Ghosting at Work

The millennial act of “ghosting” is now happening at the workplace: candidates not showing up for job interviews, or worse, not showing up on their first day of work. Research suggests that only 1 out of 4 candidates continue through the process without getting distracted or disengaged.

Some, of course, see this as a balancing of the scales. Companies ghost on applicants all the time by not getting back to them after interviews.

We should not be surprised – people feel less and less loyalty towards their companies – and we shouldn’t expect any loyalty prior to actual start dates. Here are some ways to combat ‘ghosting’ by candidates:

  1. Build rapport from the get-go. Establishing familiarity and imparting of your culture from the first interaction has benefits not only to keep them engaged but also to help recruit them into the organization.
  2. Make your expectations clear. Let candidates know what you expect (but also what they can expect) around communication. They should notify you if their schedule changes or if they change their mind.
  3. Keep them engaged. Send out reminders prior to interviews or prior to their first-day. Ask for confirmation. In today’s environment everyone is distracted but focus is a skill that can be coached once people start.
  4. Embrace the flake factor. Be prepared for no-shows and don’t take it personally when it happens – move on to the next candidate.
  5. Work the back-up plan. Keep your next best candidates engaged throughout the process.


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