New Hire No Show? Why Candidates Ghost a Job and What to Do About It

Making the right hiring decision can be a challenge. It’s only complicated further by candidates ghosting a job. Many hiring managers have found that ghosting is the new normal, but it doesn’t have to be.

While you can’t control every variable in the hiring process, a number of strategies can mitigate this ghosting trend. In addition, you can help to ensure that new hires succeed in their roles. Optimize your time and avoid job search ghosting by identifying and hiring quality candidates the first time.

A bad hire can cost you more than time and money. This is especially true if a candidate ghosts your team after scheduling an interview or even after accepting an offer. Egregious ghosting may cause low morale and frustration across the sales organization. This is particularly likely if the open role is highly visible or fulfills a key function organization-wide.

What is Candidate Ghosting?

In a general sense, ghosting is when a person stops communication with another person or group without explanation. In recruiting, this looks like an interview no show and first day no shows. It can even look like recruiters ghosting candidates during the hiring process.

As the job market ebbs and flows, power shifts from job seekers to recruiters, and back again. The more available roles, the more power a strong candidate has. They can interview with many companies and entertain multiple offers. If roles are limited and the market is tighter, recruiters have a great deal of power. They can choose between a large pool of highly qualified candidates. Regardless of the job market, a strong hiring process will attract many excellent candidates. In addition, it will reduce instances of ghosting no matter the circumstances.

Recruiters Ghosting Candidates

Ask any job seeker their biggest frustration when applying for a role, and you will likely hear a response that includes recruiters ghosting candidates for weeks, months, or forever. Due to the sheer volume of applicants for open roles, recruiters and hiring managers are often unable to personally connect with each applicant to provide feedback or even a short rejection.

The further an applicant goes in the interview process, the greater the expectation that the recruiter does not ghost them. Strong candidates may not be a good fit for a particular role, but a positive interview experience may lead to them applying for other roles. This will keep them in your general hiring pipeline. There is no established ghosting etiquette in the hiring process. So, even an email indicating application receipt can help keep candidates warm as you filter through a stack of applications.

Candidates Ghosting Employers

Job seekers ghosting employers may be doing so for a number of reasons and in a variety of ways. Something as simple as not replying to an interview request could fall under the umbrella of candidate ghosting. However, recruiters are reporting increased instances of interview no shows or even new hires not showing up on the first day of work.

The cost of these no show examples and of candidate ghosting can be high. And, that cost increases the farther a candidate makes it through the hiring process. By establishing strong, data-driven hiring practices, you can reduce candidate ghosting. These practices will help you hire top-tier professionals for your sales organization.

Download where to use assessments in the hiring process

Why Do Job Candidates Ghost Employers?

Job candidates ghost employers for a number of reasons. These factors may lead to a candidate ghosting a job interview, verbally accepting a job offer only to change their mind, or turning down a job after formally accepting. As a recruiter, you can mitigate many, but not all, external reasons for candidate ghosting.

  • Lack of excitement about the role: If a candidate isn’t excited about your company or the role they’ve applied for, they may choose to ghost instead of formally withdrawing from the hiring process. This is especially likely if they haven’t received any communication from the recruiting team. Communication is the best way for candidates to build positive affinity with your team.
  • Confusion about the role: Lack of clarity around responsibilities, job scope, and more can cause a job candidate to ghost. This is especially important when candidates are applying for multiple similar roles. A clear, well-written job posting will tell candidates if they should interview with your organization.
  • Unaligned compensation or benefit expectations: Candidates may ghost later in the hiring process if salary and benefit expectations are not aligned. This can be avoided with a clear conversation about compensation early in the hiring process. Allow applicants to remove themselves from the hiring process if compensation isn’t aligned. This will decrease the chances of them ghosting later on in the process.
  • Change in personal circumstances: Not all reasons for candidate ghosting are within control. At times, a candidate will have changes in their personal circumstances. For example, a new spouse, new child, or family emergency may cause them to withdraw from your hiring process without explanation. This can lead to ghosting, especially if the personal change causes the candidate to stop their job search entirely.
  • Change in professional circumstances: Especially in today’s market, a change in professional circumstances can lead a candidate to ghost a hiring manager. Everything from a new role, to an internal promotion, raise, or reorganization can push a candidate to disappear from your radar.

