The term ghosting in recruitment is used to describe a situation where an employer, in particular a recruiter, cuts off communication with a candidate who has expressed interest in a position without providing an explanation or feedback on the outcome of the process.
This type of behaviour is very likely to create negative impressions on candidates, and bad opinions and comments often spread avalanche-like. ‘Goosing’ in recruitment is considered bad practice for a number of reasons:
Lack of respect for the candidate
This type of behaviour does not show much respect for the time and effort invested by the candidate. By expressing an interest in the position and the company, each candidate is giving up their time for preparation and interviews and other steps in the process, so it is only right that they receive feedback.
Closing doors for future interactions
Ghosting your candidates can reflect poorly on your company’s image and thus deprive you of the opportunity for future collaboration with the candidate or their partners. Candidates usually share their experiences with others, and this information may even reach clients, colleagues or potential partners.
Damage to reputation and employer brand
Dropping off candidates’ radar can damage a company’s reputation in industry and professional circles. Professionalism and integrity are valued in business and recruitment.
Perpetuating a bad corporate culture
If this becomes common practice in an organization, it can reflect in a culture of disregard and lack of accountability in that organization.
It is important to approach candidates ethically and professionally, providing feedback even if it is negative. Open and clear communication should be maintained throughout the recruitment process as this creates a good reputation for the employer and facilitates cooperation and trust with candidates.
If this phenomenon already exists in your company it is never too late to take action. Damage control can include the following steps:
Explanation and apology
The first step is to contact candidates and apologize and explain the breakdown in communication. You should be sincere and provide specific reasons for your actions, if any.
Feedback and suggestions for improvement
Ask candidates for their feedback on the experience. This can help you understand what can be improved in the future and how to prevent similar situations.
Explore the reasons and draw lessons from it. You may notice issues in your processes or communication that led to this problem. Make steps to prevent similar situations in the future.
Change or improve your processes for communicating with candidates to prevent future similar occurrences. Ensure that you have clear procedures for managing applicants and that the relevant individuals are responsible for informing applicants in a timely and correct manner.
Rebuilding candidates’ trust takes time and effort. Aim to build trust by being consistent and professional in your communications and dealings with candidates.
Build a positive reputation as an employer by treating candidates responsibly. A good reputation can attract talent and help you retain qualified candidates in the future.
Why candidate feedback is so important you can read here.