Most business owners, managers and HR professionals who have undertaken recruitment in the past 12 months will tell you that it’s felt like an uphill battle. With the current labour market as it is, and the pool of talent continuously shrinking, the last thing businesses need on top of this is candidate ghosting.

According to a survey conducted by Indeed in 2021, 30% of candidates admitted to ghosting a potential employer during the recruitment process, meaning this is something employers need to be aware of and introduce steps to ensure it doesn’t occur.

What is candidate ghosting, exactly? As the name suggests, it’s when a potential new recruit either doesn’t show up to the interview or suddenly stops communicating with the person doing the hiring midway through the process; and it happens all too often, leading to wasted time and money. Of course, there is no guarantee a candidate will reply to an email, return a phone call or attend a job interview, but these simple measures will help to minimise the chances of it happening.

The job advertisement is key!

Ensure the job ad is as detailed as possible and includes all of the information about the role. Does it meet market standards? Is it realistic in terms of the expected experience, qualifications and responsibilities of the role? Today’s tough labour market means that candidates expect reasonable pay and benefits so it’s important to be upfront about these. Don’t forget to use the job ad as an opportunity to feature the business too – after all, many post COVID-19 candidates are looking for the right ‘fit’ in terms of the organisation so don’t be afraid to showcase the business.

Does the candidate have the right information?

It may seem simple enough but it’s crucial that all of the correct information is provided to the candidate in a timely manner when arranging an interview, either in-person, via phone call or video conference. A lack of communication can cause frustration for the candidate and shows a level of unprofessionalism that may mean the difference between securing new talent or not. Be sure to specify the date, time, address or video link, who they will be meeting with and any other important information such as whether they need to bring anything or prepare in any way.

Check in with the candidate prior to the interview

Interviews are nerve wracking even for the most confident candidate, and sometimes those nerves get the better of them. It’s a valid response to retreat from a stressful situation, but employers can help to mitigate this by conducting a pre-interview check in over the phone. It can be formal or informal, and is an effective way to gauge how the candidate is feeling and discuss any concerns prior to the interview. Recruiters should use the opportunity to build rapport with the candidate, and let them know that everyone is looking forward to meeting with them to discuss the role in more detail; words of encouragement and positivity are an effective tool in paving the way for a productive interview.

Look at the recruitment process

If candidate ghosting has happened more than once, it might be time to re-evaluate the entire recruitment process. Are there any red flags that may be causing candidates to jump ship before stepping through the door? It’s important to reflect and check in with employees involved with recruitment in order to streamline the process in line with the changing job market. Candidates have increasing power, so business owners need to enhance the candidate experience in order to recruit top talent.

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