Job ghosting, or just ghosting, is when a candidate never shows up for an interview or a hire never shows up for the job. And a recent Indeed survey found that ghosting is on the rise and has gotten worse in just the last two years. 

The survey found that some of the reasons that candidates ghost employers are ones that recruiters and talent leaders can’t impact, such as the candidate getting a better offer or changing his/her mind. But, Indeed also found that communication challenges with recruiters and a poor candidate experience during the hiring process also lead to ghosting. And those are things recruiters and talent leaders can control and even improve through HR technology and automation. 

It’s even possible to impact the risk of a candidate getting a better offer with a faster, more streamlined hiring process that reduces time to hire. 

If you haven’t been ghosted yet or if you have and want to reduce it, here are five concrete ways to help prevent it.

1. Use Automated Scheduling or Self-Scheduling 

Automated scheduling makes the candidate experience better. 57% of job seekers lose interest if the hiring process takes too long. And recruiters playing phone or email tag with candidates and hiring managers adds way to much time to the hiring cycle. 

Automated interview scheduling eliminates phone and email tag. It lets recruiters remove themselves from the process and empowers candidates to self-schedule and reschedule if needed. And more robust solutions integrate with popular calendar tools to automatically align schedules and even conference rooms for optimum automation. 

Recruiters today have a large pool of automation tools to choose from — from simple scheduling software tools like Calendly to fully integrated recruitment automation platforms, like HireVue. The HireVue platform with HireVue Coordinate lets recruiters schedule hiring events and on-site, live video, or phone interviews. It also empowers candidates to self-schedule and reschedule.

2. Shorten Your Time to Hire

Along with using automated scheduling, you can use other HR technologies and tactics to shorten your time to hire. A shorter time to hire creates a better candidate experience too, because candidates aren’t left hanging and waiting to hear if they’ll get an interview or hear back if they have an offer — or not. 

HR technologies that can shorten your time to hire include video interviewing, like HireVue Video Interviews, that lets candidates complete the interview on their time, anytime. What’s more, recruiters and hiring managers can screen interviews on their own time too. There’s no need to juggle schedules between candidates and hiring staff to arrange live interviews. There’s no need to arrange for conference rooms when applicable either. And every candidate answers the same questions. So, there’s no need to hold second interviews or make follow up calls to fill gaps in candidate profiles. 

And if your candidate pool includes remote candidates, there’s no need to fly candidates in for interviews. Companies have successfully used video interviews to reduce their time to hire to hours from days or weeks. 

But what does a shorter interview time have to do with ghosting? It’s about that stat: 57% of job seekers lose interest if the hiring process takes too long. A shorter time to hire means keeping the candidate’s attention and hiring the best candidate before your competition does. The happier and more attentive your candidates, the less likely they are to ghost you.

3. Modernize Your Recruitment Experience

Your candidates are your customers too. They leave their candidate experience with a brand experience. And your brand can’t afford to look outdated. No one wants to do business with — or work for — a dated company. A candidate who has an offer from a company with a forward-thinking recruiting process and that represents its brand well, may just decide to jump ship for the other company at the last minute and ghost you. 

The solution — modernize your recruitment experience. Ditch long, tedious applications. Ditch asking for salary history. And ditch outdated traditional assessments. 

Instead, consider a short-and-sweet application process, like the Apply with LinkedIn feature that lets candidates apply for jobs with their LinkedIn profile — no filling out an application required. Let candidates interview with a video interview they can complete anytime, anywhere. And consider game-based assessments to assess candidates’ cognitive and emotional skills rather than a long, tedious traditional pre-employment assessment. 

Video interviews and game-based assessments engage candidates and take candidates less time to complete. Candidates enjoy them and find them more modern. In a survey of 1.5 million candidates who’ve taken HireVue Video Interviews, 85% agreed that the format positively affected the company’s perception.1 

Video interviews and game-based assessments save your recruiters and hiring managers time and reduce your time to hire and your chances of being ghosted. 

4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Think of a customer placing an order for an item. The item goes on backorder, but the customer hears nothing. Weeks or months pass, and the customer is left in the dark. The customer finds the item somewhere else and gives their money and their loyalty to another supplier.

The job search process isn’t any different. The best way to mitigate job seekers losing interest if the hiring process takes too long is to shorten the process. But whether you can do that or not, another great way to keep candidates happy and engaged is to keep them informed throughout the process.

Even if that customer whose item was back ordered ends up buying it somewhere else, if he/she is kept informed, the supplier may just keep the customer’s future business and loyalty. 

So, treat your candidates like customers and communicate, communicate, communicate. Start by explaining your hiring process and interview steps at the beginning — essentially, set expectations early and reset them often.

The 2019 Candidate Experience Playbook offers these tips:

  • Provide interview preparation tips and a detailed interview agenda
  • Discuss next steps before candidates enter the interview.
  • Provide candidates with a comprehensive “care package” of interview prep materials

Most importantly, be sure to follow up with candidates regularly and throughout the process. 

5. Treat Candidates Like Customers

Your candidates are people too. And the more connected they feel to you and your brand, the less likely they are to pull job ghosting on you. On the flip side, the more disconnected they feel, the more likely they are to not consider that there’s any reason not to ghost you.

The Net Promoter Score or NPS is widely recognized as the industry standard for gauging customer loyalty. But it doesn’t have to be exclusive to end customers. You can use an NPS to gauge your candidate experience too. You can also use changes in your candidate NPS to monitor your candidate experience on an ongoing basis. If you see a decrease, it’s a good indication there’s an opportunity to improve your experience. If you see an increase, it’s a good way to know you’re on the right path and your efforts are paying off.

Delta Airlines takes a rock-solid approach to the interview process and candidate experience. Rather than design the process for the final hire, Delta designs it for the majority of candidates who won’t get the job. Delta’s NPS is a solid 91.5 — that’s out of 100.

Bottom Line on Job Ghosting

Treating your candidates to a short and streamlined hiring process that’s modern and includes a good candidate experience and ample communication doesn’t guarantee that candidates won’t ghost you, but it can go a long way toward helping ensure they won’t want too. 

Learn more about maximizing your candidate experience.

Download a free copy of The 2019 Candidate Experience Playbook

1 HireVue. The 2019 Candidate Experience Playbook

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash.