Sometimes the talent you’re looking for is nearer and more familiar than you think. In the past, welcoming back a former employee might have been a no-go. However, it’s now…
After months of searching, you find the perfect candidate. They have the right experience and are passionate about your business. It’s a match made in job heaven. Or so you think.
You make an offer and send the contract for them to sign and…nothing. Silence. For weeks. Then when they finally re-emerge, they announce that the role isn’t quite what they had in mind.
Perhaps it isn’t the right fit after all, but weeks of uncertainty and time-wasting could have been avoided if the candidate had been upfront about their concerns. Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident, and employers everywhere are finding themselves at the mercy of job seekers. So, how can employers minimize candidate fall-out in the hiring process and secure the right talent for their business?
The Ghosting Trend
Candidates ghosting employers is nothing new, but it is more pronounced in the current market. There are more jobs than candidates, and they have no qualms about snubbing employers if a better opportunity comes along. Research shows that over the past 18 months, more than 8 in 10 (84%) job seekers in the U.S. have ghosted an employer or potential employer. Indeed, ghosting is evident across every stage of the hiring process, from no-shows for interviews and on first days to, at its most extreme, disappearing acts during the interview itself. Sai Blackbyrn, CEO, Coach Foundation recounts how a ‘perfect’ job candidate excused themselves mid-interview to make an emergency call. Evidently the call was to plot their getaway as they were spotted getting into a car, never to be heard from again.
Don’t Be Slow
It’s easy to feel powerless when you’re at the receiving end of such unreasonable and erratic behavior. However, there are steps you can take to mitigate the risk of a candidate losing interest or disappearing.
In a candidate-driven market, employers have to work harder than ever. Any delay or breakdown in communication in the recruitment process gives candidates time to cast their net wider. That means moving quickly and making an offer to your preferred candidate, locking them in before they have a chance to pursue other options.
The time when things are most likely to go awry is the period between a candidate accepting a job and starting in their new role. Recruitment boss and keynote speaker Greg Savage refers to this as the Valley of Death. It’s “a veritable minefield of potential missteps, disappointments, disappearing acts and a dozen other pitfalls besides,” he says.
The key is maintaining regular communication, checking in, supporting the candidate through their resignation and notice period, and keeping them engaged until they start their new role.
Your onboarding process is vital and needs to commence well before your new recruit’s first day. Sending a starter pack in advance can go a long way to helping new hires feel excited and welcome. Contents might include a schedule for their first month, a copy of your staff handbook, details of your HR policies, a personal welcome letter from your CEO and branded merchandise.
The personal touch is crucial when many businesses are continuing to hire remotely. It can be difficult to build a rapport without meeting candidates face-to-face. Yet it is all too simple for job seekers to ghost an interview that’s on-screen or reject an employer they’ve never actually met.
That is why it is so important to connect with job seekers on a deeper level, to ensure that they see the role you’re offering not just as a job and a salary but as a genuine opportunity to be part of your organization and contribute to its success.
At Tiger Recruitment, we introduce would-be hires to a cross-section of our team. We aim to provide an honest 360-degree view of the company and help them understand how they could fit in. They may decide that we’re not quite right for them, but they’re much better able to make an informed decision – and hopefully stick to it.
Job Seekers Want It All
Another way to elevate your job discussion with potential hires is to outline the training and development opportunities they can expect at your company. Doing so will help job seekers consider you a longer-term option – somewhere they can acquire new skills and build their career.
Ultimately, though, today’s job seekers want it all. Cultural alignment and the potential to progress are high on their wish list. They also expect competitive compensation and benefits and the ability to work in the way that suits them best. And they are not afraid to walk away if you fail to meet their often-extreme demands – think generous travel and wardrobe allowances if they’re expected to work in the office not to mention 20% increases on their current salary.
However, if your hiring process falls short, you may not even get to that crucial negotiation stage. You need to be decisive and communicative and deliver a first-class, highly personalized candidate experience throughout. Fail to do so, and your ideal candidate may become the one that got away.