We’ve all experienced it: you’re talking with someone, there’s a connection… and then they disappear.
Ghosting is when someone abruptly stops engaging in dialogue, especially during an important process. While the term originates from online dating, it’s also become a hiring problem. Employers used to be more guilty of ghosting when they’d fail to follow up during the interview process; but today, the Great Resignation gives job candidates more leverage— and some can afford not to show up, or even bail in the middle of it.
As hiring has become more automated, ghosting has increased. But why is that problematic? Ghosting creates poor communication and inefficiencies; it’s impolite and unprofessional; and it fundamentally lacks empathy for the other party, cutting off any dialogue or feedback. With ghosting, a human element disappears—further promoting future unprofessional behavior.
However, certain hiring behaviors can make candidates more likely to ghost: automated hiring, a lack of accountability, and poor (or missing) feedback. But there’s lots you can do to build trust along the way and avoid ghosting altogether.
Let’s review how to create a process that helps you hire the right people, ghost-free.
A human touch is an advantage in the automation age
Companies have automated many parts of the hiring process, but those very processes can work against you. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and other AI-driven tools save time and optimize for information management but may reject viable candidates by missing important nuances that a human wouldn’t ignore. A recent Harvard Business School study found that automatic rejection of people with gaps in their employment history are a prime example: when the candidate does not have the opportunity to explain that gap—whether it’s a pregnancy, job searching, building their business—everyone loses.