If Candidates Are Ghosting You, Is It a Sign Your Position Isn’t Anything Special?

That’s the interesting take away from this piece in Barron’s from early this year, and one that I think has some truth.

White-collar jobs, where much of the recruiting action is, don’t look that different from food processing. As much as 95% of hiring is for experienced workers who will step right in and perform a job they have already done someplace else. Any job in which the tasks are pretty similar, and the easiest attribute to differentiate one from the other is the pay, will suffer the same problem.

Transactional workplaces lead to transactional hiring, which leads to ghosting on both sides. Everyone’s feelings get hurt, and we are no better off in the end.

As I see it, the problem isn’t so much that candidates have gotten rude. They are simply responding to two things:

1. Employers increasingly don’t respond to applicants.

2. There are any number of jobs in the same industry doing the same work. What difference does it make which company they work for?

The first reality is just that, reality. I don’t foresee anyone going back to the days of personally responding to everyone who submits a resume for a job. So, if employees want to treat the application process the same way, well, that’s their prerogative. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it, because it’s usually a small world in your industry and people have long memories.

The second point though, is kind of new. I wish I could say the eDiscovery world was different but it’s really not. I’m doing almost the same work I did at a law firm earlier this year, just with a vendor now. I still run searches and productions, process and load data, and report to attorneys. The only real difference is where I do the work. That’s the reason I made the change. For a lot of other people, it’s the bump in pay they get from changing jobs.

So again, I ask. If there’s nothing special about your position, when compared to every other company in your industry, why wouldn’t candidates find a position elsewhere and then just ghost you?

And don’t answer with how special your company culture is. Every other company in your industry says the same thing about theirs too. It’s not special.

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