You put your leading candidate through all the paces, and they came out the other side without a single misstep.
This applicant’s work experience is ideal. References? Impeccable. The interview? Flawless. In fact, each of your team members met with this candidate at some point of the hiring process, and the verdict was unanimous: it’s a great fit. This hiring decision is a layup.
Just one problem. You’ve tried repeatedly to contact this unicorn with an official job offer and have been ignored at every turn. Your phone calls, emails and LinkedIn messages have all gone unanswered.
You and your organization have been ghosted.
Originally a dating term, “ghosting” is used when one person in a relationship suddenly disappears, cutting off all communication without warning or explanation. Whatever the current terminology, ghosting is not a new phenomenon in the singles scene or the working world.
Quality candidates typically have options, especially in a growing job market like the current one. Some of them won’t feel compelled to give suitors a heads-up that they’re taking their talents to another organization, or that they’re not taking your job for some other reason. And there are signs that more applicants are disappearing without a trace.
For example, Indeed.com research found 28% of job candidates saying they ghosted a company they interviewed with during 2020, compared to 18% saying they did so in 2019.
Naturally, seeing a frontrunning candidate slip away without a word in the middle of the hiring process — or worse, after accepting your offer — is a setback for the organization, and makes life more complicated for the talent acquisition team.
Slate writer Alison Green recently examined how employers are feeling about being ghosted as the labor market opens up.
“I’m in the medical field and this is happening to us for the past year,” one manager told Green. “Being ghosted for interviews, people not responding. Five people scheduled to interview, but one shows up. We’ve even hired people who didn’t show up on the first day or didn’t return for the second. Nurses and front office positions. It’s unreal.”
Another described their organization’s struggle to fill multiple entry-level manufacturing jobs despite offering pay well above minimum wage with paid time off and benefits.
“If I reach out for a brief phone interview, only 50% respond. If I set up the interview, it’s no longer shocking when someone doesn’t answer the phone. Then once I offer the job … nothing. No response. I don’t get it.”
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