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  • Writer's pictureNick Andriacchi

Ghosting – How to Limit It

Ghosting used to refer to abruptly cutting off contact with someone without giving that person any warning or explanation. This has spilled over into the business world and sales execs, recruiters and hiring managers know this term all to well. According to Indeed, 28% of job seekers have ghosted an employer, up from only 18% in 2019. Yes, it’s part of the job but does it have to be this way?

Why Ghosting Seem So En Vogue?

There are many reasons why but ultimately folks are not comfortable saying no or communicating what they think is bad news. The easy way out is to stop contact altogether.

In the current employment market, candidates have leverage over employers often receiving multiple offers from potential employers. Since they are in high demand, they don’t feel the need to contact the recruiter(s) to tell them they accepted another offer. This isn’t right, but it is what it is.

Strategies to Limit Ghosting

Whether in sales or recruiting, the best way to prevent ghosting is to create a strategy where the individual is fully engaged. That will create a sense of exclusivity and make them feel important to you and your company. Then follow a process that moves along quickly and keeps them engaged. Below are some ideas.

Tackle it head-on. Be approachable and let the candidate know that you will make every effort to be their advocate. In return, you expect them to communicate with you. You can acknowledge upfront that there may be a better fit out there, but it says a lot about their integrity and character when they are willing to tell you no. Besides, proper closure leaves the door open for future opportunities.

Communicate well and often. Staying in close contact creates a relationship that will help both succeed. It will also help prevent ghosting because they will feel more connected to you. It is also helpful to give an approximate timeline for next steps.

o Describe the company culture. Let them know if they would be a good fit into current culture. People tend to gravitate towards companies they like and trust and “fitting in “culturally goes a long way to keeping them engaged.

o Encourage feedback. Once they feel like it would be a good fit, an honest two-way conversation to address any concerns before moving forward. An approachable vibe will allow the candidate to bring up delicate topics more easily.

o Details. Once they see themselves in their new role, review salary, benefits, etc. Now the candidate has the full picture of what they are getting into. Get them to say “yes”.

Speed it up. The faster you move a candidate through the interview process and receive an offer, the less likely you are to lose them to another opportunity. Emphasize to the potential employer that great candidates are not on the market very long. By expediting the process, your fill rate will increase.

Post Close. A new hire will need to provide notice to their current employer. You can still lose the candidate even after they accept an offer so stay in touch with them during this time period. For example, provide the candidate appropriate information on what they can expect when they start working etc.

Human nature is hard to control and it is easier to ghost than to say no. But there is no long-term upside to ghosting a and its best for both parties to avoid it. Ghosting can be limited by developing a strategy built on openness, trust, and communication.

Nick Andriacchi


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