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Does this sound familiar? You interview candidates for a job opening, you find a qualified applicant who fits the bill, he or she has a good interview, and after careful consideration, your company extends an employment offer—except you never hear back. For days or even weeks, the job candidate doesn’t return your emails, your phone calls, or your texts. Their LinkedIn page hasn’t changed, but it’s as if they just disappeared.

The phenomenon of job candidates “ghosting” companies after an interview is becoming common enough that if you haven’t experienced it yet, you probably will at some point. It can be immensely frustrating, particularly if you were certain you’d found a great fit for the position. A big part of what makes it so frustrating is that employers and HR professionals rarely, if ever, find out why it happened.

While it can be comforting to write these people off as crazy, the truth is, something usually scared them away from your business. In order to get the quality employees your company needs to succeed, it pays to start asking how you can prevent it from happening again.

Here are some common mistakes that recruiters and HR pros make during the hiring process that can lead to ghosting:

1. Being too tough in the interview
It’s tempting to put on our tough negotiation face when it’s time to interview a bunch of job candidates. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to aim for “firm and confident” and land on “power-tripping jerk.” Good job candidates want to feel welcome. Remember that job interviews for the best candidates are a two-way street. Be on time, be friendly, and remember to smile—exactly the sort of thing you’ll expect from your job candidates.

2. Failure to follow up promptly
Don’t leave your interviewees hanging for too long after the interview. Even if the candidate is no longer being considered, contact them within three days of the interview without fail to update them. Too often, companies fail to recognize the brand damage they may be causing by failing to follow up with candidates. Not only is it likely that the candidate may feel insulted enough to not consider your company in the future, but they’re also very likely to spread the word among their own network. You don’t want to be ghosted. Why would they?

3. Inconsistencies
If job candidates are told one thing in the job posting and another in the interview, it can quickly sour their view of your business. Make sure that everyone involved in the hiring process is crystal clear about the job’s duties and that they are communicated consistently to job seekers at every step. No one likes feeling lied to, and no one likes their time wasted. Make sure your job candidates don’t feel jerked around by discrepancies in expectations.

4. Feeling unwelcome
Make sure that your job postings and other brand materials are inclusive enough that you’re not making qualified applicants feel unwelcome. A little diversity on your website or in a job interview goes a long way in communicating that skill and experience matter more than gender or heritage.

5. Slow time-to-hire
How long does it take you to extend an offer? Too long, and candidates may simply give up on you—or take another position. Streamline this process as much as possible and keep your candidates updated on the process, whether they’re still being considered or not.

Before you extend any offers, be upfront that your business requires background screening and drug testing as a condition of employment. You’ll be surprised how well this eliminates “ghosting” from your hiring process. KRESS helps business across the Houston area set up the pre-employment screening processes they need to hire a great workforce. We can help you, too. Call us today at 888.636.3693.