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Scared of Ghosts? Me too!

Yup, you heard it right – as a kid, terrified of ghosts… Maybe it was from watching ghost-related movies too early, maybe it was just a normal stage of being a kid, but I was downright scared of ghosts. Believed in them, thought about them, and yup – believed they were real!

Fast-forward almost 40 years (yes, I’m dating myself), and guess what I’m still terrified of ghosts, and the worst part is they have taken human form! Yes, I’m writing about everyone’s favorite topic as of late – the ghosting candidate.

I truly believe that when people “ghost” an interview or even worse yet, a start date; somewhere and somehow there is a legitimate reason. Having been in recruiting now for almost two decades, ghosting has always been a concern of recruiters, firms, and overall anyone who is trying to hire talent.

Things happen, life happens, and ultimately candidates and hires, change their mind. It’s life. As much as it creates issues, challenges relationships – and honestly testes everyone’s nerves, it is ultimately a choice that is made by a person for their own reasons. Although sometimes those reasons may not be the “real” truth of why someone decides to ghost, it’s life – and we have to move on.

In my constant battle to get over my fear of ghosts, and unfortunately having my fair share of them each year – I have gathered some helpful tips and tools for those in the industry to help prevent ghosting. Believe me, it will still happen, but taking these steps can certainly help diminish some of the opportunities to ghost, or I hope anyway.

Identify roles with high ghosting probability – I hate the saying “millennials” always cancel interviews, not true- it happens to every age bracket. Work in identifying which roles are at higher risk and take extra screening steps. Once you have identified those roles that create higher risk, trying creating these steps.

1   Meet your candidates before submitting them. Adding a personal touch (and face time) makes it harder for people to back out. There is a relationship that has started and a feeling of personal commitment.

2   Walk your candidates in for interviews and start dates. This offers the same benefit as point one.

3   Discuss their background; don’t be afraid to address the issue head-on… “we have had issues with people no-showing for this role, will this be an issue for you?”