The current low unemployment rate has not only made recruiting more competitive, but it has also led to one trend that many practitioners are increasingly seeing: candidates “ghosting” on recruiter communications, interviews and even job offers!
A phenomenon coined in the recent past (thanks to dating apps!), ghosting refers to when someone cuts off contact with another person, failing to respond to any communications and essentially becoming a “ghost.”
In terms of recruitment, there might be many reasons a candidate does this: They might decide an opportunity, company or career move isn’t the right fit at that time, or they’re fielding multiple offers (hence the high competition brought on by the low unemployment rate) and take another role with a different organization without notifying you.
As a practitioner, having a candidate ghost you can be especially frustrating considering the time and effort you put into sourcing, attracting and engaging them. But instead of throwing your hands up in the air — and letting the ghosting continue to happen with other job seekers — it might be time to consider what steps you can take to eliminate candidate ghosting altogether.
The following tactics can avoid that dreaded ghosting experience that you might face as a practitioner. Use them to create stronger relationships with candidates by encouraging them to join your organization:
1. Communicate, then communicate some more
You know that from your company’s recruiting standpoint, ghosting candidates is a huge no-no. If you are able to communicate with talent throughout their experience with you, they’ll be less likely to stop responding to your messages.
However, that doesn’t mean you should bombard them with a variety of messages. That can have the opposite effect and turn job seekers off from your employer brand. Instead, aim to provide the right type of content at each stage of their journey. For example, when they are considering whether or not to apply for a job, send them a list of benefits and perks that your company offers. When they’re getting ready to interview for one of your open roles, shoot over some tips and tricks to help them prepare beforehand.
Carefully crafted messaging that provides relevant information to job seekers is the key to ensuring your communications don’t go ignored. And here’s another way to look at it: Even if a candidate decides not to accept a position with your organization, staying in regular contact with them during their journey helps to establish a valuable relationship that can lead to future opportunities down the road. They might be more likely to refer their connections to your open roles as well!
2. Tap into technology tools
Certain technology platforms and resources can help you better manage your candidate communications and keep job seekers from dropping off.
Take, for instance, text recruiting. Sending text messages to candidates at certain points of their journey can reduce the chance of them ghosting. Dierbergs Markets implemented automated text recruiting that allows job seekers to ask questions about the company and their open positions, as well as get the ball rolling on the application process.
Email reminders, such as this one from Eventbrite, sent out to candidates who have begun an application but haven’t yet completed it can lower the application abandonment rate and spur them to action.
You can find out more about Eventbrite’s strategy and other ways to turn candidates into applicants in our ideabook 8 Ways to Increase Careers Site Conversions.
Another tech example includes scheduling platforms that allow job seekers to book their own interviews without having to go back and forth with the recruiting team (and cut down on the chances of them ghosting). This added level of autonomy puts the ball in the candidate’s court and allows them to take the next step when they are ready.
3. Focus on personalization
If candidates feel like they are just another number, they’re likely to think they’ll be treated the same as an employee and might not be eager to apply for an open position with your company. But if they feel as though they are creating a valuable relationship with you, they’ll be more excited to join your team. So what’s the key to making them feel important? It’s all about personalization.
To start, personalizing your communications is a great way to let them know that their relationship with your brand is valuable. Whether it’s through email, text recruiting and even social media, aim to add a personal touch to your messages. When you’ve established that relationship with them, don’t use templated messaging — job seekers can spot them a mile away.
Regular check in emails also go a long way toward creating a personalized experience. If a candidate has submitted an application, send a quick message to let them know things are still in motion, even if you don’t have any updates to share! Keeping in regular contact shows you’re invested in their career growth and helps ensure they don’t disappear into the ether.
Keeping job seekers from ghosting you does take a careful and strategic approach, but it’s one that pays off exponentially when you develop strong relationships with the skilled professionals who will engage with and hopefully eventually join your company.