7 Ways to Prevent Employee Ghosting

Employee ghosting might be here to stay, but you don’t have to suffer. Here are 7 ways to reduce the impacts of ghosting on your organization.

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7 Ways to Prevent Employee Ghosting

So, you’re ready to send an offer to a candidate, but you receive crickets to your request to set up a final call? Or maybe your new team member never showed up to work? You could even find that a current employee slowly fades away and stops showing up to work.

These are all forms of employee ghosting and can be challenging for managers, HR leaders, and recruiters. So, what can your team do to prevent employee ghosting? Read on to learn more.

What is employee ghosting?

Let’s discuss what employment ghosting is.

For a long time, the only form of ghosting discussed was employer ghosting. This is when employers stop communicating with potential candidates due to internal issues in the hiring process. In an employer’s market, you might find that ghosted employees will re-engage when you’re ready to pick up the conversation.

Employee ghosting is when candidates or employees who were engaged in the recruitment process becoming disengaged. So, a candidate who might have been answering every call or email decides to stop responding or returning your messages. On the other hand, you might have an employee who was going to every shift but then stops showing up.

Acts of ghosting on either side can have a profound impact on hiring and work.

The impacts of employee ghosting

Workplace ghosting was an issue before the pandemic started. A 2018 study by Clutch noted that job candidates approved of ghosting companies but didn’t like being ghosted in return. The Clutch study did give some context on employee ghosting: Most candidates felt that early-stage ghosting was appropriate. On the other hand, ghosting after accepting an offer wasn’t.

After the pandemic, Indeed conducted another study on ghosting in the workplace. Indeed’s survey shared that employers had ghosted 77% of candidates since the United States onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Indeed’s study also noted that 28% of job seekers had ghosted an employer.

As a result, more companies are keeping track of “ghosts”. The study found that 54% of job seekers had faced consequences from ghosting. According to Indeed, job candidates ghost because they received another offer, decided it was not the right job, or didn’t receive enough money.

employers had ghosted 77% of candidates since the United States onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Indeed’s study also noted that 28% of job seekers had ghosted an employer.

How to prevent employee ghosting

Employment ghosting is a 2-way street. What companies do to candidates affects what candidates do to them. Thus, there are specific activities that companies can do to stop their ghosting problem in its tracks. Here are some strategies your organization can follow today:

1. Speed up your hiring process

Does it take you months to hire a new candidate? The best employees need a speedy process because they may be connecting with multiple companies. Before you list a new position, make sure you have everything squared away like the:

  • Number of positions you are filling
  • Pay for those positions
  • Number of interview rounds you want

Everything can move quickly when your hiring process is squared away before hiring. Speed matters when it comes to preventing employee ghosting.

2. Communicate with potential employees early and often

Communication is essential to prevent ghosting. Ghosting is a lapse in communication, so connecting can be the antidote. Make sure that you are communicating as often as you can.

Frequent communication can be daunting if you are hiring for multiple roles, so utilize technology to speed up communication across candidates. It can be difficult when you don’t have news, but sometimes sharing that information can keep candidates engaged in the hiring process. Honesty is a necessary part of the hiring process.

3. Be present, even after you have a signed offer letter

According to the report from Indeed, a quarter of employers have shared that they’ve had new team members not show up on their first day of work. A signed offer letter doesn’t always mean you have a new employee. As an employer, you must continue to connect, answer questions, and engage even after you have a signed offer letter. Start by creating a pre-boarding process to focus on employee retention.

4. Create a stellar onboarding process for new hires

Once an employee shows up, what do you do?

The next step is onboarding that team member and making them feel like part of your organization. Employees want to work with organizations they connect with. It’s not uncommon for employees to leave within the first 90 days of work. While you want to part ways with employees that aren’t happy, it can be challenging for HR and departments that are short-staffed. Make sure you put your best foot forward to keep hires if possible.

5. Engage employees throughout their company tenure

Employee engagement isn’t just for new hires. Employees must be engaged throughout their tenure. Make sure that you are:

  • Sending out engagement surveys
  • Celebrating important days like birthdays and big/small wins
  • Addressing workplace concerns

Over time your efforts will reduce employee ghosting and create happier employees.

6. Create an effective no-call/no-show policy

When an employee no-call/no-shows, it can significantly impact the workflow for all your team members. Managers and staff must pick up the extra slack because the company needs to run effectively. An effective no-call/no-show policy is challenging to create because you don’t want to be too punitive. Creating a punitive approach is ineffective for 2 reasons. These policies:

  • Alienate anyone with an actual emergency or reason they couldn’t show up
  • Aren’t a deterrent for anyone who didn’t show up for a malicious reason

So, what can you do?

Create an absence management policy that’s firm but allows for actual emergencies. For example, you can build an approach that factors in the number of offenses. You can also include ways that employees can make up for no-call/no-show days, like taking a shift for the person who helped them out. Eventually, this policy must address how to fire someone who continually misses work, but this shouldn’t be the first step.

7. Improve your organization’s off-boarding process and treat employees with dignity

Instead of being upset when an employee decides to leave, learn what you can, and create a better environment for your employees.

You may have heard horror stories of what happens after someone puts in their 2 weeks notice. “Fine, don’t bother coming in tomorrow” can be considered passive-aggressive and erode trust with current and future staff members.

If other employees see that you don’t value notice, they won’t give notice. We all know that an employee quitting without notice can be detrimental. Instead of being upset when an employee decides to leave, learn what you can, and create a better environment for your employees.

Employment ghosting may be here to stay

You may have heard that employee ghosting is here to stay. This fact can be challenging because hiring is already tricky without ghosting. There will never be a way to prevent employee ghosting entirely. Unfortunately, there are many reasons this happens, and you can’t control all of them.

However, with some attention to detail, you can create policies and procedures that reduce the impact of ghosting on your company. By working to bolster each step of the employee lifecycle, you’ll create an environment that candidates, new hires, and employees will want to work at.

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