How to Stop Candidates From Ghosting (Webinar with Core Matters)

Competition for candidates remains fierce, and employers are finding it hard to keep up and recruit the talent they’re after. Candidate “ghosting” has become an increasingly widespread issue, leaving business owners with an even greater challenge of making the right hires.

In this fireside chat-style webinar, CareerPlug’s Senior Director of People, Natalie Morgan, sits down with the CEO and Founder of Core Matters, Ryan Englin, to share tips and insights on why job seekers are ghosting employers.

Morgan and Englin discuss topics that cover:

  • Why candidates are ghosting potential employers
  • What employers can do to break the cycle
  • Steps to improve communication with candidates
  • Key recruiting process strategies

Here are some key takeaways from the webinar:

What is Candidate Ghosting?

Candidate ghosting refers to the candidates who cease all communication with an employer during the hiring process. Instead of sharing why they may no longer be interested in a role, they simply disappear without any explanation or reasoning. Ghosting has become a common problem among employers, some of whom have reported up to 90% of their applicants going silent.

Englin notes: “I think for most [employers] when they tell me they’re being ghosted, it is either they get an application in and then crickets, or the one that’s even more painful is the person schedules the interview and then doesn’t show up for the interview.”

Why are candidates ghosting?

Morgan poses the question we’re all wondering: “Why apply for the job if you didn’t want to be contacted for it?”

It’s important to note that out of the total number of candidates applying for a job, almost 70% will never hear back. Englin says, “I think what’s happened is we have an entire generation of workers that have been conditioned to believe that employers don’t care about them.”

In the recruiting process, communication is key to creating an exceptional candidate experience, especially when it comes to keeping in touch with those top choice applicants. Remember, communication goes both ways, so always reciprocate and keep the channel of communication open regardless of where your applicants are in the hiring funnel.

Plus, it’s no secret that we’re currently in a candidate’s market. Job seekers are faced with plenty of options. “People are just applying en masse, and they don’t remember applying,” Englin suggests. “We have job seekers thinking one thing, and employers thinking another. It’s just a vicious cycle.”

How can employers break the cycle?

According to our Recruiting Metrics Report, the average time it takes employers to first contact candidates is nearly eight days. Englin states, “If I’m applying for work and it’s been eight days, I’ve moved on.”

Englin recommends thinking of your applicants as leads for your business. He emphasizes, “No one would let a customer lead sit for eight days.” Give yourself the best chance of securing your top choices. Be responsive and move your applicants through the hiring stages quickly.

The pandemic has also changed the way people seek work. A lot has happened in the past two years, and gig jobs have seen a significant rise in popularity. Companies like Uber and Lyft allow people the freedom to make their own schedules without a 9-5 commitment. 

Ultimately, Englin believes that people want work, but they also want to know that their employer is going to care about having them on board.

Attracting the right job seekers

Our 2022 Recruiting Metrics Report found that job seekers are scrolling right by job postings that don’t catch their attention. “The job boards have made it super easy for job seekers to apply to jobs en masse,” Englin mentions. This makes it extra crucial to catch the eyes of those you want to attract. 

Making the right hires means having the right recruitment strategy in your toolbox. As an employer, it’s crucial to capture your candidates’ focus and keep them engaged and excited about your business throughout the hiring process.

Creating your recruitment strategy

The first step to any new hire is identifying your ideal candidate. By determining who you’re looking for, you’ll be able to tailor your recruiting efforts around a strategy that supports them. When mapping out your recruitment plan, consider the following:

  • Craft compelling job postings. Include details about your leadership team and your employees. Promote your culture and make job seekers feel like they’ll belong. Morgan adds, “What some of our clients have done on the job posting level is reorganize sections, starting with benefits, perks, and culture before responsibilities. It demonstrates the priority of the company and that’s had a good response.”
  • Gather employee testimonials. Ask your team to write or record a video testimonial to showcase your employer brand. Give job seekers an authentic look into what it’s like to work for you.
  • Give job seekers clear next steps. In the war for talent, don’t keep candidates waiting. Reach out and thank them within an hour of applying. Provide them with links where they can learn more, like your careers page and employer review sites. Keep them engaged while they wait to hear back.
  • Schedule interviews promptly. Be flexible with your time and use phone screen calls as a simple first step. Add a personal touch to the interview, like discussing a hobby or similar interest. “If they’re connected to you personally, they’re going to be less likely to ghost you,” Englin shares.

Running a business can be time-consuming, so automating where you can is important. Scheduling interviews through an applicant tracking system (ATS) like CareerPlug can save time and reduce your chances of being ghosted. In fact, Englin advises using CareerPlug’s pre-screen questions to evaluate potential red flags in candidates: “If you are not using pre-screen questions, which is a built-in feature in CareerPlug, I don’t know there’s a whole lot you can look for.”

Setting yourself apart in today’s labor market is what’s going to give you an advantage over your competition. With the demand for talent so high in 2022, taking the proper steps to show job seekers you care will help bring in the people you need to keep your business moving forward.

CareerPlug Helps Employers Become Ghostbusters!

Well, sort of. Our applicant tracking system makes it easy for busy employers to keep their candidates engaged so they don’t vanish into thin air. We ain’t afraid of no ghosts!


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