Once the purview of horror movies, ghosting is now a sadly common social phenomenon. The term initially arose from the online dating sphere to describe a person who stops responding to all attempts at contact without explanation. But in recent years, ghosting in the professional world has risen dramatically. Indeed.com reports that 28 percent of job candidates ghosted their interview in 2020, compared to 18 percent in 2019. This new challenge in the job market wastes time and resources for managers already struggling to fill crucial roles. So why do candidates ghost, and what can you as a manager do to address and prevent it?
The reason that most candidates abandon an employment prospect is simple: they found a more appealing job offer. CareerBuilder found that two-thirds of employees who ghosted an interviewer did so because they accepted a job with better benefits or higher wages. In today’s market, candidates can afford to be highly discerning about which jobs they spend time interviewing for. They will often be able to explore multiple options and even take their pick of positions. CareerBuilder also found that half of employees ghosted because they were frustrated with poor communication and a lack of information about the job. Nearly a third stated that they didn’t appreciate not hearing back that a company received their application in the first place.
Unfortunately, ghosting can go both ways–and employees are far more likely to be ghosted than employers. Indeed found that an employer has ghosted 77 percent of job seekers in the past year, and 10 percent after making a verbal job offer. These experiences aren’t just frustrating; they’re deeply demoralizing. Some candidates may ghost their prospective employers because their own bad experiences led them to believe ghosting is an acceptable practice in the job market.
Finding a new employee requires a big commitment. It’s deeply frustrating to spend time and resources cultivating a candidate who seems like a good fit, only to never hear back from them again. While ghosting has become sadly familiar in recent years, it doesn’t have to be the name of the job-hunting game.
Most candidates who ghost a job opportunity do so because they feel like it isn’t appealing enough. This may mean that they want a bigger salary or better benefits, so it’s essential to make sure you’re keeping your wages and benefits in line with the market. However, in some cases it may be that you haven’t made a strong enough case for why your company’s open position itself is an appealing prospect. Most people don’t just want a job for the paycheck; they want an employment experience that will be fulfilling, enjoyable, and aligned with their needs and values. With the job market slanted towards applicants, they can afford to find a job that clicks with them. Make sure you highlight the things that make your company stand out, whether it’s a flexible work policy, a big bank of paid time off, or a vibrant and supportive company culture. Ultimately these elements can sway candidates as effectively as a nice paycheck.
Being open about the application process is another good step to avoid interviewees ghosting you. If candidates don’t know what to expect during the interview process or how long it will take, they may lose interest or prioritize other options. Make sure you remain in regular contact with prospective job seekers, even after making a job offer. Managing communication with multiple candidates can be challenging, but it’s an integral part of making them feel like you’re treating their candidacy seriously.
The Golden Rule also applies in the job market: treat others as you would like to be treated. With such a high percentage of job-seekers saying they’ve been ghosted by employers, it’s clear that what goes around comes around. If you want to help make sure a candidate doesn’t ghost you, the first step is to avoid ghosting your applicants. By maintaining a high standard of communication and speedy responses, you help ensure that your applicants won’t cut contact in turn.
Avoiding ghosting means putting extra time and effort into an already involved hiring process, and this isn’t always a practical option for clinics in need of staff members fast. Working with a staffing agency like MyTeam is a great way to find the best candidates without worrying about ghosting. We find job candidates who align with an individual position’s need, saving time, money, and anxiety for everyone involved. If you’d like to hear what MyTeam Medical Staffing Services can offer you, reach out to us today!