Transform the candidate experience – be a Ghostbuster

GILES HECKSTALL-SMITH • 08 Aug 2018

What is ghosting?

The term “ghosting” has become common language in the dating world. It describes the practice of individuals disappearing from a relationship; ignoring texts, phone calls, messages and other attempts to make contact.

Ghosting has become a “thing” in recruitment too. To date, the common phantoms have been employers who don’t respond to candidate applications or go silent following assessments and interviews. This black hole phenomenon is widely recognised and frustratingly still commonplace – and it has the potential to do significant damage to business reputation and brand too. Well, it seems that candidates themselves are now making like Casper the Friendly Ghost and disappearing into thin air at all stages of the hiring process.
Ghostbusters

Why are candidates ghosting your business?

There’s a chance it could be a case of candidates treating employers the same way they’ve previously been treated themselves. Whilst that’s entirely possible, we are now in a candidate-led market with skills shortages. Potential hires have plenty of choices, applying for up to 8 roles a week in some sectors.

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We need to change our ways and act sharp! But HOW?

With competition fierce and lots of choices, we need to deliver a standout experience at every step to be memorable, impactful and positive.

Here are 7 areas where you can deliver a brilliant experience, service and massively reduce your candidates vanishing from your process.

7 tips to deliver a standout candidate experience

  1. Be different – use vibrant job ads that make an impact
    Use images and video in adverts and cut down on the text
  2. Set expectations – make promises and stick to them
    How long before they hear back, what happens after that and when will you make a decision?
  3. Don’t make applicants ‘run the gauntlet’ when they apply via your ATS
    Keep the application process under 2 minutes – you can get all the detail at a 2nd stage
  4. Brief, train and transform hiring managers into brand ambassadors and get a commitment on feedback
    Make it easy for hiring managers to submit feedback via your applicant tracking system. Emphasise the importance of this from an experience, brand and reputational perspective
  5. Communicate more – and make it personal throughout
    Acknowledge applications, send regret emails, give feedback – it’ll pay back in dividends in goodwill and reputation
  6. Make a fast offer when you find the best candidate
    Don’t hang about! Identify bottlenecks and if you have an offline approval process bring onboarding online with your ATS – measure and improve!
  7. Once a candidate accepts – welcome, engage and excite them before they start not just when they have (11% of candidates are lost between offer and starting a new job)
    Form filling, policies and contracts have to be completed but bring it online, make it immediate and to work on mobile. If your ATS supports it, go further and deliver a really strong ‘green room’ experience to make them feel like part of the team before they’ve even started.

Final thoughts

For all the attention candidate experience is getting right now, there’s still an overwhelming number of companies that are either getting it right or not improving. That creates a golden opportunity to make simple, impactful changes that could be transformational – and remove the likelihood of candidates ghosting your business.

If you can, harness technology positively and make it work for you. Any modern applicant tracking system should be supporting all the ideas above and help put people at the heart of the hiring experience.

Act and be like the kind of people that you’d want to work for!

In the immortal Ghostbuster lyrics from Ray Parker Jr – “bustin’ makes me feel good!”

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