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Candidates Ghosting on Your Interview? Here’s Why—and How to Prevent It!

Written by Michelle Silverstein

Ghosting is a modern disappearing act: after consistent communication with someone, poof, that person just disappears—like a ghost. Well, it’s not just a dating problem for millennials anymore! More and more, seemingly normal job candidates are ghosting on job interviews.

In this article, we’ll touch on why job interview ghosting has surged and what your hiring team can do to prevent it.

 

High Demand for Employees Changes the Game

One of the main reasons for the increased prevalence of ghosting: there are more jobs available then there are qualified workers to fill them. A very low unemployment rate has given job applicants the upper hand—and they’re using it.

One article suggested that this no-call, no-show behavior used to happen just in low-paying jobs, but is now happening across all industries. It’s a candidate’s marketjob applicants have lots of options, and that power is affecting how they behave.

 

Applicants Are Reflecting Company Behavior, Too

Yes, applicants are no-showing for interviews—and even jobs for which they’ve accepted offers!—but some of the blame might fall on employers themselves.

Job candidates have long complained about the lack of communication they receive from employers. In one survey, 65% of job seekers said they either rarely or never receive any communications from employers about their applications. This lack of communication has often been cited as one of the most damaging parts of the candidate experience.

Interview ghosting could very well be a result of these experiences. When employers had more power in the hiring dynamic, they unintentionally set a few negative norms – lack of communication and rare follow ups with their applicants. Employers had all the power to essentially “ghost” someone at any point in the hiring process, and it seems that, now that the power has shifted, job seekers are starting to reciprocate this ghosting behavior.

 

Prevent Ghosting By Showing Prospective Employees You’re Serious

One way to keep the no-show epidemic out of your office: beef up your employer branding efforts. Make sure you’ve set your business apart from its competitors. Make sure you’re their top choice by ensuring your website, your office, your benefits package, and your salary offers are all up to snuff.

Another tactic: show your candidates you’re all in from the very start. Don’t just screen resumes and send back emails setting up interviews. Pick up the phone and leave a message expressing interest. Set up a phone interview first to demonstrate real interest. Give candidates a reason to feel committed to your hiring process.

Then, when bringing in already-invested candidates who’ve demonstrated explicit interest, give them plenty of options for interview times. Many currently employed candidates are applying for jobs in secret; leaving their work mid-day for a few hours in a suit just isn’t an option. Perhaps offer the option for them to come in early and do an interview before regular office hours, or be open to conducting one in the late afternoon. Flexibility goes a long way to accommodate great candidates.

Finally, recognize that candidates might need to cancel—but may be too embarrassed to share they’ve already accepted another job or are no longer interested. It’s a bummer, but it’s better to know ahead of time. Confirm the interview a day or two before and ask them to tell you if they need to cancel or reschedule.

 

Flip the Script on Ghosting By Following Up

If a candidate no-shows for an interview, you might be tempted to write them off forever—and you probably should. But sending a quick email making sure he or she is okay sends a message that your company takes hiring seriously, and might make the ghoster think twice about no-showing next time. And that’s good hiring karma.

 

Michelle Silverstein

Written by Michelle Silverstein

Michelle Silverstein has over 5 years of experience in content marketing and writing, specializing in B2B and SaaS with a particular focus in the HR space.

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