News |6 min read

8 Tips on How to Stop Job Candidates from Ghosting You

Christi Bintliff with text, "Real-world insights from AADOM authors"

You took time out of your busy schedule to write the perfect ad and weed through numerous resumes just to find a handful of select candidates that meet the criteria.

Then you start reaching out to the applicants. From the first call, hopefully, you feel a connection and invite them to your practice for an interview.

Here is where things can start going wrong: the dreaded “no show.” No call, no email, nothing but radio silence. You are left puzzled as to what went wrong.

For those that do make it to the interview, you might get lucky and realize you hit the jackpot with one or more that check all the boxes. Thank goodness, right? You can’t believe that you managed to find what appears to be a match made in heaven.

But, just to be sure you select the right one, you schedule a skill assessment interview.

Out of nowhere is another “no show.” No call, no email, nothing. That’s ok because the other one shows up and performs flawlessly; they like the office, the team loves this person, the doctors are impressed. Score!

It’s a WIN-WIN, right?

Not just yet… You make the offer, they accept, and you set a start date. All systems go! What a relief!

Well… that was until the start date, and the perfect person is a “no show.” No calls, no email, nothing! By now, you are crushed and completely dumbfounded.

What could possibly explain this bizarre trend?

You, my friend, have been GHOSTED!

Ghosted by job applicants

The term “ghosting” comes from the dating world, in which one person ends a relationship by disappearing with no explanation or form of communication. It’s also a growing trend that is becoming more common in the workplace and, most especially, in professional fields (including dentistry).

There are candidates who don’t show up for interviews, potential hires never responding to offers, and those that accepted a position and bailed on their first day.

How rude, right?

Some may say that employers have been ghosting their candidates for decades. It’s not uncommon to apply for a job and never hear back. While it doesn’t feel great for the job seekers, it’s understandable when the employer receives hundreds for one vacancy.

But, why have the tables turned with the employers now being ghosted? It’s simple that candidates are faced with more options. But there’s also a growing global skills gap.

The power balance favors job seekers, particularly in our profession, who are happy to play the field – moving from one opportunity to another because they can literally choose where they want to work and dictate their paycheck.

How to stop ghosting during the hiring process

Here are some best practices to assist you in minimizing the ghosting trend and its effects on your dental practice.

1. Your hiring process lacks structure

Every practice needs to have a structured recruitment process. Every new job must be planned, and you must set a timeline for interviews, hiring, and filling the position.

The leadership team must contribute, be on the same page regarding minimum requirements and salary, and confirm their availability before interviews commence.

If you work to a predetermined plan, you can tell candidates what to expect from the kickoff.

2. You take too long to respond

Trends show that top talent is off the market in as little as 10 days. You need to respond to top candidates on the same day they apply. If you leave top candidates waiting, they will be snapped up by someone else.

3. Your interview process is disorganized

This ties in with structure and planning. Previously, we accumulate resumes or applications for a few days and then select the best. No more!

You must contact the best applicants right away and set up a screening interview as soon as possible. If the candidate makes it through the initial screening, send them an email detailing the interview process and the anticipated timeline.

4. Your job description is unrealistic

The job description should be one of the first steps in the planning process. It needs to be comprehensive, a realistic reflection of the job and the working environment, and reflect the company culture and vision. You must put a lot of consideration into the job title.

Generic titles and job descriptions can be misleading, and candidates could be disappointed if they attend an interview only to find that their expectations aren’t met.

Research shows that 72% of hiring managers say they provided clear descriptions, yet only 36% of candidates feel the same.

5. Your recruitment process is automated… in the wrong way

Automation is vital to good candidate communication, but don’t automate all communication once the interview process has started.

Win interviewees back to the table with persuasive language.

Personalize the communication by mentioning what you admire about their skill set and how they’d be a valuable addition to your team. End the message with specific next steps, such as “I’d like to schedule a follow-up meeting for later this week to discuss the job offer and a possible start date.”

Always thank the candidate for attending an interview, whether it went well or not. After all, you did invite them to your practice.

6. Use alternative forms of communication

Some millennials and Gen Zers don’t check their email often. And they are unlikely to take a phone call from an unknown number.

If you’re having trouble reaching interviewees, send them a text message instead.

7. Your employer brand has no identity

Your culture, values, and vision must not only be reflected in the ad but resonate in brand identity.

Many applicants will research a company before they apply (if it isn’t a blind ad), and almost all candidates will do further research once you’ve responded to them.

Your online presence must tell candidates what they can expect if they join your practice.

8. Make an offer they can’t refuse

Skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced candidates are in high demand. You don’t have the luxury of lowballing the salary, even if you’re willing to negotiate it higher.

You can avoid turning off your top pick if you note above-average compensation right away. A sign-on bonus may also sweeten the deal.

Being ghosted is very upsetting. No one wants to get ghosted by a candidate, but it happens.

Keep in mind that even if you develop a great hiring process with superb communication, some folks just won’t show up. Manage your expectations by being the best recruiter you can be.

It can help to read up on current hiring trends to stay informed on shifts in workplace culture. If you do your part, then you should see a decline in candidate ghosting.

Meet the Author

AADOM Author, Christi Bintliff, smiling in a floral topChristi Bintliff is a practice administrator and in-house coach for a multi-doctor dental practice in Durham, North Carolina. She is also a dental performance and development consultant with more than 30 plus years of experience in dental practice leadership and management.

In 2019, she successfully launched her consulting company, LEAP 2 Solutions… This text opens a new tab to the official website….

In her spare time, she enjoys DIY home projects, recycling and repurposing discarded items in the most unexpected ways, and landscaping and gardening.



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