Ghosting: Why it is Rising & What You Can Do About It

You have a vacant position in your organization and you kickstart the recruitment process. After over 10 days’ tedious rounds of interviews and calls, you finally arrive at the ‘chosen one’. Elated, you send the formal offer letter which is promptly accepted. And then…as the D-Day to join nears, all you hear from the other side is ‘radio silence’. The calls and emails for the onboarding process go unanswered. You’ve just been ghosted! And the cycle of job posting-shortlisting-interviews-offer letter starts again. Sounds familiar? 

As an HR, you must be just too familiar with such a scenario. Candidates not showing up for interviews after formally accepting invites, not showing up on the first day of work, quitting without formally informing has become all too common these days. Every process comes at the expense of time and money and ghosting wastes both of them. According to Clutch, 40% of the applicants say it is reasonable to ‘ghost” a company during the hiring process.

Job seekers ghost at different stages in the hiring process: 50% have skipped on a scheduled job interview, and 46% say they stopped responding to calls and emails from potential employers. Others ditch when they’re farther along: 19% have accepted a verbal offer and disappeared before signing the paperwork, and 22% have not shown up for their first day of work at least once.

Today’s job market is very tight and extremely competitive. With work from home and hybrid working becoming the new normal and the interview processes becoming more and more virtual, employees have the flexibility to apply to more and more jobs from the comfort of their homes. So this essentially means that you can sit for many interviews and if the offer is not suited to your expectations, you tend to ghost without giving a formal reason to do so. The choices applicants have are just one too many!

It works both ways. The employers also ghost their employees or new applicants. Many times there is no formal response of non-selection or there is a lack of formal communication on the onboarding processes. . it’s now that the tables have turned and similar actions are slowly being done by employees as well.

Indeed says that although Ghosting seems new, more than 83 percent of the employers have experienced ghosting in some form or another. Over a sample of 4000 job seekers, 18% of them have accepted that they have ghosted in the past. So 1 out of 5 applicants have ghosted and it definitely has a major impact on the recruitment process.

Why are applicants ghosting companies?

  1. They have little or nothing to lose actually. As said before there are plenty of job openings out there and most are digital, so why bother communicating back if it is not suiting you. It is unprofessional but becoming a practice to leave the process in between without any explanation.
  2. The job market is booming due to working from home and everybody wants to be a part of it. This results in a candidate applying to companies casually and thus developing a casual attitude towards applying for jobs. Thus, the lack of seriousness when it comes to responding back to the companies.

So is there a way to stop this ghosting menace so that we can always have the best and deserving candidates who are serious about the job and not just a group of people randomly applying everywhere?

3 Steps Employers Can Take to Prevent Getting Ghosted

To begin with, we need to improve our process of hiring and taking care of the little things that matter. 

  1. Make sure that every bit of information (including a subtle hint of the compensation and other benefits) is provided to the candidates beforehand. This will give the correct picture to the applicant who can therefore decide first if they wish to apply or not. 
  2. Secondly, invest in building a brand image via LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Have that employee experience that others would love to join your company. Hiring can be boring or exciting and it depends on you. Strategize the hiring process, redesign some funky emails, create attractive posters, and have everything else that will make a new hire love your organization.
  3. Hire for the skill judiciously, There is a difference between a person with 10 years experience and a person with 5 years of experience. While recruiting, ensure that you respect skill and experience and don’t keep everybody in the same bracket.

To sum up, a good hiring experience will definitely reduce the ghosting numbers. And good experience comes with investing in good strategies that drive your engagement strategies.

Berry is a digital personality that can be an HR leader’s strongest ally and every employee’s biggest confidant. Berry can help measure and improve employee happiness. Berry uses deep learning to interact, interpret and drive accountability using actionable patterns that it learns. Berry is available to answer simple questions and is capable of having complex conversations with employees. HR Leaders use Berry to run campaigns that help them to understand the pulse of the organization around various topics. Conversations are then analyzed and actionable insights are drawn out instantaneously.