If you are an experienced job seeker, you have most likely gone through the hiring process with a company and never heard back despite the “I’ll be in touch” promise. Alternatively, if you are an employer, you have likely experienced candidates that have appeared interested in working for your company, only to have them fail to show up for the next round of interviews, ignore your calls and emails, and even no-show for their first day of work. Though it began as a term used to describe social situations, “ghosting” very much applies to professional situations as well. While some speculated that “ghosting” was a temporary trend that was limited to our personal lives, it has infiltrated our hiring processes as well. In fact, USA Today found that there is an upward trend showing that more and more candidates are considered no-shows at some point in the hiring process. Though no formal survey was taken, reports from businesses showed that 20%-50% of job applicants and even current employees have “ghosted” those employers.

The most likely theory behind this behavior is that the current job market gives qualified candidates more power and they feel less inclined to keep in touch with companies that aren’t their top picks. Of course, this doesn’t excuse no-show behavior, but it explains why candidates don’t feel as motivated to stay in touch and follow up during the hiring process.

While frustrating to see and experience this behavior, there’s no need to call the Ghostbusters quite yet. You can simply incorporate the following into your future hiring practices.

Communicate your timeline: Make sure that you communicate your tentative hiring timeline to every candidate. Are you planning on conducting more rounds of interviews? Are there other people that candidates will need to meet before a final decision is made? When will you be making a final decision? When is the position’s official start date? Simply put, candidates like to know what to expect moving forward. If you communicated that you will be scheduling second round interviews in the next week, and it has been three, they will likely move on to other opportunities. Remember that the job market allows them to move on quickly, so keep your timeline fairly short to ensure that your candidate pool isn’t snatched up by other companies as they are waiting to hear from you.

Keep candidates updated: Keep candidates updated throughout the process, even if that means telling them that you went another direction. Keep in contact with them so that they know that you didn’t ghost them. They will appreciate your transparency and will be more likely to return the favor.

Don’t make them wait: That candidate that you think is too good to be true will likely have several job offers before too long. One way to ensure that you don’t lose them is to be decisive in your hiring practices. Don’t wait too long, snag them before another company makes them an offer.

Stay competitive: Candidates are less likely to ghost during the hiring process if your compensation packages are competitive. If you haven’t researched how your offer compares to others in the area, now is the time to do so. Make sure that what you are offering matches or exceeds other offers that your candidates may have on the table. If monetary compensation is hard for you to match, highlight your benefits packages and the intangible benefits of working for your company.

Weed out uninterested candidates: Candidates who are truly interested in working for your company, not just any company, are more likely to follow through and less likely to become another no-show later on. As such, use your best judgement and ask questions that will help you to weed out uninterested candidates early in the hiring process.

Ghosting candidates don’t just waste your time, they also waste your company’s resources. If you need help addressing this issue, contact Business Talent Solutions and we will help you to find a quality candidate!