Handling a No Call No Show on their First Day Of Work

The most challenging type of ghosting is a candidate no call no show on their first day of work in a role. This can be particularly shocking if a candidate has shown no previous indication of ghosting and has expressed enthusiasm throughout the hiring process. If this happens to you, there are a few ways you can respond.

  • Reach out with compassion: Assume the best, and reach out via email or a phone call to check in on the candidate. In some cases, a no call no show may actually be a case of bad luck, like a car breakdown or an emergency.
  • Set a timeline: If you’re unable to reach the candidate, communicate a timeline. For example, ask for a response within 24 hours. In case of an emergency, you’ll be able to assess whether the candidate can still join your sales team, or if you’ll need to change course.
  • Don’t fear Plan B: If you don’t hear from the candidate, or if they are unable to start onboarding, move quickly to your Plan B. This may be calling another qualified candidate, or reopening the job posting. Whatever your Plan B is, do not hesitate to move forward quickly and efficiently to avoid the costs of a bad hire.

Even better, you can take steps to avoid no shows in recruitment, especially on a candidate’s first day of work.

  • Communicate clearly: Clearly share in writing the logistics for the candidate’s first day at work. Include information on start time, parking, dress code, meals, and anything else that may be relevant. Some information may seem basic, like your office’s address, but each detail will reduce stress and anxiety for the candidate. In turn, that will reduce the likelihood of a no show.
  • Convey enthusiasm: Continue to remind the candidate how excited you are to have them join the team. Even a quick note the day before their first day can remind a candidate why they chose your company and set everyone up for success.
  • Set expectations: Things don’t always go according to plan. Make sure to share details on who the candidate should contact if they are running late, have any issues accessing the building, or anything else comes up.

How to Prevent Interview No Shows

Interview no shows take many different forms. Regardless of the reason, interview no shows cost valuable time and money during the hiring process. While there is no foolproof method to avoid being ghosted, there are ways to reduce interview no shows.

  • Share details: Give candidates as much notice as possible when scheduling their interview and provide all details. Include any dress expectations, the interview format, and an agenda of what to expect.
  • Schedule efficiently: Even a perfect system can’t eliminate no shows entirely. Whenever possible, schedule efficiently. That way, you and other team members conducting interviews don’t lose valuable time on your already busy calendars.
  • Be flexible: Provide candidates with a range of interview times, including some outside of standard working hours. Depending on the reason, show grace to a candidate who is late or has missed their interview. Regardless of context, email or call them to either offer a new interview time or to remove them from the candidate pool.

How To Avoid No Shows In Recruitment With Chally

While it’s impossible to control every situation, there are steps you can take to avoid candidate ghosting. Be as clear as possible during the interview process and make strong hiring choices. Prevent no shows and candidate ghosting by identifying the right candidates to move to the next step of the hiring process.

Consider where and how pre-hire assessments will improve your hiring process. Then, integrate them into the hiring process. Doing so will increase high-quality hires who can immediately add value to your sales organization.

Screen for Better Hires with the Predictive Engagement Assessment

Chally’s 10-minute pre-hire engagement assessment screens for top candidates before you hire them. The easy-to-read results will guide you toward candidates with the highest on-the-job talent potential so that you can push them forward in the hiring process and avoid the risk of bad hires.

Deeply rooted in data beyond broad traits, this revolutionary talent assessment reliably predicts a candidates’ propensity to engage – to help you avoid candidate ghosting altogether. Learn how to get started with Chally’s Predictive Engagement Assessment.