How to prevent ghosting by job candidates

‘Recruiting and hiring teams need to be super transparent and consistent with their communication’

By Jim Wilson on HRReporter — May 11, 2022

Amid the great resignation, employers are also dealing with candidates disappearing on them without so much as an adieu.

Candidate ghosting (37 per cent) is now the top challenge for talent acquisition teams, according to a report from Brazen and Talent Board.

This ranks ahead of engaging passive talent (34 per cent) and application volume drop-off rates (34 per cent), finds the survey of 375 employers globally, conducted in February and March.

“It’s across all job types,” says Kevin Grossman, president of Talent Board, in speaking with Canadian HR Reporter. “Professional candidates, especially those that are in the running for multiple jobs, with multiple offers, may verbally accept, and then never respond again, because they took another job somewhere else.”

That number of jobs available to applicants is one of the factors powering this trend, he says.

“For every candidate, there are two or three jobs available. So there’s a lot of jobs in the market, across industries.”

Compared to two years ago, more than four in 10 respondents (43 per cent) to a previous survey said it’s more common for job candidates to cut off communication.

Also, employers are stepping up with their compensation and benefits offerings. Wages for hourly workers, for example, have increased more within the past two years compared with the past 10 years, says Grossman.

“There is a higher level of ghosting of these individuals that are [thinking] ‘I can get paid higher’.”

Poaching talent from competitors simply makes sense – especially with the pandemic, according to a previous study.

Costs for employers 

Being ghosted by employees is slowing down employers’ hiring efforts. And the cost of vacancy will add up over time, says Grossman.

“The long-term impact is that it will start eating away at the corporate revenue. If they don’t have the people they need to sustain and grow the business, the business will take a hit. When you have a higher percentage of individuals that are just disappearing, and those positions stay open for a much longer time than maybe pre-COVID, [that has a negative] impact for the business.”

More than eight in 10 (84 per cent) hiring managers are experiencing burnout due to the tight job market, according to a recent report.

Solution: better communication

While employers can’t control whether or not a candidate decides to ghost, they can control how they treat candidates, he says. Past Talent Board research shows that…

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