After spending hours of hard work to build a relationship with your candidate…they ghost you! It’s a disappointing experience. Unfortunately, candidates ghosting their recruiters has become a widespread trend, especially now that it’s a candidate market where they have hundreds of jobs to choose from. We’ll breakdown why this is happening and what measures recruiters can take to avoid this experience. Hint: using your staffing and recruiting software effectively is one way to maintain constant communication with job candidates.
What is Ghosting?
Ghosting refers to the instance when someone suddenly cuts all contact and communications with no explanation. The term stems from the dating world, but it happens between recruiters and job candidates all the time.
Various sources report that it has become common for candidates to blow off scheduled interviews or fail to show up on the first day of a job. According to USA Today, many businesses report that 20 to 50 percent of job applicants and workers are engaging in some form of no-shows. This is forcing many businesses to change their hiring practices.
Why is This Happening?
“Candidates sometimes have more options in today’s market. The unemployment rate is extremely low, currently at 3.9 percent nationally, and even lower than that, at 2.2 percent for college-degreed workers according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,” says Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps in a Business News Daily article. Steinitz says the demand for specialized workers is exceeding supply, so candidates may feel they have the upper hand.
When candidates have several options on the table, they’ll choose the position or offer that’s most attractive to them. However, candidates may decide to ghost you rather than letting you know they’ve accepted another job offer to avoid an “awkward conversation”.
Use your Staffing and Recruiting Software to Stop Job Candidates from Ghosting
Find out Their Intentions
Ask your candidates what their intentions are right from the get-go. Have they applied to other jobs? Are they interviewing with other companies? How serious are they about taking a new role? Their answers should then give you a sense of how far along they are in their job hunt. Since this information is valuable, be sure to make notes of their answers in your staffing and recruiting software.
Then, prioritize the candidates who are serious about the role you’re presenting (a strong software will allow you to sort candidates by placement urgency). Use your applicant tracking system to schedule tasks affiliated with the candidates who are most likely to place – this will give you quick, easy access to notes. By conducting relevant and frequent follow-ups, you’ll have a better chance of not losing your candidate to another recruiter.
Lay Out the Time Frame of the Hiring Process
Let candidates know each important step of the hiring process and provide them with a timeline. This includes the dates of when you’ll be conducting interviews, reviewing assessments and making a job offer. ERE says that candidates expected to see these things from companies in their recruitment and hiring process:
- 58% of them said they want a company to communicate with them clearly and regularly during the entire hiring process
- 53% of them said they want a company to set out clear expectations for them so that they could prepare well
Since transparency of the hiring process matters to candidates, take the time to outline the steps and timeline that you and the hiring manager will follow. In your staffing and recruiting software, you can create an e-mail template with this information and send it to candidates after their interviews so they’re most tuned into your job.
Ask Candidates How They’d Like to Be Contacted
Each candidate will have a different preference on how they’d like to communicate with you. When you understand the candidate’s preferred method of communication, you can be more confident that you’re reaching them in a way that’s most convenient and comfortable for them.
Find out their preference in your first conversation. By asking this simple question, you might even find out that some candidates would like to receive text messages about job opportunities or general updates on their applications. In a staffing and recruiting software such as Mindscope, you can send text messages straight from within the system to a candidate’s phone. Since text messages have a 95% open rate, there’s an extremely high chance candidates will read your message and engage with you.
Set Reminders to Follow-Up with Candidates
As a recruiter, you’re constantly multi-tasking and managing several clients and candidates at once. Ensure that you never forget to make a follow-up phone call or e-mail by setting reminders in your staffing and recruiting software. You should follow-up with candidates when necessary, like in circumstances of changed dates or if the interviewing period will take longer than expected.
This simple task makes a big difference in the candidate experience. Set reminders in your staffing and recruiting software for yourself to follow-up with candidates about the current status of their applications. Not only will they appreciate the update, they’ll know where they stand in the hiring process.
Don’t overlook following up with candidates who didn’t land the job, either. Let them know about the decision and reassure them that you’ll be in touch with them if another suitable role comes up. Being the bearer of bad news is not fun, but according to the ERE survey mentioned earlier, 51% of candidates said they want to hear back from companies even if they didn’t land the job.
Being ghosted is frustrating. However, you can try to prevent this from happening by keeping open and consistent communications with candidates. Use your staffing and recruiting software to set automated reminders to follow-up with candidates on important information. It’s an indispensable tool to have as it lets you store and track all of your communications and allows you to contact candidates whichever way that works best for them.
Reach out to us if you’d like to know the best ways to use an applicant tracking system to maintain a great rapport with your candidates.