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Boo! How to prevent ghosting and HR heartbreak

Have you ever been on a great date with instant chemistry and interesting conversation, only to never hear back from the other person afterward? That’s called “ghosting,” according to today’s cool kids, and it doesn’t just happen on dates.

HR departments and organizations are guilty of doing this to candidates at times, and candidates have been known to leave companies hanging even after promising to start.

We don’t want you to catch a bad case of the ghouls. Learn to identify the stages where candidates normally ghost companies and how to ensure that your company never gets left hanging. As a bonus, discover the ultimate strategy to avoid ghosting candidates yourself, so your company’s brand remains unblemished and able to attract top talent.

Ghost Candidates: Not Just a Halloween Horror Movie

Ghosting most often happens at these four points.

1. Pre-interview

When the job market is candidate driven, job seekers have all the power. They’re less worried about impressing companies or communicating about multiple employer offers, which leads to an average of 1 in 10 candidates not showing up for interviews.

This statistic tends to be higher for entry-level roles, but we’ve even heard of companies footing the bill for plane tickets to fly their promising job seekers out to headquarters—only to find that the candidates never got on the plane. Yikes.

Don’t get stuck with a hefty credit card bill and no candidate. Schedule interviews as quickly as possible and call/text/email in reminders beforehand.

2. Post-Interview

If you don’t sell candidates on your company at the interview stage, you can bet that job seekers won’t keep in touch. Poof! They’ll ghost you, leaving you in a lurch. To be fair, companies are also guilty of ghosting at this stage. 75% of job seekers don’t hear back from companies after interviews, according to Flex Jobs. Why not?

  • HR departments are slammed sorting through resumes and interviewing other candidates
  • The company already filled the position
  • The candidate didn’t pass muster
  • HR doesn’t have good systems in place for tracking and communicating with candidates during the hiring process

Be sure to bring your A game to all interviews and follow up right away if you’re interested. If not, say bye bye to your potential team member.

3. Post-offer

You would think that candidates who receive an offer or even sign on the dotted line would definitely keep in touch, but it turns out that’s not necessarily the case. Some organizations claim that 20-50% of their job applicants and new hires ghost them thanks to a greater number of job offers per person.

When a promising candidate suddenly goes quiet at this stage, it can cost your organization a significant amount of money—not to mention really killing your HR department’s mojo. And since you’ve already sent other promising candidates packing, you may no longer have a backup option.

Combat the post-offer disappearing act by assuming that candidates are still up for grabs by other companies even when they’ve shown an interest in yours. Keep in touch, continue wooing them, and be prepared to renegotiate salary and benefits if they candidates come back saying they’ve received better offers elsewhere.

4. When graduate hires are waiting to start their position

Just because new graduates have signed on the dotted line doesn’t mean they’ll show up to day one. Graduate hires—especially those in competitive fields—are inundated by recruiters for months around graduation time, meaning they might accept a better offer even after saying yes to you.

This is particularly true when there is a long gap between the hiring date and start date, as was the case for KPMG. Here’s how we helped them increase retention.

KMPG Case Study

At KPMG, graduate new hires often waited months between signing their employment contracts and starting at the office. Without consistent communication during this down time, graduate hires started on their first day with little knowledge of the company culture and struggled to navigate the office.

They were less engaged and less likely to stay with KPMG. Losing one of these employees meant months of wasted work, in addition to costing the organization 80-100% of the employee’s annual salary.

The solution? Talmundo helped KPMG build an onboarding system aimed at retaining new graduate hires (particularly during the interim period after contract signing) and building a better company culture that could attract top talent in the first place. The Talmundo onboarding app:

  • Starts engaging new hires as soon as they sign their contract
  • Sets expectations for their first day
  • Delivers a welcome pack to new hires
  • Provides contact details for coworkers and introduces new hires to team members
  • Familiarizes new hires with a 360-degree office experience
  • Enables KPMG to easily deliver content, reminders, and messages to new hires

New hires are now less likely to go the way of the ghoul and not show up on day one. They even rate their onboarding experience a 4.45 out of 5. Not too shabby, eh?

Our experience with KPMG and more than 26,000 onboardees at organizations like Bacardi and Deloitte have taught us a thing or two about being ghosted. Namely, it’s mostly preventable as long as you prioritize good communication throughout the hiring process, especially at those key points where most job candidates drop off. Oh, and HR automation doesn’t hurt either.

How to Avoid Ghosting Your Candidates

In this article we’ve focused mostly on how to ensure that candidates don’t ghost you, but just as important is knowing how to not leave candidates hanging yourself. One negative online review from a mistreated candidate is enough to damage your brand and ward off potential top talent.

The golden rule here is to treat candidates how you’d like to be treated; keep in constant communication, lead with transparency, and speed up your hiring process so as not to keep job seekers waiting unnecessarily. Lastly, don’t be afraid to use technology like Talmundo’s onboarding app to snag candidates and engage new hires even before their first day, minimizing the chances that they’ll ghost you for another company.

Learn how Talmundo engages candidates from “offer accepted!” through their first few months for ultimate success.New call-to-action

Topics: HR
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