November 12, 2021

Why Job Ghosting Is on the Rise and What HR Leaders Can Do to Counter It

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of the corporate landscape. As a large part of the workforce embraced remote work, a vast sea of global opportunities that were restricted by location also opened up.

As candidates continue to steer the job market and maintain an edge over employers, job ghosting has become common. Ghosting can hurt your company’s reputation internally and externally. 

But when candidates start to ghost you, it can also leave your hiring budget astray and mess with your recruiting timelines.

So then, what exactly can hiring managers do to counter this problem, and why exactly is job ghosting on the rise? Read on to find out!

Reasons for an Increase in Candidate Ghosting Rates

1. Candidates Are in Control of the Improved Economy

According to a 2021 press release published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the country is currently as low as 4.6%.

As a result of low unemployment rates, hardly any people are competing for more jobs. This hints that there has been a shift of focus, and candidates and job seekers are now exercising more leverage in the job market.

The rapid rate at which candidates are ghosting jobs is nothing but a byproduct of this shift in economy and power. They are increasingly becoming more selective about the employers they wish to consider or even pursue, which is steering their job search.

2. Regular Perks Are Becoming Less Effective to Keep Candidates Engaged

Another possible reason HR leaders see so many candidates ghosting job opportunities is lackluster benefits. This might include something like disappointing salary bids or small paid holiday packages. These perks are becoming less effective in boosting engagement and retaining engagement top hires with each passing day.

A January 2020 article goes on to explain why candidates are ghosting jobs at such a rapid pace across the United States:

“Nearly half of US job seekers in high-demand industries like technology, energy, and banking say they’ve turned down an offer because of a bad recruiting experience. That’s according to a 2019 survey conducted by PWC, which polled nearly 10,000 US respondents.”

“Even if the recruiting process goes well, there are three key aspects candidates look for beyond salary, PwC found: opportunities to learn new skills, personal flexibility, and inclusion. In fact, respondents said they would be willing to give up 12% of their salary on average in exchange for greater flexibility and training.”

3. Long Interview Processes Are Playing a Key Role in Steering Work Preferences

Lengthy interview processes are another factor that is making it increasingly difficult for talent acquisition leaders to retain good potential hires.

An application process that lasts longer than a month will likely discourage job candidates from accepting a job offer letter, according to the PWC’s survey mentioned earlier.

Additionally, the survey also found that close to 61% of respondents were “ghosted.” This means that candidates had experience with recruiters who stopped contacting or responding to them after an interview. This experience dramatically increased the chances of discouraging their acquaintances or friends from applying to the same organization.

What Can Hiring Managers Do to Counter Job Ghosting?

Every organization is different and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to mitigating job ghosting from the candidates’ end.

However, there are a few tried and tested best practices that can take hiring managers a long way in engaging candidates in a better way. To some extent, it can relieve the monetary and organizational damage caused by ghosting.

1. Keep the Interviewing Process as Efficient and Concise as Possible

The very first step to ensuring that you hold your potential recruit’s interest is ensuring that the interview process is as efficient and to-be-point as possible.

Hiring processes that feel endless have “been a long-standing issue, even pre-pandemic,” says Theresa Adams, Senior Knowledge Advisor at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Some of the ways a hiring manager can think about reducing the time-to-hire and making the interview process more efficient are:

  • Leverage state-of-the-art technology innovations such as – email automation to furnish quick responses and predictive analytics to anticipate the longevity of a potential recruit based on their behavioral patterns
  • Conduct group interviews for the initial stages of screening where you can have questions ready beforehand
  • Use pre-screen tests and questionnaires to weed out unqualified applicants right during the initial stages

2. Be Proactive with Decision Making and Communication

One infographic states that close to 69% of candidates want to see the HR department’s response time improved concerning a job opening. Another survey by TalentBoard found that 63% of candidates think that most HR teams do not communicate adequately.

Communicating timelines is a more significant and more widespread problem in the talent acquisition niche. It can have a visibly positive impact on your ghosting rates.

Too often, a job seeker has absolutely no idea as to how the hiring process will unfold. While you might consider one candidate to be the right fit, chances are they may have already dismissed your company just because they hadn’t heard from you in days.

Show your candidates you value their time by proactively communicating with them. If you realize that a candidate isn’t the right fit, be honest rather than stringing them along. If anything changes within your company and you have to wait before hiring, explain the situation to the job seeker.

3. Have a Robust Onboarding Strategy in Place

According to a recent Gallup survey, voluntary turnover costs US businesses $1 trillion annually. In addition to the concrete cost of losing and replacing team members, there are also intangible costs to consider, like reductions in productivity and the blow to team morale.

Leaders of the most successful companies know great onboarding is crucial to ensure new hires become valuable, long-term team members, and job ghosting rates go down.

You can follow these five rules to foster high-performance employees who stick around for longer:

  • Tailor onboarding to make it an engaging and motivating experience for the fresh recruit.
  • Use the “Buddy Program” to make new hires feel welcomed.
  • Dedicate time during the onboarding process toward teaching new hires about the fundamentals of your company mission, vision, and culture.
  • Keep regular check-ins going throughout the first month, not just the first few weeks. Take a long-term approach to onboarding.
  • Prepare your team to impress. They should be welcoming and ready to answer any queries the new hire may have.

To mitigate the job ghosting rates for your company and hire the right candidates within no time, get in touch with us at Recruiter.com.

Our team of talented HR professionals with proven expertise in recruiting will be happy to guide you with the smallest of queries to optimize your hiring process and help you foster an employee-centric, result-driven workplace environment in the long run.

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