Do I need to respond to every applicant that applies for a job?

Are you familiar with the term ghosting? This refers to when someone just leaves a situation with absolutely no explanation. You may have experienced this when someone left you hanging and possibly puzzled you as to why.

Have you, as an employer, ghosted job candidates?

Everyone here understands the struggles of being a business owner: there’s never enough time in the day, never enough help when you need it, or there are days where nothing goes right.

All of that plays into how you go about the hiring process. As a small business, sometimes you just don’t have the manpower to do it all. 

You’re probably asking, when is it considered ‘ghosting’ during the hiring process?

To be honest, there isn’t a clear cut line. What we can say is that the further someone makes it into the hiring process, the more they want to hear a response either way. Each company has its own steps to follow, but if you reach out to a candidate to express interest, it’s at this point that most job seekers start to experience ghosting.

77% of job applicants have been ghosted. That might be after an initial screening phone call, after one face-to-face interview, or after multiple interviews. In fact, some candidates have said they were ghosted by potential employers after a final job offer was submitted to them!

As an employer, ghosting comes down to a judgment call. There are lots of tools available to help you not leave job candidates out in the cold as to where their application stands. One thing we recommend is to write a generic template email saying thank you but no thank you. You can send this to all the candidates at once that aren’t moving to the next round, and that lets them know you aren’t ghosting them — which they will appreciate! You’ll appreciate it too because sometimes ghosting job seekers can lead to more of your time being eaten up when they reach out via phone and email to follow up on their application’s status.

But, what about the flip side?

What should you do as an employer if a candidate ghosts you?

In 2020, job seeker ghostings went up 18% from the previous year. The number one reason job seekers say they ghost employers is because they felt the job was not a good fit. Many applicants ghost early on in the process, but job seekers can wait until the last minute too. In fact, employers have reported that a quarter of new hires don’t show up for their first day on the job.

We’ve experienced this ourselves. We have even experienced new hires showing up for the first few days then ghosting with no explanation. In situations like this, what should employers do? Clearly communicate all expectations from day one. Do not close a job application (or, at least, do not stop the interview process) until a job seeker officially accepts a final offer from your company. Encourage applicants to ask questions. Once they are onboarded, schedule regular one-on-one meetings with them to continuously review expectations and allow them to voice how they are feeling. Be open, and they will follow your lead. If you’re looking for more tips, check out these 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring.

We also suggest checking out these 10 Qualities to Look for When Hiring Team Members. Look for these qualities and their consistency through the interview process, and that will help you to not get ghosted once you’ve hired someone.

In a world of technology where we are all connected, we have never seemed further apart. Ghosting is happening on both sides of the aisle, but it’s for the same reason: either an applicant decided the job was not a good fit OR an employer decided the applicant was not a good fit. We suggest using tools available to send short notes to job candidates to let them know what is happening with their application, and be open and honest with your communication. 

Now we would love to know, do you send candidates something to inform them of your decision? How do you handle this process? Let us know!



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Getting Hired, Hiring Tips, Virtual Team, Work From Home