- Ghosting — the act of disappearing without warning — has become increasingly common during the hiring process since the onset of the pandemic, according to survey results from job site Indeed, and both candidates and employers are to blame.
- "Alarmingly, only 27% of employers say they haven't ghosted a job seeker in the past year. It's another sign that ghosting has become standard practice in the hiring process — even though it creates a terrible candidate experience and can threaten a company's employer brand," Indeed's Kristy Threlkeld wrote in the Feb. 11 report. Among job seekers, 28% said they have ghosted an employer, up from 18% in 2019. Indeed surveyed 500 job seekers and 500 employers.
- But while the uptick seemed tied to coronavirus' arrival, few respondents identified the pandemic's effects as their reason for ghosting. Job seekers did, however, point to the pandemic as a likely cause of employers' ghosting. "This is certainly possible," Threlkeld said; "after all, soaring unemployment and the subsequent economic fallout upended a previously tight labor market, which may have caused recruiters to become overwhelmed with new requests."
Employers may want to address both candidate ghosting and their own applicant follow-up, experts say, as the former creates a hiring hurdle and the latter offers a poor candidate experience.
To avoid such issues, Threlkeld recommended employers focus on strong communication.
For example, "[h]iring managers should follow up with job seekers as much as possible, give them a timeline on when you expect to fill the role and the negative consequences for the enterprise if it is not filled in a timely fashion," Jim Stroud, then-global head of sourcing and recruiting strategy for Randstad Sourceright, previously told HR Dive.
Employers should aim to speak to each person interviewed or send a handwritten note, he continued; "Such things will reach social media, reflect well on your employer brand and make it easier to attract people who will show up for work."
Recent research agrees that social media reputation plays an important role in an employer's ability to attract candidates. A 2018 survey by job site Monster found that, in a five-star rating system, many job seekers will apply only to companies with at least a 3-star rating; nearly one-third of respondents said they would never apply to an employer with negative employee reviews.