Ghosting After the Acceptance – Why Talent Acquisition’s job doesn’t end with “Yes, I accept”

Ghosting After the Acceptance – Why Talent Acquisition’s job doesn’t end with “Yes, I accept”

Like most of the country, we are experiencing an extremely tight employment market in Los Angeles, making it increasingly difficult to acquire talent. Once you’ve extended a job offer, and the candidate has accepted, then you can relax, right? Wrong: A recent study conducted by the research firm, Clutch, indicates that nearly 1 in 10 job seekers (9%) believe it’s acceptable for candidates to ghost after accepting a job offer.

Regardless of why it happens, ghosting indicates a failure of communication.

Here are 3 key things you should do to increase the odds that your new hire will show up:

  • Coach them through the resignation process with their current employer (this is important!)

Given the competitive job market, their current employer will likely try to retain them – wouldn’t you? Helping them prepare to give notice is key. Their goal should be a clean break, keeping their reputation and relationships intact while making it clear that their decision is final.

Always ask the candidate to follow up with you after they give notice. If there is a chance of a counter offer, you’ll want to walk them through the reasons why it’s a bad idea. There are numerous statistics available online regarding the downside of accepting counter offers (I could dedicate a entire article on just that topic).

  • Continue “selling” them on your company after they’ve accepted the offer

You want new employees to be excited about coming to work for you. This is a great opportunity to extend your employer branding and marketing tools beyond the point of acceptance.

For example, invite them to join social media and networking sites that highlight your company’s culture and successes, or announce them joining the company if they give you approval. If the time between acceptance and their start date is longer than average (more than 2-3 weeks), develop an individual candidate communication campaign that includes regularly scheduled outreach to keep them engaged.

  • Streamline your onboarding process and include candidate deliverables

Make your employee onboarding process as simple as possible. Set their expectations regarding what you’ll need from them such as online new hire processing, background screening, etc.  It’s important that candidates are aware of the requirements and timeliness so there is no delay to their start date. Likewise, if there are contingencies around their offer such as a clear background check, or references, keep them updated on the progress. Having several touch points, or deliverables, during the onboarding process keeps them engaged and in communication.

Unless you have the luxury of a concierge-level onboarding team, Talent Acquisition should monitor the onboarding process through to completion.

If you remain in contact with your candidates on a regular basis, including coaching them through their notice, engaging them through social media and networking, and closely monitoring the onboarding process, you should be able to identify red flags such as counter or competing offers. This should increase the likelihood that they will actually be there on Day 1.

About the author:

Becky deSouza, former Entertainment Industry Recruiter, is now a Partner with Conexus, an LA-based Executive Search Firm. She leads their Human Resources Search Practice, working across multiple industries and has successfully completed searches at the management through executive levels in HR and People Operations, Compensation/Total Rewards, Talent Acquisition and Learning & Development. or connect via LinkedIn