The hiring process is a two-way street, with candidates and employers investing much of their time, effort, and hopes in securing a new hire and new career opportunity. Sadly “ghosting” can also happen on both sides. And if you have been on the receiving end of 3+ ghosted follow-up calls and emails, you know it’s not a good feeling. Ghosting not only damages a company or candidates reputation but also undermines trust and respect in the hiring process.
As a hiring manager, its detrimental to set expectations and communicate clearly to avoid leaving a candidate in the dark.
Clear and Timely Communication:
Communication is key throughout the hiring process. Set clear expectations from the beginning by establishing a timeline for each stage of the process and informing candidates about it. Provide updates to candidates promptly, especially when there are delays or changes in the timeline. Regularly communicate with candidates, even if there are no significant updates, to show that you value their time and interest. Set calendar reminders to follow-up after so many days, weeks, etc.
Set Realistic Expectations:
Transparency and honesty are crucial in managing candidate expectations. Clearly outline the selection and interview process and criteria needed at each step. Inform candidates of the estimated timeframe, from application review to interviews and final decisions to the best of your knowledge. Being upfront about factors like the number of applicants and the competitive nature of the process helps candidates understand the context and reduces uncertainty. When candidates are aware of what to expect, they are less likely to feel ghosted if the process is moving along at a slower pace.
Personalized Rejection Feedback:
Rejection is an inevitable part of the hiring process, but it’s how you deliver it that makes all the difference. Instead of resorting to silence, provide personalized feedback to candidates who were not selected for the position. While it may be challenging to offer individual feedback to every candidate, consider providing constructive feedback to those who reached the final stages or invested substantial time in the process. This gesture demonstrates respect for their efforts and allows them to take something valuable from the time spent and learn from the experience.
Candidate-Centric Hiring Experience:
Adopt a candidate-centric approach that prioritizes the overall experience. From the initial contact to the final decision, ensure that you provide the candidate with a clear view of the process. Provide opportunities for candidates to ask questions, seek clarification, or provide feedback. Transparency and empathy throughout the process to make candidates feel valued and appreciated.
If you want to keep long-lasting candidate relationships and foster a transparent partnership, be sure you aren’t leaving candidates feeling “ghosted”.