Your Ghostbusting Guide to Getting Candidates to Day One

Halloween may be right around the corner, but it’s “spooky season” every day for recruiters and HR professionals.

Ghosts are hiding inside every great candidate, waiting to make them disappear.

This leaves many recruiters backfilling roles, crossing their fingers and toes, knocking on wood, and absolutely never holding their breath on the off chance that a candidate will show up for work on day one. The more this occurs, the more discouraging it becomes to our hard-working recruiting teams.

So, why are new hires ghosting before day one, and—more importantly—how do we make it stop?

 

Why are New Hires Ghosting?

Great question! Here’s what we know…

With the current generations of the workforce growing up quickly satisfied by TV, microwaves, cell phones, instant pots, drive thrus, and Amazon Prime, it can be hard to keep someone’s attention without providing almost immediate feedback.

Due to the pressing communication expectations awaiting our recruiters, slow and/or unorganized processes are a 🚩 sure to make your best applicants disappear. 👻

When we think about the most frustrating situations in the world, we imagine delayed flights, building Ikea furniture, and instances when we don’t know what’s going on, i.e., situationships, filing taxes, anything involving financial aid, and chaotic hiring processes.

Bottom line: People like to know what is happening, and they would like for it to happen quickly and efficiently.

 

How Do We Stop the Ghosting?

Putting an end to the Harry Houdini acts of our candidates can feel like fighting a forest fire with a watering can—impossible. But here’s the thing: every little bit helps! Below are a few ideas that lead to positive results in your pipeline. 😉

 

Stay in Touch Throughout the Process

By adding some touchpoints, you can keep your candidates from slinking off into the abyss. We recommend using technology to enable some of these simple “checking in” messages while maintaining a high level of efficiency for your recruiting team.

These can look like adding confirmation messages to your already existing workflow. Something simple like “Your background check is clear. You’ll hear about next steps shortly!” goes a long way.

 

Get Personal!

Take time to update your messages or templates with your candidate’s first name, and create templates that ask the candidate to engage. As you reach out, ask your candidate a question or request a response of some sort.

The goal here is to make your communication go both ways. Instead of hogging the texting thread, this gives candidates the opportunity to weigh in and build a relationship with the recruiter. If they feel personally connected to the team, they will be less likely to disappear without warning.

 

What Will it Take to Change the System?

Those on the job hunt are looking for employers who value them, are focused on creating manageable workloads, and are interested in investing in their long-term development. While it can be hard to change the culture of an organization, many are on the right track!

Here are a few ideas to help you keep the candidates first in the hiring and onboarding process to attract the best talent.

 

Personalize Your Communications

I know, I know, I sound like a broken record, but taking time to update your templates so they feel personal makes a lasting impression on your candidates. No one wants to feel like just another number or just another application. By using a candidate’s name, you’re humanizing them and their experience every step of the way.

 

Use Your Channels Cohesively

Be thoughtful about not overwhelming your candidates with hoards of emails and texts and phone calls. Make sure you’re not sending the same message in three places, and use your discretion as to what is too much when it comes to contacting your candidates.

 

Send Helpful Messages

Don’t send things just for the sake of it.  Sending a “good luck on your first day” text is cute, but sending them instructions on how to get into the building or which door to park near is 700 times more valuable. Give your texts the same energy as your favorite aunt or your best friend; offer your candidates the DL and help them go into their next interview or their first day with confidence!

Sure, candidate ghosting is a common problem, but we don’t have to accept it for what it is. We can take charge, make some changes, and get our candidates in the door on day one. 💪