Solutions Driven

Gavin Speirs’ RPI Insights: Candidate Ghosting is Set to Haunt us For a While

Every couple of weeks, a topic comes across that my desk that I know the people working in talent or HR would find interesting or valuable to hear about. So I’ve taken to writing an RPI newsletter. Not Recruitment Process Intelligence as usual. Instead, I’ll be discussing interesting Reading relating to the topic, Problems or Red Flags as a result of it, and Insights I’ve come across.

This week, I’ve been talking about ghosting a lot. No, I haven’t turned this into a dating newsletter – I’m talking about candidates disappearing halfway (or further!) through a recruitment process.

Since business started ramping back up, there have been more vacancies than candidates in many sectors. Top talent is continually being approached with newer, better offers and they’re dropping out of hiring processes.  

It’s becoming an issue for many talent teams who come to us because they can’t fill roles quickly enough to beat the competition.

What I’ve Been Reading About Candidate Ghosting

I came across this Forbes post recently which had some eye-opening stats:

❌ 46% of job candidates haven’t shown up for an interview.
❌ 7% didn’t appear on their first day in a new job.

The main takeaway I took away from the piece is this: “candidate ghosting” isn’t going away. Businesses and recruiters need to work on candidate engagement and what they’re offering to prospective employees to mitigate the effects.

Problems That Have Cropped Up

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Here’s a situation that keeps coming up: the hiring manager is 100% certain we’ve found them the right person. But their boss wants a further search as they think the process has gone faster than usual, or they want a wider scope of the market.

We know if we spend more time searching, the first choice candidate will be approached by another company and it’s likely they’ll be lost. It means we have to push senior management to be more flexible or to lose out on top talent.

candidate ghosting red flags

Speed is of the essence in the current market. As long as you have the checks and processes in place to guarantee the right candidate, there’s absolutely no need to stall to make it feel “more thorough”.

Insights From the SD Team on Ghosting Candidates

I was talking to our Delivery Team yesterday about how they were dealing with the issue. They engage with candidates every day so they’re probably best placed to give an insight into ghosting:

“It used to be that candidates would be very engaged in the process and they’d be the ones selling themselves. Now there’s definitely been a flip.

It’s not an impossible task to keep the best candidates engaged, but it does mean that businesses need to be offering more than just a good salary.

Candidates are looking at companies’ diversity credentials, whether they’re involved in charity work, what their purpose above making money is, and they’re continually quizzing us on flexible working and benefits.”

Is candidate ghosting causing issues in your business? I’d love to hear how you’re dealing with it. And if you’re struggling with this or any other recruitment challenge, drop me an email and we can have a no-obligation chat about how we can help.

Every second week, I’ll be sending out an email full of recruitment tips and insights like these. Sign up here to get them straight to your inbox.

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