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How to Prevent Candidates From Ghosting You After University Recruitment Events

As if it wasn't challenging enough for recruiters to attract early career talent, they also increasingly have to worry about actually getting the people they've hired through the door. Talent reneging offers has become all too common, leaving recruiters scrambling to find replacements—especially when it's gotten close to the new hires’ start date. Now, another trend is creating problems for organizations looking for early talent: candidate ghosting. 

The unsavory practice that has become a plague in the dating world has managed to infect the workplace, and as a result, organizations find themselves dealing with candidate ghosting throughout the hiring process—from not showing up for interviews to even abandoning accepted jobs without a word—even after making seemingly good connections during university recruitment events. In fact, this has become such a prevalent problem for recruiters that an Indeed survey revealed 83 percent of employers have dealt with candidate ghosting. 

But that doesn’t mean you have to. 

3 Tips for Preventing Ghosting After University Recruiting Events

Despite the current trend, there are ways to prevent candidate ghosting so you can successfully reap the rewards of your hard recruitment work and get the early career talent you need. The following tips can help.

1. Shorten the Recruitment Process

The longer it takes for candidates to move through the recruitment process, the more likely they will be to change their mind about your organization and look for opportunities elsewhere. When you meet students at a recruitment event and it takes months for them to hear from you about an application, they won’t be likely to respond. Or if it takes a long time to schedule an interview, they may not feel any obligation to show up if other opportunities are on the table. Also, if there's a long period of time between the hire date and start date, you run more of a risk of candidates disappearing on you. To help prevent candidate ghosting, you can streamline your recruitment process so people aren't waiting months to hear back from you, or waiting to start a position long after they've accepted.

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2. Create an Attractive Employer Brand

Employer branding is clearly a large part of what will attract students to a recruitment event, but it's important to remember that the information a company puts out should keep potential candidates interested throughout the hiring process. Early career candidates pay close attention to a company’s employer brand, so if they discover it doesn't have a good reputation—especially when it comes to how it treats young professionals or handles diversity, equity, and inclusion—they have no qualms about ghosting that organization at any point. As a result, you need to regularly share information that illustrates you're supportive of early career talent, you offer resources to help them grow in their careers, and you value the things they value.

3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Communication is key when it comes to preventing candidate ghosting. Throughout the hiring process, you want to communicate frequently and transparently with candidates so they know what your hiring timeline looks like and exactly where they stand in it. Be sure to let candidates know explicitly what your hiring process entails, and how long it will take. This will show that you value candidates’ time and don't want them to fall through the cracks of your hiring funnel

Also, you should demonstrate that you care about candidates by encouraging them to communicate with you openly and honestly. To prevent candidate ghosting, take the opportunity to learn more about talent by finding out what’s important to them, what they expect from the workplace experience, and how your organization can help them reach their career aspirations. This will go a long way toward further connecting with candidates and helping them stay interested in your company. 

In addition, after you've selected a candidate, you want to continue communicating with them regularly. Even if you’re able to shorten the time between the hire and start dates, you still want to keep talent engaged so they’re invested in working for you. One way to do this is by organizing events for new hires, so they start becoming integrated into your company's culture. Things like virtual fireside chats with leaders and opportunities to sit in on meetings with employee resource groups can help new hires get to know your organization better, and feel like they’re a valued member of your staff.

Although candidate ghosting is becoming more common, it doesn't mean your organization has to be haunted by the impact of it. These tips can help you prevent candidate ghosting and increase the engagement of those you want to hire so they feel excited about working for you.

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