Chances are, you’ve probably heard the term “ghosting” used in the context of dating. If not, here’s a quick primer: It’s used to describe those instances when, after having gone on a few dates and talking regularly, a dating partner just stops communicating. No “goodbye.” No “I want to see other people.” Just…nothing.
Well, we have some news: This phenomenon has officially hit the world of recruiting.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, job candidates are more frequently not responding to calls, texts, and emails throughout the hiring process. It’s not only relegated to candidates, either: The most recent Beige Book from the Fed, released in December, notes that a growing number of employers are reporting their employees are quitting without notice. It’s become so rampant that employers are increasingly—and publicly—talking about their “ghosting” problem.
While you can never fully predict a candidate’s (or a date’s) behavior, there are some measures your company can take throughout the hiring process to make sure you avoid this unfortunate outcome. Here are five tips to help prevent candidates from ghosting you.
When it comes to dating, you don’t want to text too often because it can make you seem like you’re coming on too strong. However, checking in with a job candidate throughout the interview process keeps them engaged. Everyone wants to feel wanted, and contacting your candidates is a great way to accomplish this. Remember, a simple gesture can go a long way.
As the Washington Post notes, the labor market is tight, with total job openings continuing to outpace the number of candidates looking for work. Additionally, unemployment currently sits at a 49-year low at 3.7 percent. While this environment has been a boon for job candidates, it makes the competition for top talent that much tighter. And to land that top talent, you need to have a simplified hiring process.
A simple way to do that is to rethink how often you interview candidates. That’s what Nasdaq did, explains Josh Bellis, their Global Head of Early Careers and Diversity Recruiting. “Do we really need eight interviews for an intern? Probably not. Once you get a candidate, [we decided] you can only do two rounds of interviews,” he says. Reducing your company’s interview process (the current average is 23.8 days) helps keep candidates engaged and ensures they move through your funnel faster.
This is a vital part of providing a good candidate experience, but it’s important to keep in mind for your employees too. If you continually hire people with shifting job responsibilities, this will create worker unhappiness. In fact, one of the two major factors cited by people who are unhappy with their jobs is stress. So, remember to be transparent about what a person’s roles and responsibilities will be from your first interaction. It’ll benefit you in the short- and long-term.
Providing meaningful work is important for all your employees. But it’s particularly critical to provide meaningful work to your interns. Think of your internship program as an extended job interview. Assign them actual projects, provide mentorship, and invest in them the same way you do for full-time employees. If your company emphasizes how it does that for its interns, you’re much more likely to attract and maintain their interest throughout the interview process.
Finally—and this is a no brainer—if you don’t show you care about your employees, then you’re going to have an incredibly difficult time retaining them and attracting new recruits. Your company culture is a reflection of that sentiment, so think about what kinds of benefits and perks you offer, and keep their happiness and well-being as a top priority.