Talent Ghosting threatens Recruiting

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Author: Salvatore Corradi – FM Chairman

How many times has it happened to you, not only in the workplace, to make an appointment and then, at the established time, those you were waiting for do not show up. It is always a very unpleasant and irritating situation, considered one of the most common lack of respect in everyday life and which is simplified with an Anglicism known as “ghosting“.

The concept of ghosting is unfortunately well known by those who work in the recruiting field and its origin is much less recent than you think: there are reports written by HR managers dating back to the so-called “Y2K Boom”. Most of complaints came from technology companies in the United States, which denounced some situations that that occurred during the interview and that seem quite bizarre to us. In fact, it happened that candidates in the middle of the interview answered calls from other recruiters, without worrying in the least about the context in which they found themselves.

The reaction of a recruiter today would be immediate and the candidate would be dismissed with a resounding “thank you and goodbye”; however, the dynamics that have contributed to the occurrence of episodes such as the one just mentioned are not so obvious and banal. This represents an extreme case instead ghosting in its most common form manifests itself, for example, through the behavior of a potential candidate who suddenly disappears after being chosen and does not participate in the final stages of the recruitment process, exiting, as is the saying goes, from the recruiter’s radar.

It has been observed that the phenomenon of “ghost candidates” becomes frequent in the labor market when the threat of unemployment is low and this partly explains (but does not justify) the rude behavior of American candidates at the beginning of this century.

While for a long time, companies have been accused of not always responding to candidates, current data show that the situation has reversed. In fact, ghosting is particularly frequent in the modern technological recruitment sector where the supply of work is greater than the demand and above all, since there is not always a face-to-face approach, many candidates feel free to lose their tracks.

The negative implications for the Human Resources sector exist and must be contained. For his part, a recruiter should aim to be as transparent as possible during the cognitive process with the candidate and constantly document the stages of this process that will lead to the hypothetical hiring to lower the possibility of sudden abandonment. Good communication is always a great strength, especially since one of the things that terrifies the candidate the most is waiting, which is a source of great anxiety. Finally, an additional tool to avoid ghosting is to improve, and to do so, a satisfaction questionnaire can be submitted to the attention of young talents.

Remember that, to optimize the acquisition of talents, it is crucial to focus on employer branding, since when a company proposes an image of itself that conveys seriousness, authority and efficiency, the candidate will understand that he is dealing with professionals to whom he does not it will waste time. This last point is the keystone of a valid and engaging brand for the best candidates.