The Scary Trend in Recruiting You Should Know About

Has a candidate ever "ghosted" you?
By: | July 25, 2018 • 2 min read

Ghosting. Though it may sound like something straight from the SyFy Network, it’s much more serious—disappearing candidates are causing serious strain among employers.

The term ghosting, or ghosted, skyrocketed to fame in the dating world and means a person you were speaking to for days, weeks or months suddenly vanishes. They completely disengage from conversation leaving the “ghostee” high and dry and slightly concerned.

This trend spells disaster for a company’s bottom line and may get worse before it gets better.

Candidates (and even employees) have started to not show up for scheduled job interviews, the first day on the job and some even vanish from existing positions.

Current statistics are tricky to nail down, but according to USA Today, approximately 20 to 50 percent of businesses report some type of applicant and worker no shows. Experts seem to think that the near record low unemployment rate is part of the reason for the ghosting trend.

Dawn Fay, district president of Robert Half’s New York City area told USA Today, “You’re seeing job candidates with more options. It’s definitely influencing their behavior.”

Fay mentioned that the disappearing candidates’ act could also be a form of “payback” for businesses that took advantage of the high unemployment rate during the Great Recession—a time when businesses were overwhelmed with resumes that they often ghosted or never bothered to respond at all to applicants.

An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind, or so the adage goes, but for now it seems ghosting may continue its upward trend, so what can employers do to try and avoid these ghosts?

According to the USA Today piece, some companies are booking extra interviews while other recruiting leaders are trying to entice candidates by highlighting all the best aspects of a company.

Kent Gregoire, the CEO of call center VoiceNation, told USA Today that he started hiring 15 call-center representatives for one position knowing that some of the applicants would stand him up. This practice technically worked, but he quickly realized it was a drain on resources and time. Instead, he decided to shorten the length of time between hire and start date from two weeks to three days.

Even though the candidate may have accepted an offer, it doesn’t mean it’s the only one they were entertaining. And if a better offer comes in while they’re still waiting to start at the first company, there’s a greater chance of being ghosted.

“If you don’t bring them in immediately,” Gregoire said, “they’re still an open agent.”

Danielle Westermann King, staff writer for HRE, received her bachelor’s degree in English from Temple University. She has written and edited articles for various print and online healthcare publications and is now setting her sights on human resources. She can be reached at [email protected]

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