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Nathan is the only member of the team who lives alone so we asked what might leave him sleeping with the light on as we approach Hallowe’en this weekend:
“Specifically, ghosts and in general, trying to score an actual date via online dating app.”
We all know that online dating can be terrifying, but has an experience with a recruiter ever left you with the kind of bad aftertaste you might have after a negative dating experience? Have you ever been left not knowing where you stand in the same way as when a romantic interest doesn’t reply to your texts?
“As technology continues to change our attitudes and approach to communication, the likelihood is that you will experience ghosting not only in your personal life but in professional contexts too, and the job seeking and hiring process is no exception.
Increased levels of ghosting have typically been attributed to a candidate-led employment market with high levels of competition for roles. Data indicates that ghosting has ‘become normalised behaviour within the hiring process’, but this doesn’t mean that this behavioural trend is without adverse effects. According to a report by the recruitment software company Tribepad, over two-thirds of job applicants have been ghosted by a recruiter, and of those who responded, 86% were left feeling down or depressed as a result of the experience. Ghosting is having a real impact on jobseekers’ mental health, to such an extent that Tribepad has launched a campaign called End Ghosting to create greater awareness of the problem of ghosting in recruitment.
It’s understandable then that there have been numerous calls on social media for an end to this worrying trend”.
What’s causing this?
“I know first-hand that people are less likely to respond to my approaches as they either believe the opportunity isn’t genuine and/or the likelihood of being left hanging by a recruiter during the assessment process is too scary a proposition.
This is obviously frustrating as I’m comfortable engaging with people when I don’t have a live vacancy and my Tinder pictures are as real as the come, and I’ll be honest about this. Most of what I do in recruitment is candidate-led and I enjoy building trusted relationships with people. I can empathise with candidates who aren’t always as keen to engage and it’s understandable how this problem manifests itself.Attractive candidates are being super-liked more than ever and the demand for some recruiters to get numbers on the board is high”.
So how can we stop the ghosting cycle?
“I don’t think there’s a fool-proof solution but as recruiters, we have to commit to putting our best foot forward by taking the time to target the right candidates with the right roles instead of swiping right on every LinkedIn profile with a matching keyword, or penchant for pet pics. Maybe recruiters need to be more transparent about what we’re offering upfront as well, divulging more information about the package and perks from the off, which are usually more like second or third date topics – each to their own”.
How can we move forward?
“I do honestly believe that the role of a recruiter in the matchmaking process can be underrated, overlooked or not understood. I think candidates would agree that the fear of not knowing is worse than finding out you’re not the right fit. I back myself as being more likely to get a response from a hiring manager than if you apply direct and will do my best to outline and manage expectations without making false promises.
As in our personal lives, ending ghosting in recruitment requires a commitment to honesty, transparency and empathy within relationships. Communication is a key aspect of any good relationship, and better communication throughout the hiring process, both between the employer and recruiter and between the recruiter and candidate, would go a long way to minimise the impact of ghosting in the hiring process”.
I’d be interested to hear what candidates need to know about an opportunity to initiate engagement – whether positive or negative.
I’d also like to hear what candidates most enjoy about having a recruiter as a wing-person and what they would like to be done differently.