A new word entered the Oxford dictionary this year, "ghosting", or "disappearing employees". Ghosting describes a situation in which a candidate who is in the middle of the hiring process, and even a candidate who has already been hired, cuts off all communication with the organization without any explanation regarding his disappearance.
The organization will sometimes choose "the next best" candidate or return to the beginning of the process. Either way, it is financial and image damage. The funds that will be invested in searching for a suitable candidate in his place, the duration that the position remains unfilled, and the unnecessary (or additional) effort of the recruiter are the visible damage, but also the damage to the organization's image, the doubts about the quality of the job and the organization, the consequences this causes internally, on those employed in the organization and the department are huge and have destructive potential, both regarding the organization's brand and the recruitment procedures.
The bad news, according to a survey conducted by Randstatt, is that the phenomenon will only grow. 40% of candidates believe it's okay to ghost companies, and 28% of employees backed out of an offer after initially saying "yes".
The good news, according to the research of Dr. John Sullivan, an opinion leader in the world of human resources from Silicon Valley, is that almost 75% of the cases of missing candidates are preventable.
So can we prevent it?
In his research, Sullivan (2019) explains that the phenomenon can be studied and reduced by using technological means as well as interpersonal relationships. Sullivan suggests connecting the candidates to software that will reduce the feeling of uncertainty and keep them related to the process - so that they know if their application has been accepted and their professional status within the organization.
The interpersonal solutions offered by Sullivan reveal a broader picture. Sullivan suggests making the interview process more personal. He believes that people shy away from an impersonal process as they think that this will be the attitude that will accompany them in the workplace. Sullivan suggests finding out the employee's needs in advance and adapting the interview to see how the type of work and the organization align with his needs.
"It should be clear to everyone involved in recruiting that the power has changed and shifted from the recruiter to the employee. All of this results from the growth of corporations, technological changes, and the variety of professional options before the employee. Candidates become more picky and oriented to their personal desires. They will move on if they do not find precisely what they were looking for."
In conclusion, combining technology and personal attitude has significant power to influence and change the situation in recruiting and hiring.
A screening procedure that begins with a short personal conversation to coordinate expectations and then proactively approaches the candidate to continue screening from his home is the opposite of "you will come to us, take a day off and stand in line like everyone else". Such an application shows that the organization is willing to make an effort for him and allows him to pass an essential hurdle without the risk of being humiliated by rejection. A candidate who has passed this hurdle feels confident and empowered toward the remaining stages of the process.
An interview conducted after meeting the position's requirements allows for a more honest and respectful dialogue. The candidate can find out what he is offered from a more open and balanced position. The organization, on its part, knows more about the candidate and what is important to him, his expectations, and the values that lead him.
But mainly, this directly and immediately impacts the employer brand - only some are summoned, investment in a screening system and technology, respecting and regarding the candidate.
The market has changed, and as a result, the approach regarding the recruitment process must change. Otherwise, we will face a lot of "ghosting".
For a comprehensive technological view and information about personal employee-organization suitability - Logipass.
Sullivan, John. (16.07.2019) Candidate Ghosting — Effective Tips for Minimizing This Growing Menace. Retrieved from:
By: Daniel Danino
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