Ghosting in The World of Recruitment


Ghosting in The World of Recruitment

We would like to start this posting with a brash statement … DSML Executive Search does not “ghost” anyone who we have engaged with regarding a career opportunity.  And, because of our approach and process, it is extremely rare that we find ourselves ghosted by candidates.

What is ghosting?

The term “ghosting” originated in the dating world where, following a date, one simply never hears from the other person again.  It happens in business as well and, unfortunately, is not a new phenomenon in the recruitment industry.

A troubling trend?

In a recent Indeed article it was noted that  “Job seekers are ghosting employers now more than before, but it is a two-way street and 77% of job seekers say that they have been ghosted by an employer.  The term “ghosting” may be new however, as previously stated, this behavior is not, especially with less experienced and poorly trained recruitment personnel.

It is not just at junior levels.

One might think that unprofessional levels of communication would only occur in the recruitment of more junior level positions, however, unimaginatively that is not the case.  Consider:

  • A candidate for Regional VP position, who had interviewed with seven senior members of the firm including the President, had been advised she would receive an offer by courier the following week. The week passed and, despite numerous follow up calls and emails, she never heard from anyone in the company again.
  • A candidate had interviewed for a senior level marketing position with a Fortune 500 firm. The selection process was managed by one of the “big five” executive search firms and, as one of three finalists, was told a decision would be made by the end of the week.  As in the example above, despite his follow up he never heard from anyone regarding the opportunity again. 

It does not have to be like this.

There are many things that companies, as well as the external recruitment firms they hire, can do to prevent this from happening.  In a recent SHRM article, one company who experienced a “no show” on the first day of employment came to the conclusion that change was necessary. “They realized that it’s up to them to make sure that the candidate is getting enough information about the job and the company and not to take for granted that everybody who goes through the process wanted to work for us.”

The recruitment firm you engage represents your brand.

We believe that, as executive search consultants, we represent our client’s business and that we are ambassadors for our client’s products, services, and culture.  The majority of people who we speak with, in any search, will ultimately not become employees of our client’s business and we have found that our reputation, through candidate interaction, as professionals in our field is extremely important.  Unless we are engaged in a confidential search, we eagerly provide candidates as much up-front information on our clients as available.

A thorough process at DSML Executive Search. 

  • Our team sets up a client intake call, at the beginning of every project, to fully understand the needs of the organization and the requirements for the position. This assists us in defining the correct candidate profile and establish rapport with those candidates we approach.
  • Our interview process is quite detailed as we constantly explore the “fit factor” with every candidate that we approach. We maintain a two-step interview process where each candidate speaks to at least two of our executive search consultants.  This further establishes trust and rapport with the candidates who are appreciative that we can provide them with all the answers to their questions both about our client, the specific role, and how they fit.
  • We meet as a team twice a week to discuss the candidate progression for each search as well as next steps. This includes a check list where our team monitors candidate progression within the search process, and whether candidates need to be informed of their current status.  No candidate is ever left out on a limb not knowing where they stand.

The are multiple benefits to this process.  Firstly, it serves us well as we take pride in the reputation of our firm as a quality consulting partner to our clients.  Secondly, it serves our clients well as we are in fact public relations representatives for their business.  And finally, as we have built a solid level of trust and confidence with the candidates we professionally engage with, it is extremely rare that we are ever ghosted.

Hiring is the most important decision a company can make, no matter what industry one is in.  If your company is seeking to recruit for a key position, such as CEO, COO, President, VP or other Senior level role, have a conversation with DSML Executive Search to ensure your search includes a “thorough” process and a “success based” strategy.