Hey employers, stop ‘ghosting’ your candidates!

Hey employers, stop ‘ghosting’ your candidates!

Employer “ghosting” is a real thing and it’s happening across all industries.  I recently read an article that was geared towards candidate “ghosting” and how that is impacting our companies in 2018.  All true facts and we are also experiencing that in my company.  As a seasoned recruiter of 27 years and the owner of two staffing companies, I have seen everything you could possibly imagine in the world of job placement and recruitment. Specifically within the healthcare technology space, we have seen a ton of ups and downs with the boom of EMR systems being implemented at health systems and clinics across the US, specifically with the popularity of Epic.  We went from a candidate driven market where these resources were calling the shots and the rates they were asking for were outrageous.  They held many of our clients hostage and most recruiters are fishing out of the same pond, especially if you had Epic certifications.  Then we moved into an employer driven market where our clients had so many candidates to choose from that they could pick and choose the “perfect” candidate, if there’s such a thing. I find that this ebb and flow happens about every 5 years.

Fast forward to 2018.  Our unemployment rate is at an all time low.  People are staying put in their roles and many have uncertainties about the economic future. So the candidate market has become a tight one for employers.  Then can someone please tell me why on earth employers still think its an employer market and they can take their time to respond to feedback on resumes, drag their feet on interviews, take weeks to schedule panel interviews and take an average of 4- 6 weeks to make an offer to a candidate after the candidate has been through the wringer on multiple interviews?

It’s a frustrating cycle for all of us job matchmakers and even more frustrating for the candidate.  In this highly competitive candidate market specifically in the technology sector that I work within, what is it going to take to convince our employers and our HR specialists to realize that candidates are looking for an excellent “candidate experience?”  Its not their market to “call the shots” on contracting rates and high salaries like it once was but let’s have a little bit of kindness in the process with our candidates so they feel special.  I don’t think that is too much to ask.

We had a new customer that I personally met with who was “desperate” (their words) to fill a cyber security role which would be a new position for their company but a key role for them.  We discussed the skills sets, cultural fit, timeline, process etc.  All of the basic things a good recruiter hones in on.  We were even given a specific timeline in which they would like to hire this person as a direct hire employee.  Within 48 hours, we had 6 qualified candidates vetted and in front of the client with full summary write ups of their background and narrowed down to their intentions of wanting to relocate, commitment level and disclosed the candidates other pending interviews to this employer.

Clearly our hiring managers get busy (as we all are), they get pulled onto unplanned projects, into unforeseen meetings, take vacations etc. BUT do you think that if they convey to their partner recruiter that they are “desperate” to fill this role that maybe there are some commitments to that partner to review resumes or set up interviews with a desired timeframe?  Well not in this case.  That position that we tirelessly worked on for 48 hours (which means 12-hour days for a recruiter, not 8) became insignificant.  Suddenly that position was quietly put on the backburner and guess who is the last to know?  The recruiter (us) and then the candidate.

No explanation, no response to our emails or calls.  It just faded into the sunset. When we finally connected with the Manager live after weeks, his response?  “Oh I’m sorry, we filled that role internally”.  Um, ok…that’s awesome that you found an internal employee to promote but what about the commitment we made to you and you made to us?  How about the 6 candidates that you never responded on?  Maybe a response from you or someone that you filled it would have been nice? Disappointing.

After doing this business for so many years I have become tired of the countless blogs and comments from clients that complain about recruiters not doing a good job for them, hounding them or not coming up with qualified candidates.  What about the recruiters that really do good work for you?  I’m tired of hearing from HR professionals and employers how candidates are difficult to deal with and “ghost” the client.  Yes, that is absolutely happening no one is denying that.  But for many, many years the shoe has been on the other foot.

The old saying goes “a recruiter is only good for you when you personally need a job”.  Well, that’s not the case.  We show up everyday for you, we do good work and we are professional.  We communicate, and we want to represent you to the very best candidates and vice versa.  We want our candidates to LOVE you and their experience with you and ultimately that falls on us when you disappear.  When you don’t return emails, calls, texts or you miss scheduled interviews, then we all suffer.

Can we look at the other side for a moment, stop pointing fingers at the candidates and recruiting agencies and maybe re-evaluate the priorities in which you are conveying to your partner agency?  Can your HR person treat us with kindness and respect as we treat them?  Can we work together for a common goal?  When you say “I need someone tomorrow” please be ready to provide feedback, communicate with us and make a decision.  If you don’t like the candidate pool you are seeing, then tell your recruiter.  If you give us all the tools to find that ‘perfect’ fit for your team, any good recruiter will.

We aren’t in this business to just make a placement with you here and there, we are in it for the long haul.  Through the ups and downs and we may even find YOU a job when you are tired of the one you are currently in. You don’t survive in this industry by not being transparent and genuine.  Let’s take a reciprocal approach to doing business together.  Let’s clean up the process a bit and for let’s have some urgency.

Candidates remember how they were treated by you as an employer and they certainly remember how they are treated by my company.  We are on the same team…to find you that candidate to fill your need.  We realize you have a lot on your plate but so do we and guess what? So, do those candidates you are seeking.

Ultimately, it’s a dating game.  If I’m a candidate I am thinking, I like you, I think you like me.  Let’s do some courting and then let’s either pull the trigger or cut each other loose.  That’s all candidates want to know.  They will always end up with the employer that made them feel special, wanted and needed.

As your professional recruiter, I will also tell you that money is less important to the majority of candidates over being treated special and desired and sought after, just as you the employer want to feel.  It works both ways. It’s a proven fact in my business and I have the data to back it up.  So candidates, please stop ghosting us and the employers and communicate your intentions and desires.  Employers, please do the same because we all need each other in this crazy world of job placement and recruitment.  You may not realize this until you are on the other side of the fence but I guarantee you that at some point we all will be.