The Job Ghosting Phenomenon – What is job ghosting?
The term Ghosting is a phenomenon more commonly seen in the dating world but it is now becoming an increasing problem for employers.
Employers across the country are seeing a rise in job candidates’ ghosting them. Now “ Job Ghosting” is a term that has been used in HR circles to describe two different things that can happen: One is where employers that look like they’re ready to hire someone, then suddenly go quiet and ghost the employee; and two is where the employee ghosts the employer so, prospective job candidates who don’t show up for interviews or who, after actually accepting a job offer, don’t show up for their first day of work.
It’s not necessarily a recent phenomenon but what we are seeing now is a definite increase in potential candidates or even existing employees, in some cases, ghosting employers to levels never seen before.
So, in main part, a very competitive labour market is obviously leading to this and it can be very frustrating and costly for the employer who invests time in the recruitment process and onboarding of a new hire and but only then for the potential candidate or even successful candidate cutting off all contact! There is a lot of choice at the moment for workers, it’s an employee’s market, as skills and the labour market are extremely stretched.
Ghosting has always been a thing in the tech world, where competition for skilled workers was so fierce that top talent on the open market was likely to get multiple job offers and a 2019 Indeed survey found that an incredible 83 percent of employers had an applicant disappear from the interview process or fail to show on the first day of work, and 22 percent of job seekers admitted they actually accepted a job offer and then didn’t show up for their first day of work. Now, most certainly due to the pandemic, a stretched labour market and a cost-of-living crisis and skills shortages in certain areas, we are seeing an increase in employers being impacted by “ghosting” across the board.
What can the employer do to avoid being “Ghosted”?
- Be authentic in your outreach
Make your company stand-out, define your cultural fit. Don’t be too vague. People with in-demand skills can be particular about job opportunities – Provide the information they require so that you can leave the employee screen you, rather than the other way around.
- Focus on the candidate’s career goals
Rather than talking only about how the person could perform the job, think about approaching the job from the candidate’s perception. Be upfront on the salary range for the position. If there’s a gap, remember to sell the job as a complete lifestyle package. Research released last by EY showed that 43% of employees are likely to quit their jobs this year for better pay. The same research last year showed Flexible working as the top reason for changing jobs. So, soaring inflation is having its impact on the labour market and on some of the behaviours of potential candidates.
- Focus on the personal transaction
Some companies have even scrapped interviewing online and taken it back to face-to-face interviews because the personal experience and more of an emotional transaction takes place face-to-face and therefore lowers the chances of being ghosted. Now, this is not possible or at least it is tricky for some employers, because it can also be a deterrent in attracting some candidates to interview. However, some employers have made this move in order to cut down on time and resources being wasted inside in the recruitment and onboarding stages with a new hire.
- Keep the process as efficient as possible
Be decisive in your decision-making. Don’t prolong the screening or interviewing process when it’s pretty obvious the fit just is not right.
Then move quickly to onboarding Once a job offer has been accepted, get to onboarding the employee quickly because, sometimes it’s simply the result of an employer being a bit too tedious in the screening process, too leisurely in making a job offer, and too casual when it comes to onboarding.
If you really like a candidate, move quickly and decisively to let them know they are wanted. Don’t give them a chance for their inner ghost to show its face. A High-touch pre-boarding and onboarding are probably among the most effective ways to curb this new-hire ghosting phenomenon that we are seeing.