In the past year, the term “ghosting” has become more and more prevalent in the business world. It became known as a term originally within the dating world, where blind dates wouldn’t show up for the date, and there would be no communication before or after the incident. People would simply disappear like a ghost.
The term has slowly creeped into the hiring process, and more and more hiring managers find themselves being “ghosted” by candidates that signed offer letters or gave verbal agreements, but yet, never show up, and are never to be heard from again.
In the past, hiring managers had the stigma of being the ones to never respond again to a candidate. However, with low unemployment rates, candidates are feeling the advantage. Ashley Harwell, Director of HR and Strategic Initiatives notes, “As hiring managers, we’ve got to do our part to build trust and strong relationships with candidates. I try to keep the lines of communication open throughout the hiring process and ask candidates to keep me informed about their interest and their search. In today’s market, you can’t help but feel a bit uncertain until the person actually starts.”
So, how do hiring managers handle ghosting? Some HR experts suggest that calling references can be helpful in understanding the candidate’s likelihood to be successful. References can often tell a hiring manager more about the candidate’s personality including their tendencies to change their minds.
Another strategy is to find ways to judge the candidate’s level of excitement for the job. This can be seen in their tone of voice and level of interest in the initial interview. This can also be judged by their reaction to receiving an offer. If the candidate expresses any hesitancy, it’s important to acknowledge and address that with them while you have them on the phone.
Have you ever ghosted someone? A word of caution, it’s important to give employers the common courtesy of a response to avoid burning bridges. The business world is a lot smaller than you may think, and you never know when you may encounter that person again, or someone they know. It’s likely they won’t forget you.
Looking for more ways to ensure a successful hiring process? Check out 5 keys to conducting a job interview.