There have been a LOT of articles in the last year about candidates ghosting recruiters. The bulk of the articles are just gobsmacked. People are shocked that candidates are just not responding. Me, I’ve been all like: “HA!” It was only a matter of time, folks. Talent Acquisition has perfecting the job ghosting for more than 20 years. I remember applying for my first jobs out of college back, and without fail, I got a rejection letter from every single place I applied. Was I disappointed, sure. But, the loop was closed and I could cross that opportunity off me list. Fast forward a bit, and anytime I would apply for a job in the last 20 years, the number of loops that remain open FAR out-numbers the loops that have been closed.
We’ve been ghosting people for years. DECADES. One common candidates complaint about being ghosted by employers and now that we are taking what we have dished out, we are freaking out. We are writing volumes on the topic. And we are doing it without a hint of irony. Here’s the reality: candidates are ghosting us because
1. They can.
2. We’ve taught them how.
They can for all the reasons we used to ghost them, they have options. IF they’re really good at their job, they have a lot of options. and they have the option of NOT changing. We are competing against other employers as well as the status quo of their current employer. Heck, even if they are bad at their job, there are currently more jobs open that people on the market. In addition to the various options job seekers have today, they seem to be getting less and less patient with our processes and experiences. I’ve seen a big uptick on twitter of conversations about how we are treating candidates.
There was @Oliviaabland who had a really crap interview experience. There was @IamDeveloper on being dispositioned because a phrase was missing from their CV. Yes, I know, the CV was missing a key piece of information and that recruiters are not mind readers. My point is that trust is eroding like mad because of our processes and experiences, and they're onto us. They have more cards than ever before and they aren’t fans.
They’ve learned from the best. While we didn’t invent the black hole, it still exists. Our candidates even talk about it. If we want to stop getting ghosted, we need to stop ghosting. We need to be up front and communicate even if we don’t have an update. Even if we haven’t moved the req forward. They can and will understand if you simply TELL THEM what’s going on. They just want to know what’s going on. The bar is really low here. A simple update, even if it is a non-update. And the best part is that we can even automate this. It doesn’t have to be a heavy lift, it just has to be decided and picked up.