Corralling Chaos Ghosting Survey: The Results
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Halloween ghosting survey! We saw some scary stories and we’re happy to share some of the results with you…. And our winning story, too!
Before we created the survey, we’d heard from several people that ghosting was an issue in many companies. So our survey asked people to tell us their experiences with companies which ignored candidates after a job interview. And we were surprised by the answers.
First, here’s a small summary of the survey results:
The problem of ghosting occurs in more organizations than we expected. And both small locals and large multinationals were cited as having ghosted job candidates. This also surprised us: small local companies should have a good personal touch for candidates, and large firms ought to have well-developed, professional talent recruitment and HR. The fact that many companies suffer from the same problem – regardless of location or size – demonstrates that ghosting is a significant problem.
So why would companies ignore candidates they’ve interviewed? The survey respondents had a range of answers on this. Most people blamed inefficient applicant tracking systems, but others thought the issue was that company staff felt too busy, or didn’t recognize the importance of the workers; nearly as many respondents flagged a fear of conflict.
But should companies care about this? The answer is a firm “yes.” The consequences of ghosting are dramatic. Most of our participants said they would never recommend that anyone apply to a company that had ghosted them. This frankly seems like common sense. A company that ignores potential workers before they even enter the firm is giving a clear signal: they either don’t care about people, or their internal processes are ineffective. And neither of those possibilities are attractive to potential employees.
Whether the reasons are inefficient recruiting processes, inattention, or conflict avoidance, all our participants said that ghosting is a red flag for fundamental dysfunction in a company – and is therefore a reason to stay away and even to speak negatively about that company.
Leaders of these companies should take note: in our modern, highly-connected world, word gets around fast. A reputation for ghosting will dramatically decrease the likelihood of recruiting top talent.
As an example, here’s our winning ghost story:
“I was told that I was the front-running candidate for a position filled through a recruiting company, and would be starting the following week once a final interview and onboarding was complete. I had already finished most of the payroll paperwork and received information on the benefit package. I turned down a couple of other offers to be prepared to begin the new position quickly. However, I was ghosted. After many attempts to follow up with the recruiter, he finally told me that the company he was representing was going a different direction in their hiring process. It took three weeks to get this information. Please just tell us what is going on!”
Chilling, isn’t it? Would you want to work for that company? Would you recommend it?
Your answer to both is probably “Heck, no!” And this is just one example. Our survey results made it clear that too many companies choose to ghost candidates, and it hurts their reputation among potential employees.
However, there is a silver lining in this situation, for those corporate leaders who listen to – and hear – these critiques: There is significant opportunity for employers to improve their interview processes, and their reputations among job seekers. All they need to do is follow-up with job candidates that they’ve interviewed.
They can fix this with just a little deliberate action, by choosing to create good hiring experiences, even for candidates they eventually decide not to hire. This simple activity will create a better reputation in the highly-competitive market for top talent.
What corporate leader wouldn’t want to run a company like that?