Combatting ‘Ghosting’ in Your Workplace

Ghosting. The word sends chills up any recruiting manager’s spine. An employer has been ‘ghosted’ when a candidate blows off scheduled job interviews, accepts an offer of employment but does not show up on the first day, or even vanishes from existing positions, all without giving notice. A tight labor market means greater competition within the candidate pool. Locally, many of our clients have experienced ghosting. Candidates are displaying this behavior during the initial phases of recruitment, as well as when expected to report for orientation. In some industries, ghosting is as prevalent as fifty percent (50%).

What can employers do to combat this trend? Human resources professionals weighed in and provided six (6) different ways to mitigate ghosting in the workplace:

  1.      Adapt to the Changing Times. The low unemployment rate leads to a worker’s advantage. Employers need to remain available and attractive. When candidates choose to not respond to recruiters, move on and come up with new solutions and strategic alternatives.
  2.     Consider Hiring Events. For high-ghosting industries, such as lower-wage, high volume hourly roles, recruiters recommend stacking candidates and overbooking interviews, knowing up to half of the appointments for entry-level roles may not show up. Small mass-hiring events have been efficient alternatives to assess the talent pool. Many clients are also hosting “open interviews” to encourage candidate responses. An open interview is a job interview for employment when companies accept job applications and conduct on-the-spot interviews rather than scheduling interviews in the future.
  3.     Streamline the Recruitment Process. Ghosting is typically occurring during the hiring phases of recruitment. A long selection process with gaps in communication may leave a candidate susceptible to exploring other options. To keep the candidate engaged, provide interview feedback quickly and communicate the next steps, including a timeline.
  4.     Provide Consistent and Transparent Communication. Candidates want to understand what the expectations of the role entail, as well as clarity around the schedule, the pay, a realistic job preview, and the nonnegotiable aspects of the position. Be prepared for these conversations and remain upfront and transparent with the candidate.
  5.     Remain Competitive in the Market. A company’s competition is no longer limited to goods and services. Ensuring your compensation package, benefits, and workplace culture are competitive in the marketplace is pivotal.
  6.    Engage New Hires. Once the candidate accepts your offer of employment, managers should use this time to develop a relationship with the new hire. Preboarding, the component of onboarding that takes place before the start date, will prevent ghosting on the first day of employment.

For more tips on how to address recruitment or to assess your competitiveness in the workplace, please contact HR Partners at 785-233-7860. In addition, we would be pleased to assist you with any other HR matters your business may need guidance with.

What our clients say...

Kansas Masonic Foundation

Robert A. Shively, CAE, CFRE
Executive Director 
Kansas Masonic Foundation

"When I joined the Kansas Masonic Foundation as their Executive Director four years ago I knew that as a small organization I needed professional human resources advice from an outside advisor.

Being an organization of only five staff members, it was impossible to provide the level of ongoing consultation needed internally.

I interviewed a number of agencies and immediately realized when I interviewed HR Partners that the talent and expertise they had on staff would be a perfect team for our organization.  I especially appreciated the 'legal' help and advice they could provide as well. I am thoroughly satisfied with our partnership and am confident it will last for many years to come!"