It’s a spooky time; lots of ghosting…

It’s a spooky time; lots of ghosting…

It’s not Halloween, so apologies for the title. What it is, however, as we’re sure you’re aware, is a very busy time in the field of recruitment. Companies are having to rapidly adapt to business changes, which means positions can sometimes need filling urgently. On the other side of the fence, people’s situations are changing, due to the aftermath (can we say that yet?) of Covid. Some people are even looking at secondary roles to their main job, just to keep up with the exponentially rising living costs the general public are being expected to bear.

With so much activity going on within recruitment agencies across the land, it’s perhaps no surprise that ghosting occurs.

A term usually associated with Tinder than the world of recruitment, ghosting means being ignored—by text, by email, by phone, by whatever method of communication they choose. If you’ve been ghosted, it’s as if you never existed in the eyes of the person you’re waiting to hear from—and for many jobseekers, this has been the recruiter or employer they’d hoped would offer them a role.

The issue isn’t just associated with recruiters, however, but perhaps more so with the candidates themselves. A recent survey in the US found that a staggering 84% of potential employees ghosted an employer or recruiter after initially appearing interested in a position. Men were a third more likely to ghost a recruiter than women, and those working in offices were more likely to do so than people working on the front line.

It's a similar story in the UK, with research showing that more than three-quarters of applicants had ghosted an employer.

There are various reasons why candidates suddenly cut all communication with a recruiter and effectively disappear…unrealistic expectations with regards to salary, being offered an alternative position, feeling the role (or the company/people) isn’t right for them, and more. It seems that, rather than simply letting the employer know where they stand with a simple, ‘It’s not for me, thanks’, it’s much easier to remain permanently unavailable when the recruiter/employer tries to get in touch.

Some candidates are against ghosting, believing that it demonstrates unprofessionalism and could ruin the chance of future opportunities with the company, agency or network. There is the saying that you should never burn bridges, and it is possible that ghosting someone could come back to bite you…after all, what’s to say the person making the hiring decisions doesn’t themselves move on to a company you really do want to work with?

This poll found that ghosting was a two-way street in the UK, with 56% of respondents confirming they’d been ghosted at some point in their job search journey. 34% of these ghosted applicants said that being effectively stood up by a potential employer would make them more frustrated than if they were stood up by a Tinder date. Romance is dead in recruitment, it would seem…

Experts’ advice to recruiters, concerning how they can reduce ghosting, includes:

Being clear about the salary range. There’s no point being shy about the wage on offer, as it will only waste everyone’s time if it’s not in the candidate’s remit. There’s nothing worse than jumping through numerous hoops and spending significant time on an application only to find the job pays less than your current wage. Sometimes, a low wage can’t be avoided; if this is the case, highlight all other benefits and perks that you can offer in order to attract quality candidates. Aside from salary, the more information you can give about a role, the better.

Exciting your candidates. No, we’re not back to Tinder dates again…just as the candidate will be presenting their best self in the interview, sell the role to them with the same passion and enthusiasm. If they appear to be a promising candidate, find out what motivated them to apply for the job, discover what’s important to them in relation to a role, and see if you can meet them halfway. Whet their whistle.

Encouraging questions. Whilst all relevant information should be given upfront, there may still be some things candidates want to bring up but feel nervous to do so, such as the possibility of flexible or remote working in the future, if it’s not already part of the role; how family friendly the company is; what targets, KPIs and expectations the candidate could be subject to…interviews are nerve-racking for many people and helping them feel relaxed and able to be honest with you could reduce the possibility you’ll be ghosted further down the line.

As recruitment website designers, we can include numerous ways for candidates to contact you on your website and via social platforms; however, if they’ve decided to ghost you, these communication methods will prove redundant. Honesty, transparency, showing interest, and personalising the experience will prove their worth during the process; the result being, candidates keen to get in touch with you for more information or to accept an offer.

Fast Recruitment Websites specialise in recruitment website design. Your website forms part of the recruitment process, as candidates seek out more information about you and the roles you have on offer. What does yours say about your agency? For advice from the experts, contact us on 01302 288591.


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