Chris Martel

Do you believe in ghosts?

Now you see them. Now you don’t. It’s called job applicant ghosting. This disturbing trend is impacting businesses nationwide as ghosters bail on scheduled job interviews and even the first day of work.

Now you see them. Now you don’t. It’s called job applicant ghosting. This disturbing trend is impacting businesses nationwide as ghosters bail on scheduled job interviews and even the first day of work. What has resulted partially from this disappearing act is that millions of job openings remain vacant. Economists polled by Reuters have forecasted job vacancies in 2022 rising to over 10 million. 

It has created a ripple effect on the supply chain, delivery times, and the ballooning costs of products and services. It’s a classic supply and demand story, but from the employment side.

From healthcare, retail, and education to construction and manufacturing, there isn’t an industry sector not experiencing job seekers who are here one day, gone the next.

In fact, 83 percent of employers had an applicant disappear from the interview process or simply fail to show up on the first day of work according to a recent survey by the employment and talent acquisition company Indeed. 

Going, going, gone. 

There was a time before COVID when companies had the upper hand in hiring. Job openings, especially the most attractive ones, were few and far between. This low number of available positions meant an abundant supply of candidates begging for a chance to prove themselves. They often had little salary negotiation room and were just thankful to be employed.

What’s interesting, according to a poll conducted by LinkedIn with 2,500 job seekers, is that an overwhelming 93% of these candidates claimed to have been ghosted by a potential employer after a screening call or a final interview. 

That was then; this is now. 

Both white and blue-collar workers are continually on the hunt for better-paying jobs and increased flexibility. And those opportunities are out there and plentiful. So while they might be interested in working for your company, they may at the same time find the grass is greener at another company. 

This is supported by a report by CNBC that shows 40% of job seekers, with an average age of 34, ghosted a new employer because they received a better job offer with the right pay and compensation. No wonder the applicants you interview don’t get nervous, anxious, or concerned. They just disappear. 

Ghost busters.

The increase in job openings is most prevalent in the Northeast, South, Midwest, and West regions, according to findings by Reuters. These geographical locations witnessed a job openings rate that surged to a record 6.9% from 6.5% in June – all driven by medium-sized businesses with 50 to 249 workers on average. 

Filling these job position holes can seem impossible, but are there ways to close the gaps? In one word, “Yes.”  Workforce transformation specialists at LHH tell their clients who have difficulty filling job positions to approach hiring with open lines of communication. A long or slow hiring process often is a top reason why job seekers disappear. It’s a scenario in which applicants may themselves feel ghosted by hiring managers. 

A survey of 1,000 job seekers by staffing and search firm Addison Group found that 70% of job applicants will lose interest in a role if they haven’t heard back from an employer within a week of their first interview. “If hiring managers or recruiters know the hiring process may be held up for whatever reason, they need to relay that to candidates so that they don’t lose interest prematurely,” says Thomas Moran, CEO of Addison Group.

This same survey found that poor communication with the hiring party was a major reason why candidates didn’t bother to fire off a “breakup” email. They just disappeared like a ghost. Besides improving communication with job candidates, companies like LHH and others have some helpful hiring tips to avoid ghosting:

Tip 1: Time is not on your side. So make the interview short. 

If the interview feels like a job that never ends to the prospective employee, imagine what they think the workday will be like if they are hired at your company. That's why it’s essential to keep the interview focused on what you’re looking for and how it may fit with what the job seeker desires. Also, only include those who need to meet the job candidate, so they aren’t overwhelmed with questions.

Tip 2: Don’t make them wait.

Try to conclude on the actual day of the interview, or the day after, if a candidate is right for your organization. Be decisive. Be quick. After all, the sooner you show interest, the more likely they will be interested in working for your company, not the competition.

Tip 3. Onboard ASAP after hiring.

You can hire a person and lose them even before their first day on the job if they don’t feel like you're excited to have them join your team. Make them feel like they're filling an essential role with an immediate welcome email. Include other team members (even a new hire buddy) on the email. This can make your new hire feel at home right from the start. 

Tip 4. Small gift, big impact.

What better way to make a new hire feel valued than with some company merchandise. It can be a mug, shirt, or even a gift certificate. Make it personalized so the impact can be even greater. Maybe set up their office before they start and send them a picture of the workspace. Again, it’s just another way you make your new hire feel at home even before their first day. 

Markruiting: Thinking beyond the “Help Wanted Ads” 

A better path to employee recruitment and retention.

You’re on a mission to find, attract and retain the best possible talent. Our mission is to help you achieve these goals. Simply put, markruiting is combining your marketing and recruiting efforts to create unique and powerful messaging that speaks directly to job candidates wherever they are located. It delivers these job seekers clear, concise reasons why your company may be the right fit for them. 

The result is they will look at your company as a career move, not a stepping stone. Interested in learning more? Then contact the Spoke team. What you will discover is how your hiring challenges are overcome with proven hiring solutions. And those ghosting issues won’t haunt you anymore.

If this concept sounds interesting to you, the Spoke team and I are always ready to discuss the possibilities and how you may apply this thinking to help solve your own hiring challenges. 

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Chris Martel

Among his many other talents, Chris has an uncanny ability to organize vast amounts of complex data and distill it to the core. This talent alone would make him invaluable. The added bonus is his creativity, concepts, and writing skills. Proof of his mad genius can be seen in the depths of Spoke’s marketing plans and on almost every piece in our portfolio.

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