In this tight labor market, the war for talent wages on – and you may be feeling like your biggest adversaries are your own promising candidates.
More and more job applicants are disappearing during the interview process, ignoring your calls or simply not showing up after accepting offers – otherwise known as “ghosting.”
Sound familiar? For the first time in a long time, job candidates have more options than hiring managers: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 6.6 million job openings, and only 6.1 million unemployed people to fill them. This gives candidates the power to be more selective, rather than accept the first job offer that comes around.
With candidates in the driver’s seat comes a strange role reversal for HR. Suddenly, companies are the ones carefully trying to woo candidates, and job seekers are the ones not returning calls after promising interviews.
Because of this, companies are a little more cautious when a qualified candidate pops up, since the odds are slim they’ll stick it out through the whole process. Even someone accepting a job offer and showing up on the first day doesn’t guarantee they’ll stay.
Best course of action
While the current job market shows no signs of changing anytime soon, there are ways HR can fight back when it comes to candidates ghosting them:
1. Focus on the work. Instead of trying to lure in top talent with your company culture and benefits packages, focus on whether the candidate will enjoy the actual job. The more interested and comfortable they are with the work, the more likely they are to stick around.
2. Give candidates a deadline to withdraw from consideration. You’re less likely to be blindsided if you let applicants know there’s an alternative to ghosting, and they can leave the process with no hard feelings.
3. Don’t give people the benefit of the doubt. Many managers refuse to believe they’re being ghosted and instead think a family emergency must’ve come up. This line of thinking ends up wasting valuable time you could use to find a new candidate.
4. Discuss ghosting beforehand. Gently remind candidates that ghosting isn’t professional and could damage their reputation. If you have any personal examples to back this up, share those.
5. Find out how many other employers are in the mix. If possible, try and get a sense of how many other companies the candidate is interviewing with currently. This will help you gauge the odds of them continuing your interview process.
6. Put a time limit on your offer. When you make a job offer to your candidate and they need time to think about it, ask specifically how much time. Set a deadline for them to get back to you, and let them know the offer could be rescinded if the candidate misses it.