Overcoming Candidate Ghosting

You identified a great candidate. You talked to them over the phone and scheduled for them to come in for an interview. You put it in your calendar, prep prior, and mentally prepare for it with the hope and excitement that this one might be a great fit for your organization. Yet, they don’t show. They don’t answer their phone. They aren’t responding to your email either. You have been ghosted. Few things in the hiring process feel so disrespectful and are as infuriating as having a candidate disappear. It may not always be their fault, though. And even if it is, there are things you can do to increase the likelihood of their attendance so that you can find the best employee possible for your organization.

  1. Sell the Opportunity: Is your job posting clear about what the job is? Does it state the location, benefits, pay, and responsibilities in a clear manner? Is the language you are using inspiring, accurate, inclusive, accurate, and robust? No candidate likes surprises and “new” information can cause them to lose interest. The more excited and the more they feel the job is a match for them, the more likely they will show up for the interview.
  2. Clear and Timely Communication: Ensure that you communicate all the necessary details about the interview clearly and well in advance. This includes the date, time, location (whether it’s in-person or virtual), and any instructions or materials candidates might need. Never assume anything. Clear communication provides candidates with confidence and the feeling that you are a true professional who is interested in considering them for the opportunity.
  3. Confirmation Email or Message: Send a confirmation email or message shortly after scheduling the interview. This helps candidates remember the details and confirms their commitment.
  4. Personalized Outreach: Make candidates feel valued by personalizing your communication. Mention specific qualifications or experiences that stood out in their application.
  5. Highlight the Opportunity: Emphasize the benefits and opportunities associated with the position. Showcase the company culture, growth prospects, and the impact the role will have.
  6. Flexible Scheduling: Offer flexible interview time slots, if possible, especially if candidates have busy schedules. This demonstrates that you respect their time.
  7. Send Reminders: Send a reminder a day or two before the interview. This could be through email, text message, or even a phone call.
  8. Provide Interview Preparation: Offer resources to help candidates prepare for the interview. This could include information about the interview format, common questions, and any assessments they might have to complete.
  9. Address Concerns: During your initial communication, ask if candidates have any concerns or conflicts with the scheduled interview time. Addressing these concerns early can prevent last-minute cancellations.
  10. Create a Positive Candidate Experience: From the moment candidates apply, strive to create a positive impression. A smooth and respectful recruitment process makes candidates more likely to honor their commitments. Organize the process so that you know exactly what to do as you move candidates along. Create a checklist and track your activity so that you don’t miss a step.
  11. Offer Virtual Interviews: If candidates are located far away or have scheduling conflicts, consider offering virtual interview options to make it more convenient for them.
  12. Streamline the Process: Keep the interview process efficient and respectful of the candidate’s time. Lengthy and convoluted interview processes can discourage attendance. Interview with purpose and be sure to let candidates know what the steps are so that they know what to expect.
  13. Engage Hiring Managers: If possible, involve the hiring manager or team members in the interview process. Candidates may be more likely to attend an interview if they feel they’re interacting with potential colleagues.
  14. Show Professionalism: Maintain a high level of professionalism in all your interactions with candidates. This reflects positively on the company and encourages candidates to take the process seriously.
  15. Offer a Small Incentive: While this approach should be used sparingly, some companies offer small incentives, like a gift card, to candidates who attend interviews.
  16. Feedback from Previous Candidates: If you have interviewed candidates before, seek feedback on the interview process. If there were reasons for no-shows, address those issues.

Remember that despite your best efforts, there may still be instances where candidates don’t show up. It’s important to handle such situations gracefully and professionally, as your reputation as an employer is crucial in the competitive job market. For help with managing the hiring process, contact us! We are pros at this and certainly can help make it better so that not only do you get great candidates, but you get an even better hire.