How Can Employers Prevent Job Seekers and Employees from Ghosting?

May 20, 2019
| Michael Altiero
How to prevent ghosting in the workplace

Recruiting has grown increasingly more challenging and time consuming for employers, costing them additional resources in order to attract the best possible talent, and this doesn’t even include the retention-side of talent management.

Even as employers have built their employer brands, increased pay, enhanced benefits, and modernized workplace perks, new trends have emerged to continually make talent acquisition and retention more difficult.

One such example stems from a phrase/actions initially seen in the world of relationships that has now crossed-over into professional life – ghosting.

Even the smallest of employers run the risk of being “ghosted”, which can signal workplace and/or talent management problems that should be addressed. But what exactly is workplace ghosting, and how can employers take actions to prevent it?

What is Workplace Ghosting?

It’s becoming much more common for employers to be “ghosted” by not only job seekers, but even new hires and tenured employees. A study from Robert Half showed that their recruiters saw a 10% to 20% increase in ghosting in 2018.

Essentially, ghosting is when a job seeker or employee stops communicating with an employer or stops showing up to work, and then becomes impossible to get in contact with.

Some business leaders associate ghosting more with the recruiting process, but it can also happen with a new employee or even a team member who has been around for a period of time.

If an employer is ghosted by job seekers or current employees, it can be sign that certain aspects of recruiting, talent management, and/or employee experience strategies need to be adjusted.

Here are a few tips for employers that can help decrease the likelihood of being ghosted (and also help with recruiting and retention!).

1) Build an Authentic Employer Brand

Employer branding plays a critical role in not only attracting candidates, but also preventing them from ghosting during (and after) the recruiting process.

Creating an authentic brand that truthfully reflects your company’s culture and atmosphere gives job seekers a glimpse into the life of an employee. It also can help prevent candidates from experiencing any unexpected surprises that may cause them to ghost an employer.

Employers who proactively seek ways to improve and build a great employer brand will decrease the likelihood of being ghosted by a candidate.

2) Focus on Providing a Great Candidate Experience

Once a candidate views an open position at your company, the candidate experience truly begins – and often it will determine whether or not the job seeker will ultimately stay in the process.

Individuals who experience a poor or negative candidate experience are far more likely to drop out or ghost recruiters, which can be costly for employers (especially if far along in the recruiting process).

Some things to do to enhance the candidate experience include:
  • Make applying to jobs as easy as possible
  • Promptly reply to candidates via email and/or phone
  • Write helpful, accurate job descriptions
  • Provide as much information (salary, benefits, location, etc.) to candidates as possible
  • Routinely go through own application process to determine areas of weakness

3) Continue to Provide a Great Experience Through Onboarding

Most recruiting leaders agree that the candidate experience continues into new-hire onboarding, and just because a candidate has accepted an offer and came in on their first day doesn’t mean that ghosting won’t happen.

One of the most popular stages where ghosting occurs (along with recruiting and after accepting an offer) is during the onboarding process.

But employers who provide well a thought out and educational onboarding experience help their new hires better acclimate to their new role and better prepare them to be successful – all while decreasing the chances of a new team member deciding to ghost their employer.

4) Build and Enhance the Company Culture

Another factor that decreases the likelihood of ghosting at work is company culture. The reason why it is so important is that culture plays a role throughout the entire employee experience – from the initial contact with an employer all the way until an employee leaves the organization.

Employers who actively focus on improving and enhancing their culture are far less likely to be ghosted by job candidates, new hires, and current employees.

One of the best ways to build a great company culture is by listening to employee feedback and acting on their recommendations. Letting team members help build the culture of the organization helps to boost happiness and engagement, which resonates through the hiring and onboarding processes – making ghosting much less likely!

5) Continuously Enhance Employee Benefits and Workplace Perks

A common reason for employees to seek new opportunities is due to lackluster benefits and workplace perks. And these can also factor in to employees deciding to ghost their employer in the process.

Routinely checking for and adding new employee benefit offerings and perks not only helps with retention and to prevent ghosting, but also makes the organization more attractive to job seekers.

New employee benefits and trends emerge each year, which means business leaders must always monitor and explore new perks that can add value to the business and its employees.

6) Focus on the Employee Experience

Everything highlighted so far encompasses the employee experience – one of the biggest HR and talent management trends today.

Where employers use to focus only on employee engagement, many now have shifted to enhancing ALL the experiences employees having during their time with an organization.

Companies that actively seek resources and strategies to continuously improve the employee experience are far less likely to be ghosted by candidates and employees, while helping to boost engagement, happiness, productivity, and retention.

Employers Can Prevent Ghosting (and Turnover) By Enhancing the Employee Experience

With employee and job seeker ghosting on the rise, business leaders need to focus on ways to improve the employee experience to combat this growing trend.

Coincidentally, most of the strategies listed above also help to boost retention and enhance recruiting strategies, providing employers with a multitude of benefits.

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