Better Set Expectations To Eliminate “Ghosting”


(By Laurie Kahn) We hear from many of you how either an interviewee didn’t show up or about new hires who walk out the door without a word after only a short time of employment. How frustrating! What a waste of time and money!

As a professional recruiter, it tells me that the person wasn’t sold yet on the opportunity. We know that loyalty is low among the newer generations of workers. Many of their parents and grandparents were laid off after years of loyal service. Many have sent numerous resumes and left messages that never got a response. They don’t yet feel the need to be courteous in return. While I agree this is wrong, there are things that can be done to eliminate or lower the amount of ghosting.

People now can gather information in a much easier manner. They can find out if people like working for your company or not. They understand that in many cases, they are in the driver’s seat and if this job isn’t right, another one will be coming soon.

Having a strong career page with employee testimonials will help get them in the door. So will positive comments on social media and Glassdoor. Building a strong relationship and showing that the company cares will go a long way to help combat ghosting [ending a relationship by suddenly, and without explanation, withdrawing from all communication].

We talk about on-boarding. What many managers don’t understand is that on-boarding does not start on the new hire’s first day. On-boarding starts the day a company starts its existence. It is all about the culture, the reputation, how people are treated, what benefits and perks are offered, training, and the overall “candidate experience.” On-boarding is the “selling of the opportunity,” the interview process, and how that new hire is treated after accepting the job.

A prospective candidate needs to understand what is expected with the job, what the growth potential should look like, what to expect in a normal day, week, and month. The training process should be discussed in detail. There should be no surprises after they start.

Here are some tips to help be better at communicating with prospects and new hires:

– Go over the job description in detail, confirming there is an understanding of what is expected, what needs to get done when, and by whom.
– Lay out the process for interviews, offer stage, and the first few weeks of the job. They should know at every stage what is coming next, how long it will take and what to expect in each part of the process.
– Invite them to come to work for a day to get the lay of the land. Let them see first hand what their job will look like if they accept.
– Don’t let training be mistaken for micromanaging, let them know that in the beginning there will be more hands-on assistance.
– Confirm at the end of each meeting or day, there is a clear understanding of what was discussed, how it affects all parties, and probe to gauge the level of comprehension.
– Ask the right questions. Both in the interview process and after. It is important to know what is going on in the new hire’s head. What misconceptions did they come in with that can be corrected? What can you do better in describing the job? What training will be helpful?

It is a new world out there in the area of hiring and retaining. With 10,000 Boomers retiring daily, and the new generations having a different view of sticking it out, there will be more turnover, more often. It will be imperative to start building a positive program to not only attract, but to keep the workforce you need.

Laurie Kahn is the creator and founder of Media Staffing Network. She has worked with media companies since 1993 helping them hire top managers and sellers.


  1. Sorry, don’t agree at all Laurie. Salespeople should NOT be coddled, or handled in such a way that feeds their ego or thinking that it’s all about them. Because it ISN’T. It’s about the CLIENT. Salespeople need to leave their ego at the door, feed the client’s ego, and realize they have to be thick-skinned, because there will be rejection and there will be tough demanding clients.
    It’s about the money, period. If a salesman is good and they can make large money at your station, they will stay. If they are not good and/or the station pays cheap, it’s not going to work for either party no matter how much coddling.


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