If you work in HR or recruitment, it’s highly likely that you have ‘ghosted’ candidates for a role at some point. In other words, you’ve received their resumés and not responded to them. Or you began the process, perhaps even reaching the interview stage, and then didn’t get back to them with either a yes or a no answer.
You won’t have done this on purpose in most cases. You’re busy, you’ve got a lot of people to think about, and your focus is on finding the right person for the role. However, this kind of ghosting behavior is detrimental to you as a recruiter, to the business you’re recruiting for, and to the person who never heard back from you. You and the business can gain a poor reputation, meaning that fewer people will want to apply to work with you, and many people say that being ghosted knocks their confidence, some to the extent that it means that they stop applying for roles, at least for a while.
With this in mind, here are some of the things you can do to ensure you don’t ghost any candidates, even when you have a lot of applications to deal with.
Use Recruitment Software
If the reason you have not responded to some applicants regarding a role they have applied for is there are just too many of them and it would take too long, or you think you have responded because the number of applicants has caused some confusion, then recruitment ATS software is the answer.
When you have software like this at your disposal, not only can you keep track of who has applied and what stage of the application they have reached, but you can also set up automated emails. You could have one thanking the candidate for their application, for example, and another that is sent after an interview, again thanking them for their time. Offer a timeframe within these emails, or even say that if the candidate doesn’t hear from you by a certain date, they should assume they have been unsuccessful. Although this is not ideal, as it’s better to contact a candidate to let them know they didn’t get the job, if there are so many candidates that this would be impossible or hugely time-consuming, this is the next best thing.
Send Updates Promptly
If you set out a timeframe, or even specific dates, in which you say you’ll contact a candidate no matter what the outcome of their application might be, it’s crucial you stick to that timeframe and those dates.
If you don’t, the business you are recruiting for will come across as unprofessional and leave a bad taste in the candidate’s mouth. Either they will have to get in touch with you, even though you said you would contact them, or they will have to assume the results of their application. Neither of these outcomes is something you strive for if you want a good reputation. This is especially true if the candidate only just missed out; you’ll want them to know they should apply again another time, and they won’t if they don’t like how you run things.
One way to remember to contact everyone who applied for the role is to ask for feedback. This doesn’t just give you an excuse to contact them, no matter what the results of their application may have been, but it also can provide you with useful information for the next time you are recruiting – you might be able to use the feedback given to offer a better experience for the next batch of candidates.