By Debbie Bolla
Just like Target with its Halloween candy already on the shelves, HRO Today is a bit ahead of schedule for celebrating the October holiday with our cover story, Ghost Busting. But it’s a pressing issue: Candidates ghosting employees—not returning emails, not showing up for interviews or even their first day—is a real concern in today’s talent market driven by low unemployment rates. In fact, research from Randstad US finds that 66 percent of U.S. managers report being ghosted by candidates who initially accepted a job offer, but poof! Disappeared before the start date without any word.
“A lack of engagement is driving the trend in candidates ghosting employers,” says Jennifer Ho, vice president of HR at Ascentis.
So what is HR to do? Communication is key to creating an engaging candidate experience from initial outreach through to job offer. Simple steps like setting expectations from the get-go, taking into consideration communication preferences (like text versus phone tag), and reaching out to the candidate even when the only update is “no update” can make a big difference in keeping a potential hire interested.
Time is also a big factor when striving to keep candidates engaged. Ally Van Deuren of Korn Ferry shares that organizations are typically taking 25 days from the initial interview to the job offer—and they can’t afford to tack on any additional days.
“Timing is everything—so the more that the employer is ahead of the recruiting timeline and is able to make an offer to the candidate in under 30 days, the higher the chances are the candidate will not ‘ghost,’” she says.
Associate Editor Marta Chmielowicz’s story offers many other strategies to help HR say boo-bye to ghosting.