Ghosting is a new term that’s haunting the workplace. And while it may not be all that frightening, it’s surely causing a lot of angst. It’s when candidates fail to show up for interviews or even first days, or when a new hire leave a job abruptly, without notice. In today’s “buyer’s market,” it’s getting more common and recruiters are seeing it across all generations.
So what’s causing the increase in ghosting? Some point to entitlement and a lack of maturity in young professionals; others blame a decline in workplace civility, manners and courtesy. Whatever the cause, it looks a lot like karma, and paybacks are hell. Especially when you’re trying to find and keep talent with the lowest unemployment rates in history. In the SHRM Online article “Ghosting Behavior Baffles HR Pros, Hiring Managers,” SHRM editor Kathy Gurchiek writes, “Such behavior has left many HR professionals and hiring managers baffled. In today's market, job seekers and workers are in the driver's seat. There are now more openings—6.6 million as of June 1—than there are unemployed people—6.1 million, according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But no-shows and mysterious disappearances are happening nationally across a wide range of industries.”
In her blog post “Ghosting,” Claire Petrie, talent acquisition manager for Remedy Intelligent Staffing in Buffalo, N.Y., says that “Ghosting can occur in many parts of the candidate/employee lifecycle. Three points in time specifically stand out to me—the applicant, the candidate, and the new hire—where HR partners, recruiters and hiring managers can make some changes to minimize their chances of being ghosted. What is common between all three of these? The importance of timely communication!”
Petrie says that when it comes to a candidate who does respond to your call or e-mail, “How are you going to keep them engaged throughout the process? I can easily tell if one of my candidates prefers phone or email. I can tell if they do better with multiple one-line emails going back and forth, or if they will read/process one longer email with everything they need to know. Since candidates are driving the bus in the current market, it's important for HR Reps/recruiters to adapt to their candidates' communication preferences. Timing of feedback is another important aspect. If you leave a candidate floating out there for over a week with no feedback after an interview, they may already be on to the next opportunity.”
Regardless of the stage, ghosting is frustrating for recruiters, and the search is on for ghost-busting strategies that will keep candidates interested and new hires on board.
What are your experiences with ghost busting, and what strategies are you employing to minimize it?
Q1. What experiences have you encountered with candidates or new employees ghosting you and your organization?
Q2. Do you think ghosting is a generational issue or is it due to the erosion of civility, courtesy and manners among all generations in today’s workplace (or both)?
Q3. What are some common pre-ghosting behaviors -- or signs -- that a candidate might have a potential for ghosting?
Q4. Where in the recruitment process does ghosting cause you the most angst -- applicant, candidate or new hire -- and why?
Q5. What communication strategies can be used to help reduce the chances of ghosting in the application and interview phases of the hiring process?
Q6. What onboarding strategies can help reduce the chances of ghosting and job abandonment in new hires?
Q7. What advice would you give to job seekers to help them understand why and how ghosting will eventually catch up with them and do damage to their reputation and career?