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New Hires Falling Off the Face of the Earth? Tips to Prevent “Ghosting”

More and more companies have been hitting a snag in the hiring process. They just can’t fill open roles. In fact, 47 percent of employers aren’t able to find candidates with the necessary skills, and when it comes to large organizations, the numbers are much higher. Sixty-seven percent are now experiencing talent shortages.

But it isn’t just the job market that’s changed the playing field. Candidates are accepting multiple offers and then not showing up on day one – aka, ghosting their employers. Unfortunately, people are becoming more comfortable with a no call, no show. This is not only frustrating to employers, it’s costly too. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce ghosting.

How to Prevent Ghosting

Here’s the thing, top talent will be off the market in just 10 days, yet the average interview process is now clocking in at nearly 23 days, up from 13 days in just under a decade. If you’re unable to speed up the “interview-to-hire rate, every effort should be made to quickly select the right candidate and keep that person informed and engaged until his or her start date. Consider adding a few of the following steps to the interview and hiring process to reduce the chances of a no-show new hire:

1. Transparency. Obviously, you want the best candidate possible. But you won’t get that candidate if you’re not open and honest about the hiring process from the very start. Let applicants know how long it will take to go through each stage, from submission and interview to offer and hire.

2. Direct questions. Determining a person’s interest level can be difficult. Candidates will, naturally, be on their best behavior. But asking somewhat direct questions can give you a glimpse, such as: “Would you accept a counteroffer from your current employer?” Sure, the answer may very well be “no,” but body language can tell a different story.

A more roundabout way of getting to the truth would be, “Is there anything you’d like to see in your next position that you don’t have currently?” If the person doesn’t say much beyond more money, he or she would likely accept a counteroffer. Other questions to consider:

  • Why do you think this position would be different than your current role?
  • Tell me what you know about this role?
  • What aspects of this role do you like?

What you’re looking for in the answers is genuine interest in the job opportunity and the company itself.

3. Offer letters. Though not legally binding, asking new hires to sign formal offer letters can do wonders to deepen their commitment to your organization. After all, verbal agreements just don’t hold the same weight. Besides, any hesitations can be an indication that they’re considering other offers.

4. Frequent communication. Roughly 50 percent of new hires don’t receive a welcome message before the first day. Check in periodically until the start date to answer questions, counter concerns, and explain next steps, and do it by phone and text.

If time permits, you may also want to schedule a face-to-face meeting during their waiting period. The goal is, of course, to keep them engaged until day one but also to get to know one another better. Candidates are much less likely to ghost people they know on a personal level.

5. Pre-boarding. Companies save most stuff for day one of employment. Instead, if you establish a pre-boarding process, you create more reasons to stay in contact with a new hire. Move a few things normally done on the first day into the pre-boarding period. Schedule a team lunch with the new hire, set up a benefits meeting, or get the person in for an office tour.

6. Starter packages. Somewhere within the waiting period, you could always ask the new hire to come in to pick up a “starter” package, which could include company swag, a welcome letter, etc. Not a lot of companies do this, so you have the opportunity to stand out. But it can also show your trust and investment in the hire.

What to Do if You’re Ghosted

Even when every precaution is taken to prevent a no-show, there can still be those occasions when you’re left with a vacant seat. Here are some tips of what to do when someone doesn’t show up for the first day of work:

1. Review and edit your hiring process. It might not be them. It might be you. Perhaps your hiring process was too long or maybe you didn’t provide an engaging hiring experience. Review your process and determine if any adjustments need to be made.

2. Contact the candidate. Though calling the candidate may be uncomfortable, it can clear up any confusion to know the reason – or reasons – for the no-show. Besides, you’re owed an explanation.

3. Maintain a pool of candidates. It’s just good business to plan for worst case scenarios, so always maintain a pool of potential candidates for those times when you have a vacancy. And, of course, contact us if you’d like help filling the role quickly.

4. Create a waiting list. Plenty of universities and colleges put applicants on waiting lists, and it may work for businesses as well. Let candidates know when they’ve been added to your wait list and explain the next steps in the process. Maintain regular communication with those on the list.

If you’d like additional tips on how to avoid no-shows, or need some help filling an unexpected vacancy, please feel free to contact us today. We’d be more than happy to discuss your options and share strategies on how to build a strong and loyal team.