Ghosting hurts. Suddenly getting ignored by someone you care about — it’s an event that can leave a significant emotional sting.
For a long time, ghosting has been an unfortunate aspect of the dating experience. However, in recent years, this practice has been rising in professional settings as well. It’s particularly prominent in the recruiting process, with top candidates dropping communication without warning, leaving employers scrambling to redirect their hiring efforts.
According to Indeed, more than a quarter of job candidates (28%) have ghosted a potential employer in the past 12 months. What’s more, that number has been rising. The latest figure showed a substantial jump from the 18% that reported ghosting prior to the pandemic.
And employers have certainly noticed the upswing. A separate survey found that four in 10 employers have seen the problem getting worse recently.
So what can you do to halt the rising tide of ghosting? What steps can you take to avoid it happening to you — or at least deal with the problem in the most effective way possible? Here are a few tips to work around prospective employees who ghost:
Handling Prospective Employees When They Ghost
Talk about Your Communication Expectations
Ghosting can come about because of a confusion of expectations. Some people truly see it as acceptable practice — it’s part of how they communicate in other aspects of their lives. As such, you can sometimes prevent it by spotlighting your expectations.
Going into a recruiting effort, create a clear communication policy. Let candidates know what you consider best practices. Being upfront in this way won’t necessarily prevent ghosting. However, it will put the impetus on the candidates and underline your preferences in this area.
If you expect job candidates to respond efficiently, start by setting a strong example. Make it a priority to maintain vibrant communication with your top applicants. Keep them informed about the process and respond to any of their communications promptly and completely.
Not only will this create a pattern of healthy communication. It will also let you test the waters. Slow responses from candidates early in the process can create a red flag. If you’re going to get ghosted, you want it to happen as early in the proceedings as possible.
Have Backup Plans
You can’t always get your first choice. Almost by definition, your top candidates will likely have the most options when it comes to selecting a position. As such, don’t become so focused on a single outcome that you can’t quickly react if that individual ends up ghosting you.
With that in mind, have a timeline inserted into the job offer process. If you don’t hear back in a specified period of time, move on to another candidate. This way, getting ghosted by a prospective employee doesn’t throw off your plans. If it happens, you can smoothly move on to your second choice.
Don’t Take It Personally
Sometimes, prospective employees turn down your job offers. That’s bound to happen as you look to recruit the best team possible. Treat these events like the inevitable part of the process they are. Stay professional and don’t become emotional about the situation.
Ultimately, a ghosting represents a rejection of your job offer. Sure, it’s a particularly rude way to say “no thanks.” But in practical terms, it’s no different than if a candidate had called you to present a heartfelt, apologetic rejection. Either way, they aren’t joining the company. Accept it and move to your next step.
Shorten Your Hiring Cycle
Sometimes, ghosting arises out of feelings of frustration. If a candidate hasn’t heard from you in a long time, they might assume you have ghosted them. In other cases, a hiring process goes on so long that your potential employee has completely moved on.
You can prevent these situations by maintaining a streamlined hiring process. A short timeline will keep candidates engaged. Without long dead spaces in communication, ghosting isn’t as likely to occur.
Looking to Strengthen Your Recruiting Efforts?
A recruiter can help you run the most efficient hiring process possible. A top recruiting firm, like Elby Professional Services, can pinpoint ideal candidates for your open positions, limiting the risk of ghosting and other hiccups. You’ll get the talent you need quickly and with the minimum effort.
Contact Elby today to assist with all your employment needs.