidate may ghost a recruiter when they feel overwhelmed by the interview process or have second thoughts about a job. A good strategy is not to pressure the candidate, and realize that taking a job is a significant life decision. Giving the candidates space and time to consider their options makes them less likely to experience a candidate ghosting them. Finding a new job can be an overwhelming and stressful process. The best thing a recruiter can do is be supportive and understanding of the candidate’s position and not put too much pressure on them.
Sumeer Kaur, Lashkaraa
4. Understand Why Candidates Feel Uncomfortable
The uncertainty of the job market brings unwanted emotions when making decisions or accepting offers from recruiters. As a result, some candidates may believe they are not qualified for the interview and decide not to show up. The recruiter’s job is to lay a positive foundation for an informal discussion about the job description. If the candidate still ghosts the recruiter, reach out to the candidate with a simple email requesting another opportunity. Fear of being underqualified is a normal emotional state. With an understanding of the candidate’s situation, keep their qualifications and future potential in mind.
Yooseok gong, Ohora
5. Sweeten the Deal
From my experience, the primary reason why a job applicant ghosts a recruiter is that they aren’t into the job. They applied because they felt they needed to apply everywhere. After all — they needed a job. However, they are finding other jobs more interesting than the one the recruiter is offering. It’s hard to prevent ghosting, but following up with emails and phone calls to sweeten the pot with pay and benefits can help prevent it. The key to that is to find out what the applicant wants in a job, such as some time to work from home or leaving daily to pick up a child. These aren’t always financial, but are key to winning over a job applicant.
Michael Gorlovsky, Windermere Orthodontics
6. Provide Clarity
The new generation of leaders are not accepting anything less than clear communication. When companies are not clear on the opportunity, benefits and next steps — guess what? Another company is providing clarity, insights and direction. The more transparent recruiters are, the better the outcome of not getting ghosted. Allowing too much time without following up leaves a negative impression on the candidate, hence why they find other opportunities somewhere else. Recruiters should share as much as possible, including timelines and response times. Just remember that you were once in their position. Respond wisely!
TK Morgan, Tuesday At 1030
7. Slow Down
Job candidates are less likely to respond to a recruiter who seems flippant. Obviously, a recruiter’s day can be very busy. They may have quite a few job candidates to get through, and may very well be pressed for time. None of that, however, should be visible to candidates. If a recruiter seems in a hurry to be done with a candidate, they’ll leave a bad impression. Most job applicants aren’t just talking to one recruiter either; the one that seems the most friendly and cordial will likely be the recruiter that the candidate will lean towards if the job roles are similar in value. It may take some extra time out of your day, but if you’re a recruiter be sure to allot a bit of extra time for each candidate so you don’t have to rush the interaction. That little extra time can be the difference between building a rapport and being ghosted.
Caleb Ulffers, Haven Athletic
8. Discuss More than Just Salary
It is not unheard of for candidates to ghost a recruiter when they focus their pitch on the salary and talk little about other aspects of the job. In fact, if financial matters are openly discussed — while other aspects such as work-life balance or growth possibilities are neglected — candidates will very quickly pick up on it. They’ll figure out there’s money to be made, but little else. One way of preventing ghosting is by making sure the recruiter offers every bit of relevant information in the job ad, and is ready to further explain those matters during an interview.
Michal Laszuk, PhotoAiD
9. Stand Out
We are living in a digital era that has made it easier than ever to apply to positions. Companies advertise jobs in front of candidates by the hundreds, and submitting a resume has become as easy as a few clicks. You will find most candidates have multiple active applications at one time. A prospective candidate is likely to go for the company that stands out. To prevent this, focus on your company brand. Define your company’s mission and goals. How does your company stand out from other businesses? Answering these questions will instill a sense of purpose in your applicants. They will have an idea of what they are signing up for and what working for your organization will look like.
Kevin Muthomi, FastPaydayLoans
10. Nurture a Relationship
We’ve all been there — the candidate is great on paper or after the initial phone call, and then… nothing. You get ghosted and wonder what you could have done differently. In my experience, candidates that ghost recruiters typically do so because they view the interactions as transactional. They do not have a connection with the recruiter for one reason or another, and don’t see how not returning a call or email impacts them. In many cases, the recruiter is so excited about their opportunity and why it’s such a great fit that they don’t take the time to really understand what makes the candidate tick, so they are caught off guard when they no longer get a response. In my 15+ years in recruitment, I’ve learned that no matter how great the opportunity, it’s always best to let the candidate talk first. It helps to ensure you don’t come off too strong or scare them away. It also helps to make the candidate feel they are equal in the conversation and connects them to the recruiter.
Megan Blanco, University of Central Florida
How JobsInTheUS Can Help
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