Want to make someone’s day as a recruiter? Find them a job. Want to earn their trust and respect? Win their return business? Pick up the phone and call them back.
Ghosting in Talent Acquisition happens, but it’s definitely not the way to start a relationship or get the best talent for your team.
Whether you are letting a candidate know they didn’t get an interview request, didn’t get the contract or job they went three interview rounds on, or even if you are just giving them an update to let them know you simply have no update, it is imperative that you communicate – and preferably verbally - with your candidates.
There is no greater feeling of confusion, slight and detachment a recruiter can impart on a candidate than the rejection that ‘ghosting’ conveys.
Shed Some Light
‘Going dark’ is going on in the industry and opinions, like business models, are mixed on this subject. In a fast-paced, uber-competitive, and KPI-driven industry where speed-to-market trumps all, a few minutes can mean the difference between you or a rival recruiter making contact with the needle-in-the-haystack candidate for a requisition that’s just been released.
It’s all you can do to keep up. Oftentimes, that rear-view mirror is ripped off the windshield, and it's full throttle forward. There can be an insentient message communicated by some in talent acquisition stating that ‘If you don’t hear from me, you didn’t get the interview, the job -- I’ll call you when the next opportunity comes along’ mindset.
Be a Brand Ambassador
In the field, recruiters not only facilitate matching client to talent, but wear the cloak of brand ambassador for their firms and word-of-mouth is king.
Whether too busy, untrained, or uncomfortable dealing with the hard phone calls, the excuses that conspire to keep a recruiter from calling back only serve to keep a job-seeker somewhere across the country, or continent, waiting and waiting and waiting for word.
Or worse, they jade and frustrate to the point that there’s a trickle-down effect borne by recruiters, who can find themselves on the other end of the switch that’s turned off the lights.
Good relationship-building recruiting recognizes that candidates are people, not commodities to trade on an exchange, and, as such, expending effort to close the gap on a job you’ve worked on together, however successful, lays the groundwork for the next time you call on them.
Candidates love feedback; if you are able to obtain it after an interview, present it to them constructively. It can provide helpful pointers for the next interview and, importantly, it provides closure, something solid for the candidate to bite down on and move on from.
Most candidates will respect you and appreciate you for taking the time to explain why they fell short of a hiring manager’s expectations. It’s your job and your obligation to finish what you begin; otherwise, the business of talent acquisition is nothing more than one large black hole, which is what we recruiters, sales account managers, staffing firms and corporate conglomerates try to differentiate ourselves from.
Take the time to verbalize it. Call your candidate. While texting is immediate and trendy, it’s still digital, electronic, and impersonal; and doesn’t differentiate you enough from the next recruiter. Same goes with email.
If you don’t pick up the phone and call them back, someone else will and the next time you call you may find your call screened, your competitor’s call picked up first or yourself simply ghosted.
About the Author: Christina A. Rosch is a National Technical Recruiter for ERG, Inc., A Yoh Company, where she engages engineers, designers, developers and programmers for projects nationwide. She has the enthusiasm and experience to work with you on your next engagement. And, she'll call you with client feedback – even if it's to tell you there's no feedback yet. No ghosting here.