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3 Things HR Professionals Need to Know About Workplace Ghosting Part 2

Workplace Ghosting

Anyone who has used a dating app knows about ghosting. The phenomenon refers to situations where someone you’ve been communicating with cuts off all communication without warning.

Ghosting isn’t just happening in the dating world. As you hire new employees, you might end up getting ghosted in a professional setting, too. 

This is the second part of a two-part article. Read part one exclusively at hrgazette.com.

Your Company’s Communication Might Be to Blame

Small companies – especially startups – tend to attract dynamic, mission-driven employees who take initiative and get things done. But no matter how proactive and independent your workforce might be, there’s no substitute for transparent, responsive communication.

Talent Consultant Scott Wintrip believes that the advice that companies should be “slow to hire and quick to fire” is inherently flawed. Today’s candidates want to connect with companies that are highly responsive and engaged, according to Wintrip.

“Candidates [are suspicious] when there are five or six rounds of interviews,” Wintrip told Fast Company. “They’re thinking, ‘The leaders that are putting me through this are indecisive. Is that who I want to have leverage over my career?’”

Overall, candidates are looking for companies that schedule promptly interviews promptly and openly share information about the responsibilities, benefits, and compensation associated with a role.

Candidates are more likely to ghost if your company’s communication is inconsistent, delayed, or otherwise flakey.

Finally, if candidates have ghosted your company in the past, you know how frustrating it can be. Always protect your company’s reputation by having the courtesy to let candidates know if you’re no longer considering them for a role.

Workplace Ghosting

Your Interviewers Aren’t Aligned With the Job Description

No matter where you work, company processes and goals probably shift constantly. Keeping everyone at your company on the same page is a real challenge.

Even if your candidates are eager to dive into this type of fast-paced environment, most will be turned off if the role you’re hiring for is in flux.

If your company’s interviewers present a role differently than it was advertised, or if each interviewer presents a slightly different version of the role, candidates will notice immediately. This can be a red flag that your company hasn’t fully thought through its needs, or that the candidate will be caught between managers with competing priorities.

At worst, this scenario can turn into a bait-and-switch, where a candidate accepts a job without realizing what it will actually entail.

This was the case for Jaclyn Westlake, founder of The Job Hop, a San Francisco-based career consultancy. Shortly after graduating, Westlake accepted what she thought would be a public-facing college admissions role.

“When I arrived for my first day of work, I was led to a storage room and handed a phone, a sales script, and a long list of phone numbers and told to start making calls,” Westlake wrote for The Muse. “I didn’t even have a working computer. Turns out, I had inadvertently accepted a job as a cold caller.”

Over time, this lack of alignment can chip away at your company’s reputation – and potentially increase incidents of ghosting.

To avoid these issues, make sure that one hiring manager has the authority to craft a detailed, accurate job description that all interviewers will carefully align themselves to.

Final Thoughts

Hiring your next star performer is no easy task, especially in today’s job market. As your company grows, candidates you hoped to hire might ghost your company.

To reduce the effects of ghosting, study the way common causes play out at your company. If you’re moving too slowly or failing to tell candidates what makes your company the best place for them to work, consider streamlining your recruitment process.

Seamless, transparent communication is the key to bringing top talent onto your team. By aligning internal stakeholders, you can ensure that your company’s internal communications are running smoothly. Candidates are less likely to ghost highly responsive companies. 

Ghosting is now a routine part of recruitment, but that doesn’t mean your company has to suffer from it.

About the Author

Michelle Delgado is a senior writer at Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews platform in Washington DC. She covers recruitment and human resources.

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