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How to Avoid Candidate Ghosting & Get People to Work for YOU

Ghosting /ˈɡōstiNG/: “The practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly, and without explanation, withdrawing from all communication.” Has this happened to you?

Ever wonder what’s going through an applicant’s mind when they don’t show up for an interview? Or even worse, skip out on the job after getting hired? Not getting the right applicants you need in the first place? Our team at Juvo has come up with some key strategies that your small business can implement to avoid getting ghosted & to stay ahead of the hiring game.

Understanding Why People Ghost

We can’t deny it- times are changing. The pandemic has revolutionized the hiring landscape and the way people find work. According to a report, 76% of employers admitted to being ghosted by applicants, and 46% of job candidates are not showing up to scheduled interviews. According to a recent Robert Half study, the main reasons candidates ghost hiring managers are:

  • The job was not what they expected (43%)

  • The interview process was poor (31%)

  • They received another job offer (18%)

The pool of applicants has also been affected by the pandemic. For example, more parents are opting to stay at home now, since discovering that the cost of childcare services were eating away at their paychecks.

Is It Me?

Before you can dive deep into solving the unresponsiveness of your applicants, it’s important to understand if there is an internal issue that is turning people off.

How well do you really understand your company and staff demographic? As a boss, are you guilty of hiring candidates that you like, not those that will best fit into your team? Job seekers who don’t feel they fit in tend to move on quickly, leading to ghosting within the first week.

Now, no one likes to admit it, but a manager’s attitude towards their staff may be why you find yourself being ghosted. We know that hiring new staff is stressful and when it comes to your business you just want it done right. But you can’t expect a brand new employee to know how things are done. Making sure you are training your staff properly, and being extra understanding in those initial weeks, is key to keeping employees. Don’t get mad at them for things they may do wrong at first, you will only push them away. And if you don’t treat your staff with respect then they won’t return the favor. Boom. Ghosted.

How Do I Fix This?

Being ghosted is confusing and it’s easy to be overwhelmed but there are strategies that you can implement to get out ahead of this undesirable hiring trend.

Ditch the Description

The number one reason seekers give for ghosting is- the job description not matching up to the real work. We know employers can’t hire based on a sheet of paper, so why do we expect job seekers to do so? By the way, does anyone out there actually enjoy writing job descriptions? They’re long and dry and don’t truly reveal anything about the workplace or the team your candidate will be joining.

It’s time to rethink that first touch point with applicants. The average hourly worker is 27 years old. That’s someone who has grown up in the age of social media- they are used to information being shared quickly and visually. So, instead of sitting down and writing a lengthy job description, try filming a quick video. Don’t overcomplicate things. Just introduce yourself, your role in the company, give a quick tour of your workplace and explain what kind of candidate you are looking for. Giving job seekers the chance to see the workplace for themselves before they even apply will give them a better understanding of the job at hand, likely preventing the dreaded ghosting.

A New Way to Interview

When was the last time you switched up your interview process? Often the gap between inviting a candidate to interview and actually sitting down to meet them is just too long. Job seekers can’t afford to wait around. Or, perhaps your applicant lives far away and the commute in for an unpaid interview is just not worth it. Try making your first interview a video or phone call. It’s minimal effort, but a potentially huge pay off. Get this meeting in as soon as possible to reduce the chance of your candidate finding a different job while they wait for you to respond. This also lets your candidate know that you are genuinely interested, and will make your job stand out amongst the many they have applied for.

Another interview issue that Juvo hears about every day - you need to be upfront about pay. Hourly workers simply do not have enough time to go through interviews, just to find out that the pay does not meet their needs. If you’re not transparent with your candidates from the beginning you risk being dumped for an employer that is. The pay grade should be discussed in your initial phone or video interview, to prevent you getting ghosted further down the line.

Slow and Steady Does Not Win the Hiring Race

Let’s talk about the third key factor- Time. What kind of reputation do you have in the local community when it comes to your hiring practices? If word has gotten around that you take too long to respond, then your applicants may feel they don’t owe you an explanation. You can’t always control how your applicants will treat you, but you can get out ahead of issues by responding in good time and being proactive in your communication, even if you are too busy to respond to job seekers when they first apply. Let your applicants know that you’re looking forward to meeting them, and thank them for the time spent chatting with you.

The Golden Rule of Hiring

In the hourly work sector we know that turnover is, unfortunately, inevitable. But the disruption it brings to your business doesn’t have to be. The golden rule of hiring is to be proactive. Don’t take down your job posting too early because somebody may drop out and then you’re back at square one. Hiring proactively means hiring more than you need so that if an employee does ghost you, it doesn’t hurt as much.


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