How to Manage Employee Ghosting as a Recruiter
If you’re a millennial (or if you know a millennial) you’ve probably heard of the term “ghosting”—when someone you’ve been seeing suddenly falls of the map. Over the past year, this has become a trend not just in the dating scene but in the workplace. People don’t show up for a job on the first day or candidates disappear after getting an offer, and it’s happening more and more.
Some point to low unemployment rates—and therefore a surplus of jobs—as a reason for this rising trend, and in industries where there’s already been a shortage of labor, it can be even worse if you think you’ve landed the right person for the right job only to have them slip between your fingers.
What can you, as a recruiter, do to help prevent being ghosted and to be prepared if it does happen to you?
How to Avoid Getting Ghosted
The key to avoiding a candidate falling off the map is to establish a strong rapport and relationship early on through open communication. Let them know when they can expect to hear from you throughout the process, and then follow through. Don’t just check in when you have news. Give them tangible dates when you’ll reach out, even if it’s to let them know there’s no update yet.
On your first call with them, talk to them about ghosting. This practice used to be pretty common on the employer and recruiter side of things when there were more candidates than jobs, and it’s possible your candidate was burned by a recruiter in the past. Let them know you’re not going to do that, and if they decide they’re no longer interested, you’d appreciate them telling you. This is also a good opportunity to get an idea of how many jobs they’re applying to so you both have everything on the table.
Of course, you’ll have to hold yourself accountable to this. If you do move on from a candidate, let them know it’s happening and why, and then tell them you’ll keep them in mind for future opportunities.
When your client is ready to make an offer, give the candidate a specific date and time by which you need an answer. This should help you avoid the trap of “hearing back in a few days.” If you’ve made realistic communication points a part of the process from the beginning, then this should feel right in line with your existing relationship with the candidate.
How to Be Prepared if You Do Get Ghosted
You can put all of these practices in place, and there’s still the chance a candidate will ghost you. It may be that they have so many offers, they don’t feel there’s any real risk in just walking away, or it may be that they truly forget to follow up because something they like better comes along.
You don’t want to be caught without any people for a position you’re trying to fill, so make every effort to find multiple top-quality candidates for your clients. This way, if one does ghost you, you have a back-up plan.
Looking to take your healthcare recruiting to the next level? With Relode, you’ll get access to job listings nationwide so if you do have candidates who may not have been a fit for one position, you can leverage your connection by submitting them for another opening in the Relode platform for which they are qualified. Learn more about becoming an agent today