Ghosted by your candidate? Become a Ghostbuster.


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Avoid being ghosted on your candidate’s first day of work.

Ghosted By Your Candidate Become a Ghostbuster

Have you been ghosted on your candidate’s first day of work? It’s never a good feeling, but what if we could eliminate this problem completely? While we may not have access to our very own Ghostbuster service, recruiters can take steps to BECOME a Ghostbuster and eliminate this problem on their own. If you take the right steps both during the interview process and after the offer was accepted, you could soon be living in a ghost free environment!

During the Interview Process

Build a Rapport with the Candidate [DON’T BE STUFFY, BE DOWN TO EARTH!]

Getting to know your candidate as a person is just as important as knowing what they are looking for in a career. DON’T BE STUFFY, BE DOWN TO EARTH. Do you know what their hobbies are? Are Build a Rapport with the Candidatethey close to their family? Do they have a dog? Knowing more about the candidate then just what is on their resume can make a huge difference in your relationship. From a candidate’s perspective, this makes the recruiter more approachable and opens the opportunity to be honest. If a job opportunity isn’t what the candidate has in mind, they will be more inclined to say something early if they feel like they can be open with the recruiter. If you have a rapport with the candidate, they won’t accept a job offer they don’t want.

Furthermore, send them a quick text every once in awhile checking in. Even if you don’t have an opportunity for them, check in and see how the job hunt is going. Show that you care. You want to avoid cookie cutter communication. Don’t say the same thing to every candidate, try to make it personal. Ask them how their vacation was last month or how their mom’s birthday party was! Tie in something personal to the conversation to make them feel like they are talking to a friend.

Understand Expectations and Be Transparent

When meeting with a candidate for the first time, start by asking them what they are looking for. You have to understand what they are looking for and bring the right opportunities to them. If you don’t think they will be genuinely interested in a position, don’t bring it up. Likewise, if you bring up an opportunity they aren’t interested in, don’t force it. Identify, early on if the position is not the right fit. Understand Expectations and Be Transparent

Also, be transparent about the position and compensation. Don’t try to sugar coat the position as something better then it is because it won’t end well. It’s also important to make sure you understand their compensation expectations. The initial phone interview and job application are good places to identify expectations. This will help you identify which candidates fit into the salary range of the position. Once you identify these candidates, be upfront about the compensation. You don’t want the candidate to be disappointed if they get a lower offer then anticipated.

Ask the Right Questions When Speaking with References

When speaking with references a key question to ask is how reliable is the candidate? Were they at work everyday or did they often not show up? If they have a track record of poor attendance at work, then that is an immediate red flag. Old habits typically do not go away and you could be at risk of being ghosted. Speaking with previous employers is the best way to look into the future at how a candidate will behave. If there are any gaps in attendance at work, it may not be the right candidate to pursue.

After the Offer was Accepted

Look for Hesitancy and Absence in Communication after the Offer

Was the candidate excited about accepting the offer or did they seem hesitant? By the candidate’s initial reaction, it’s usually easy to tell if they are excited or if they are going along with the position because they don’t have any other opportunities.

Candidate GhostingAnother warning sign is absence in communication either after the offer was extended or accepted. Did the candidate all of a sudden disappear? Is it difficult to reach them? Candidates that are unresponsive and show a sudden lack of interest in communicating, may not be serious about the position.

Lastly, watch for candidates that try delaying the start date. Unless there is a good reason to delay the start date, it may be wise to inquire further with the candidate. If you have a feeling they might flake out, try to catch it before the first day on the job. As a best practice, schedule a quick start date (within two weeks) to avoid the opportunity for the candidate to step away from the position.

Send E-mail or Text Confirmation the Day Before the First Day

It is now the day before your candidate’s first day of work and adrenaline is running high! Send an e-mail or text to the candidate confirming they are all set for their first day. Candidate GhostingContinue communicating as if you were a friend. Ask them if there is anything you can help with before their first day. Sending a text would be better then sending an e-mail to help assure you will receive a response and a quicker one.

Now as a recruiter you have your own Ghostbuster Proton Pack of tricks! Go out and eliminate those ghosts!

Image Credit:

1st, 4th, and 5th image: Adobe Stock
2nd and 3rd image: Canva

Jennifer Roeslmeier
Jennifer Roeslmeier is a Sr. Digital Marketing and Brands Manager at a staffing and recruiting software company. She has 7+ years experience working in the marketing and advertising industry. Prior to her current position, she worked in advertising on a large automotive account. In addition to her professional experience, she is a divisional Lt. Governor for a non-profit organization, aimed at helping children locally and around the world. Jennifer graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Madison with a Bachelor in Business Administration.


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