How to Stop the Trend Damaging 93% of Employer Brands

How to Stop the Trend Damaging 93% of Employer Brands

While job candidates and new hires ghosting employers has been a trend for years, another disturbing hiring trend is coming into sharper focus again. That’s because more candidates are expressing their frustration about recruiters and their companies going radio silent at all stages of the hiring process—even after multiple interviews—just disappearing altogether without any communication. Zero follow-up, explanation, or closure. 

Disappearing on your job candidates isn’t just unprofessional, it’s bad for your employment brand and can have lasting repercussions. Since we are already in a historically challenging talent market (and shortage), employers don’t need to add any obstacles for themselves by creating PR issues that make it harder to attract applicants.

Think Ahead—Build a Better Talent Pipeline

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, payroll employment rose by 638,000 in October of last year while the national unemployment rate shrank down to 6.9%. While more candidates are back on the market, LinkedIn research data shows that employers are reverting to toxic practices. LinkedIn Senior Editor, Andrew Seaman asked professionals if they’d been ghosted by a potential employer post-interview after asking for more information. A whopping 93% of respondents replied in the affirmative.

Employers can’t hire everyone who interviews, however; that doesn’t make all the candidates a bad fit for the company—forever. And after all, even if it’s sometimes more aspirational than realistic, every applicant believes they are qualified for that position. Treating prospective candidates badly can quickly backfire.

First, if you’re building a talent pipeline and contact them down the road, they will remember not hearing back after multiple rounds of interviews. No one is going to walk back into that type of situation with eyes wide open, why would they?

Brace for a Challenging Talent Market

And with recruiting strategies and best practices in full flux as the COVID outbreak subsides, fewer qualified candidates are readily available as the economy accelerates back to normal. The American workforce has dropped due to parents leaving the workforce in throngs amidst the COVID outbreak. Now there are more job postings open and fewer qualified candidates available. 

Competing for quality talent in the new, new normal looks significantly different too. Job candidates conditioned to avoid change after a chaotic 2020 are unfazed about staying with an employer that makes a counteroffer for fear of losing their job later—hiring is too much of a challenge to be a serious threat. 

These four best practices can prevent unnecessary damage to your employment brand:

1. Respond sooner.

At the risk of losing great talent, make sure you are responding to applicants promptly. When employers take too long to review and make decisions that becomes indicative of how the business operates which instantly translates to losing quality candidates, and not just in the short term. Frustrated candidates can go to Twitter, LinkedIn, and other networks to air grievances. GlassDoor.com, known for its employer reviews, lets candidates share their interview experience with organizations. With more candidates doing their research, this can dissuade talent from interviewing or even applying to your company in the long run while adding some serious baggage to your search results.

2. Confirm, confirm, confirm.

Every candidate should receive a confirmation that you’ve received their application, which should be automated. But don’t stop there. Any applicant who asks for additional information or clarification on why they weren’t a fit should be acknowledged also. Be open and transparent about where you are in the hiring process. If a candidate asks why they weren’t selected for the interviewing phase be upfront to the best of your ability and let them know you’re keeping them in mind for the future if that’s actually the case.

3. Call your top candidates.

Whether they’ve completed one interview or five, you need to be contacting those candidates to thank them for their interest and time and let them know you’ve moved forward with another applicant. Not only is it the right thing to do but picking up the phone and expressing your appreciation for their attention to your company makes it easier to pick it up again if your selected candidate falls through or doesn’t work out on the job. Just like candidates remember the employers that made them feel disposable, they remember the ones who were responsive, caring, and respectful of their time and goals.

4. Be honest and direct.

Job searchers regularly receive notifications on the latest positions posted. If they applied the last time you promoted a role then it isn’t a stretch of the imagination that they’d see a re-posted position, right? Exactly. There is nothing more frustrating as an applicant than being told an employer is moving forward with another candidate or not hiring and then seeing the job pop up immediately again online.

Recruiters are in Public Relations.

Whether they realize it or not, recruiters are brand ambassadors, interacting with members of the community at large daily. Their engagement with candidates should be consistent, courteous, and reflective of the company values touted on your recruiting page. 

We can help.

At Staffing Strong, we build lasting relationships with talent and employers across the nation with a clear and transparent hiring process—every step of the way. Let’s talk about your hiring goals.

Meet the Author

Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time, Evelyn sits on various advisory boards and enjoys practicing on her drum set!

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