Catfishing – pretending to be someone else online – has become a widespread and well-known phenomenon in the past several years; so common, in fact, that it has spawned its own TV show and its own dictionary definition.
And, as technology has advanced and we’ve been ushered into a new era of deepfakes and other AI scams, catfishing is becoming easier – and more common.
So common, in fact, it’s spreading to the workplace – more specifically, the recruiting process, according to a recent report from Greenhouse.
Company catfishing continues
Last year, Greenhouse’s 2022 candidate interview and employer brand report found a surprising trend: Candidates were being “catfished” by companies.
What exactly does catfishing mean from an HR perspective? Job applicants were misled during the hiring process, only to find out that the company’s culture is misaligned with the employer brand they presented.
The 2022 report found that 45% of candidates had rejected jobs after being catfished during the interview process.
This year, Greenhouse’s 2023 Candidate Interview Experience Report found that employers haven’t let up on this alarming trend. Over one-fifth (22%) of talent have worked jobs that did not match what was described during the hiring process, and 42% said they’ve accepted jobs that had more responsibilities than were they were told.
But when it comes to catfishing, many candidates drop out once they catch wind of what’s going on. One-third (36%) say they’ve ghosted employers during the hiring process. And one of the most common reasons for ghosting is because the company was not what it said it was.
Aligning with candidate expectations
Obviously, company catfishing isn’t a smart thing to do or a productive company practice.
If a candidate doesn’t immediately ghost the company, chances are they’ll jump ship once they get into the thick of it and realize that the culture isn’t what they thought it was. Then, it’s back on the company’s plate – and on their dollar – to find another candidate.
So what can you focus on in the interview process to help you nab the best talent and keep them? Here are some best practices:
- Prioritize communication and transparency: Lack of communication was the top interview red flag that candidates reported in Greenhouse’s study. Along with keeping up communication, being transparent with timelines and other details can keep everyone on the same page.
- Optimize the process to save time: Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents said that a tight job offer acceptance deadline was a red flag – so using AI and recruiting tools can not only be a green flag for candidates; it can also help save time for your hiring team.
- Revamp job descriptions: Vague job descriptions were a top red flag for over half (55%) of respondents and can lead to new hires feeling misled about their job duties and the company. As a bonus, effective job postings can increase your number of qualified applicants – a must for companies amid a talent shortage.