Is there anyone out there who has never got rejected from a job application? Lucky you! The rest knows how rejection feels. Do you know what is worse than that? It is applying for jobs you know you are qualified for and spending your precious time sending your CV with a cover letter and never hearing any feedback. Does it sound relatable? Of course, it does! This frustration you might have been experiencing is a result of a phenomenon called “recruiter ghosting”. It’s getting more and more popular every day and unfortunately, it’s just one of the elements of a bad candidate experience. Imagine now that it also happens in later stages of the recruitment process after many interviews you spend even more time for. You think everything goes well and even in the possibility of rejection you expect genuine feedback, but you end up only wishing for it. How would you feel?
Recruitment 101: How can I excel at ghosting?
Ghosting is a special, complex skill that requires having unique judgement quickness and being exclusively result-driven. In order to ghost the applicants that don’t 100% qualify for your opening requirements, you need to have the ability to judge them by their CVs in an average time of 5 seconds (of course only if the ATS fails to eliminate them in the first place). Be careful, if you actually spend more than 10 seconds on a CV by mistake you might develop some side effects such as empathy and understanding that might lead you to send them an answer or something. Imagine how many other CVs you could check instead of giving feedback to that candidate. What a waste of time…
This sarcasm is not meant to shame other recruiters, to give you “pick me” recruiter vibes. This is the recruitment reality we are all living in. We call this the biggest mistake of our industry and no matter how important the results are to keep up the business, we should all thrive on change. In the end, doesn’t it also happen due to the high workload and simply the human element? As said, can’t we all blame automation systems or spam folders? Yes, sure. We all happen to oversee some applications. Call us out, and give us a chance to give you the feedback you deserve. Bad judgements are a part of any business but not caring about it is another story.
65% of people say that they didn’t hear back from a job application.
Why ghosting candidates is the biggest mistake of a recruiter?
We have recently made a poll on LinkedIn about the most frustrating part of a bad candidate experience. Guess what was the answer of the majority besides all the other horrible options such as lack of transparency, incompetent interviewers, and long hiring processes? With 57 per cent of the total votes “Not receiving any feedback” was the most popular answer.
Candidates ghost us too, very often in fact. It is heartbreaking, however, we still believe that ghosting candidates show a lack of service-orientedness and unprofessionalism. It’s not just “rude” what we recruiters are doing by ghosting our candidates but it’s damaging the overall employer brand of our companies and to be frank, the reputation of recruitment in general. Look at Google Reviews recruitment companies around you, if candidate ghosting is in a company culture you definitely see a mention of it in the first 5 to 10 reviews. Because apparently, “72 per cent of job seekers report sharing their negative candidate experiences online.” And you know what? “55 per cent of job seekers report avoiding certain companies after reading negative online reviews”.
Candidates love feedback, not ghosting recruiters.
On the other hand, if a company takes a few seconds to at least give someone feedback, regardless of the result of the application, they appreciate it. How do you feel when you see job descriptions with a little note at the end saying “only shortlisted candidates will be contacted”? We are not even talking about personalised rejection emails at this point, we will be writing about how the human approach in recruitment matters in the following blog posts (stay tuned!) but a simple email telling you what happened with your application. Here, for example, have a look at one of the emails we got just because we were kind enough to reject a candidate:
"Thank you for responding to my application. It’s something very few companies do, so I really appreciate your feedback and the time you took to review my application and send the above email. I wanted to let you know that the email was beneficial and, if at one point in the inevitable growth of the company you contemplate whether to stop sending these emails to be “more efficient”, please don’t. They are a tiny light in the long, dark chasm of job hunting haha."
Honestly, this email is the exact reason why this blog post exists now, to remind ourselves and our fellow recruiters of the importance of candidate experience.
Seeking closure: Dating life and recruitment shouldn’t have this many things in common…
Many candidates, including us before joining Blu Selection, struggled deeply with this ghosting phenomenon at least once in their lives. Applying to a job that is close to your heart and not hearing from it hurts. It really hurts but we are grown-ups, if a company rejects us, we can move on and if they reject us with nice feedback, we can grow more and be better next time. This is why candidates appreciate even a template rejection with made-up reasoning. We already deal with ghosting partners in romantic relationships, let’s not have it also in recruitment. It’s a closure we need and deserves to get.
This is a dilemma every recruiter feels deep down. You would treat your friends, loved ones, customers, clients, and candidates as you would like to be treated, right? In reality, we often forget our previous state as job-seeker once we secure our professions. That’s why, it is a call to action, to all the recruiters out there. Even though recruiter ghosting allows you to save some time (like two minutes) and bring results, recruitment is not just a number game in the end. If you are number-driven we gave you the numbers and if you really care we also gave you the qualitative reasoning why we should bring emphasis on the human element in recruitment.
How to prevent the ghosting phenomenon in recruitment processes?
Giving well-deserved feedback to our candidates is at the top of our value list as a recruitment agency. Don’t we make mistakes? Of course, we do! As said, automation tool bugs and human mistakes are a part of business life. The solution is easier than it seems like though: Following up!
For both sides, no matter what, following up is crucial. As recruiters, we should remind ourselves to the candidates, no ego is involved. People apply to several jobs, they have different processes going on and your emails can end up in a spam folder as well. The same applies to our candidates. There are tens if not hundreds or thousands of candidates involved in the recruitment process. Follow up with an email or a call to check the reason why you didn’t hear back from your recruiters. It takes a couple of minutes but it’s surely worth it!
Do you agree? If you are not a ghosting recruiter and want to be a part of a team with the same values we would be more than happy to meet you. Contact us!