You’ve finally made it through your stack of resumes and selected the top 10 candidates. You’ve reached out to those on the top of the list and scheduled screenings or interviews. Then, the day rolls around and they don’t answer your call or they don’t show up to their in-person interview. There’s no cancellation email from them, and no apology note comes in later. You are frustrated and embarrassed (and maybe even wondering what is going on in your hiring manager’s mind if they were the one stood up).
Technology has been a powerful asset to the business world - and recruitment for that matter. It streamlines processes, makes communication easier, and allows for paperless filing and record keeping. However, it also makes it really easy for candidates to ghost because there is no real personal attachment or feeling of obligation.
So how can companies reduce ghosting rates? Changes can be made throughout the recruitment process to help recruiters identify not only the top qualified candidates but also the most interested and professional ones.
Evaluate Your Application
If ghosting or no-showing is an ongoing problem, there may be something about your application that isn’t working. In order to dwindle your applicant list to the top candidates, you have to have top candidates applying in the first place. Make sure your job description is well written and provides a glimpse into “a day in the life” of an employee in the role. Also, take a look at the questions on the application - make sure they are targeted, qualifying questions that will help you filter down on the back end.
Don’t Use Automated Messages When Reaching Out
Auto messages are a huge time saver for roles with a lot of interest. There is no reason to reach out individually to 100+ applicants when you can send a gentle rejection right through your applicant tracking system (ATS). When you’re reaching out to the top candidates, though, consider a personalized message. Write up a template that has space for you to include something that jumped out at you in their resume, like “X years of experience in X industry” or “education at X university”. Doing this will help you create a more personal relationship with your candidate.
Require Video Interviews
During the application and screening processes, consider using video interviews to help you select the top candidates. If an applicant looks great on paper, you can send them a list of questions and request they submit a video to you with their answers (DeepHire has a system that makes this very simple and streamlined). This extra step will save you time and will help you determine if the candidate can follow directions, submit assignments on time, and gauge their level of interest.
Once you have made contact with the candidate, let them know how the process will look from then on. If you know the hiring manager has a trip in two weeks that may delay the process, give them a warning. If you know you’re working with a team that requires several rounds of interviews before ever making an offer, tell your candidates. By doing this, you will buy yourself time to follow internal processes and give your candidate assurance that you are not ghosting them.
Keep In Touch
If, for some reason, there is a big time-gap between your initial applicant screening and their next round of interviews, make sure you’re consistently checking in with them. This shows the candidate that you are invested in them, and that you’re still interested. Candidates analyze, and overanalyze, how often they should check in with a recruiter because they are afraid they will cross the line from persistent to pest. By checking in with them, you can ease their minds and keep them engaged.
Avoid Last-Minute Rescheduling
We all know the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. In recruitment, this means that if you want your candidates to hold up their end of the deal, you need to hold up yours. Just like you don’t want a last-minute cancellation, the candidate doesn’t either. In fact, reschedules are harder on candidates because they are often taking time away from their current jobs to speak to you or show up in person. Whenever possible, keep rescheduling to a minimum and only do it for extreme circumstances.
Seek Feedback From Candidates Who Withdraw or Decline an Offer
When you have a candidate that extends the courtesy to formally withdraw their candidacy or declines a final offer, ask for feedback on their experience. They may have had a perfectly fine experience start-to-finish, or there may have been something that rubbed them the wrong way. Either way, this will help you refine and improve your process moving forward.
Ghosting and no-shows are one of the most frustrating things for recruiters. If you’re having trouble with your process and are interested in learning how to improve the quality of candidates you attract, check out DeepHire.com or email me at Russell@deephire.com