You like someone, so you call them and talk on the phone for a while. Things go well, so you call them again, but there's no response. Days go by and you never hear from them again. In millennial parlance, this is called getting ghosted - and it's not limited to the dating scene.
As unemployment has fallen over recent years, job seekers have gained more confidence in the marketplace. In November, the unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent - the lowest it's been in over a decade. As that number drops, employers are more likely to get ghosted by candidates who leap at opportunities they perceive as better.
Employers and recruiters need to understand why employees and candidates disappear before they can take steps to mitigate this risk.
Understand why candidates ghost
Though there hasn't been a comprehensive study on the prevalence of ghosting in the workplace, The Washington Post reported that some experts estimate that ghosting instances have increased by 10 to 20 percent in 2018.
The tight labor market makes ghosting easier for candidates, but it isn't the reason behind the behavior. A major reason for the ghosting trend is likely wage stagnation. According to Pew Research, real wages - the purchasing power of an employee's paycheck - have not improved by much since the 1970s. Though there are many reasons for this stagnation, a contributing factor is employers' reluctance to raise worker wages by any significant amount. As a result, an employee's only recourse is to look for work elsewhere.
"Establishing clear expectations regarding communication is key," says Kimberly Ayers, Market Director for Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Washington, D.C. "A lot of people disappear because they've never been coached on communication and what the expectations are on both sides. You also need to understand how your job opportunity stacks up to the candidate's other options, and identify what is most important to their search."
In addition to compensation, employees and candidates may also disappear if they feel disrespected or uncomfortable at the office. Others may be on the hunt for more flexibility and a better work-life balance. Finding a comprehensive solution to this challenge requires stakeholders to have a clear idea of why they are losing talent to their competitors.
When employees are left in the dark, they'll likely to get anxious. If there are rumblings of change in the air and corporate leadership makes no effort to communicate with employees, it could increase the risk of ghosting.
Squashing rumors before they take on a life of their own is an easy problem to solve, however. Regular communication about the company's current situation and future can do a lot to calm employee nerves and make them less likely to leave.
Create a more flexible environment
According to a survey from FlexJobs, the number of employees who have quit a job due to lack of flexibility increased from 13 percent to 32 percent between 2014 and 2017. These individuals are looking for positions that can offer them a better work-life balance. Flexibility is especially important to parents who seek to spend more time with their families.
Employers should consider offering more paid time off, additional sick days and the ability to work from home when possible. These perks can make employees more likely to stick around, even if they are not completely satisfied with their current level of compensation.
Streamline your recruitment pipeline
Lack of communication and complicated forms can drive candidates away from recruiters. For example, if a company requires candidates to submit a resume and then enter in all of the same information into another form, many individuals are likely to get frustrated and leave the process before completion. Finding ways to streamline processes and make it easy to apply for positions can reduce the number of ghosting instances recruiters experience.
To fully optimize your employee retention strategy, you need to start with talented people who are dedicated to getting the job right. To find engaged candidates to fill your next open position, speak with the experts at Beacon Hill Staffing Group today.
This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.