Does this sound familiar? Your company is hiring and you’ve posted your job opening on all the sites. Right away you receive a great resumé and cover note that check all the boxes! You immediately reach out, exchange a few messages and set up an interview. When the scheduled time arrives, you sign onto Zoom (or wait in your office) and……crickets. No candidate. No text. No phone call. No response to your emails.
Though we may not want to admit it, ghosting happens on the hiring side as well. Poor communication from recruiters and interviewers and confusion over the hiring timeline are just a few scenarios that can result in candidates being ghosted — which can be harmful to the company. Perhaps you neglect to respond to a strong candidate who doesn’t have enough experience. If a position that suits that candidate’s skills opens up down the road, they are much less likely to apply based on the non-response they received from you on their last effort — that is, the red flag on YOUR permanent record.
While we can’t control the behavior of candidates, we can set the tone for open and honest two-way communication from the start. Here are five ways to enhance YOUR hiring process and ensure that you are not ghosting candidates and help stop job candidates from ghosting you.
1. Be crystal clear in what you want candidates to do at each stage of the process.
Before you even post a job listing, consider and codify what you want applicants to do during each stage of the hiring process. When should they send their references? Is their documentation being sent to an email address or through an applicant tracking system? Make sure this information is clearly conveyed in the job description.
Prepare email templates to send to candidates at different stages. Sending out a recap of the information conveyed during an initial interview can go a long way in helping candidates feel welcomed, and jog their memory on some details they may have missed due to nerves.
Flynn Barrett Consulting will help you template your communications and train your recruiters to ensure everyone involved in the hiring process is crystal clear on what they should be doing, including the candidate.
2. Make sure you are honest and transparent from the start to ensure candidates are not surprised by details of the position.
When creating your job description, ensure that in addition to having the logistical details hammered out, the job description itself is accurate. If a candidate applies for a position that is described in the posting as customer-facing but they are told in the interview they will be working alone which was never mentioned before, that candidate is likely to feel tricked and may ghost on you.
Use the job description to open a dialogue that allows candidates to feel comfortable reaching out. What the hiring side may see as “ghosting” is in fact a candidate waiting to hear from you, because they are unclear on what comes next. Give permission for candidates to reach out if they haven’t heard back in X number of weeks. Tell them exactly who to email or call.
Flynn Barrett Consulting will help your hiring team identify and include more information relevant to the candidates. When you empower the candidates to make proactive decisions about the job, they are much more likely to follow up.
3. Stay organized and consistent with your hiring efforts
Many, if not most employers now use applicant tracking systems to keep track of candidates throughout the different stages of the interview process. These systems have the capability to send out form emails to selected candidates in order to notify them if they have been selected for the next round, or inform others that they were not chosen. Keeping candidates informed of the stages of the hiring process in a timely manner is not just polite; it signals to applicants that your company cares about communication and that you are aware of the time investment that goes into applying for a job.
If your company does not have the resources for an applicant tracking system, there are other routes that can streamline your hiring. Creating a separate email address for applications (firstname.lastname@example.org) and organizing communications into different folders for each open position will keep hiring information in one place. Adding applicants as email contacts with information about the position they applied for gives you a record of contact if they are not selected but reapply for another position down the line.
Flynn Barrett Consulting can help you choose, organize, and create templates for an applicant tracking system that will help you maintain a smooth, consistent recruitment process.
4. Make sure everyone knows what their role is in the hiring process
Candidates may talk to a number of people throughout the hiring process: recruiters, HR, potential coworkers, and potential supervisors, just to name a few. With so many people sharing information, it can be difficult for candidates to know who has the authority on key issues like salary and actually giving a job offer.
Flynn Barrett Consulting can help you strategically lay out your hiring process so that each player knows exactly what information they need to convey, what their authority is, and where to direct candidates when questions outside of their scope arise. Keeping information regulated will help candidates receive firm and accurate answers so they are not left guessing where they stand.
5. Make sure interviews are closed out properly
Within the strategic recruitment process, a key part is properly training your recruiters and interviewers to close out interviews properly.
Miscommunications can occur in the hiring process when recruiters are not aware of the scope and limits of their job. A well-trained recruiter will understand the hiring process timeline and be able to give candidates the correct information about what to expect.
With a strategic HR consulting firm like Flynn Barrett, we can train your recruiters and hiring managers to script out templates and interactions to ensure that needed information is communicated.
The application and hiring process can be a place to let your company shine. By demonstrating that you are committed to accurate and prompt communication with candidates, you will attract strong talent. At Flynn Barrett Consulting, we help your team create workflows and strategies to project an image of openness and trust that can go a long way in keeping candidates engaged with the hiring process.
When you consider all of these aspects of hiring, and approach each candidate with the same respect you want them to give you, you can seriously help stop the right job candidates from ghosting!