3 Tips to Reduce New Hire Ghosting

I want to talk about a scary trend in strategic conversations I’ve had with global talent acquisition leaders. From Healthcare to Technology to Staffing, no industry seems safe from a term I thought was dead and buried: “new hire ghosting”.

Yes, like Michael Myers I’m hearing repeated stories of new hires, “ghosting” their employers (not showing up to start and in some cases completely disappearing) after accepting the full-time job offer.

Here are three proven tips as a talent acquisition, ‘ghostbuster” I’ve seen incorporated to reduce new hire ghosting.

1. Understand the financial impact

Just like the old adage, “The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging there is a problem” goes; the same goes for talent acquisition and onboarding. My first piece of advice for customers or friends facing this challenge is to take a step back to look at how much new hire ghosting is costing the organization.

  • For instance, one Healthcare Talent Acquisition leader shared they were losing 25% of new hires for a critical operational role which was costing their business over $100k a month
  • Another shared that every day a mission-critical role went unfilled it was costing the company $1,000+ per day per position

That’s the type of terrifying math that gives CEOs nightmares and shows the financial impact of human resources and talent acquisition working efficiently (or not).

PivotCX is on a mission to reduce new hire ghosting

2. Improve/Start Pre-Boarding Engagement

The days of getting the accepted offer letter and waiting until the new hire starts to pick up the conversation again are over. With a large remote workforce and a tectonic shift in the employee/company working relationship, it’s no longer safely assumed that once someone sends back their signed offer letter, they are going to start.

From building and running successful pre-boarding/onboarding programs myself and partnering to do the same with 100’s talent acquisition leaders the formula is simple

  • Ensure you currently have a pre-boarding plan (the phase between the accepted offer and the day one start date)
  • Incorporate a personal welcome message from their new hiring manager, teammate, or executive leader
  • Leverage multiple channels for engaging communication (email, SMS, and video)
  • Have a simple call to action that the new hire can respond easily to

For example, I’ve seen companies leverage a quick recording from the CEO or hiring manager welcoming them to the team via an SMS message with a quick ask to send back their favorite band or to connect with them on LinkedIn, etc.

The question isn’t nearly as important as the purpose: “You are an important new hire and we want to know more about you”. These are starting points to make sure you have an engaged new hire joining. Conversely, it provides an early warning sign if you don’t hear back from them ahead of their first day.

Link to the full data

3. Evolve from Email to Leverage SMS in Your New Hire Messaging

One of the most attended and engaging webinars I’ve led this year centered around attracting, engaging, and hiring the GenZ workforce. I was joined by Elaine Davidson (she/her/hers) and we covered a full range of solutions (link to download webinar and materials here). When we unpacked the data from the bls.gov a powerful trend emerged: the workforce is at the same time eliminating an entire generation of workers while hiring another new generation of workers.

This seems like the perfect balance but the key here is communication. For one set of workers, email has remained the go-to method to communicate information. This has been the standard for the past 15 years but recently there’s been a shift. According to Fast Company (link to article here), Gen Z has three core communication channels with SMS being the runaway favorite. In fact:

  • SMS accounted for nearly 100% more than the second most used (email)
  • Not only Gen Z but Millennials and Gen X ALL preferred SMS to email

In closing, I’ve seen first-hand the financial impact new hire ghosting has on companies as well as the reverse for companies learning to reduce it. As the candy piles grow high tonight, I hope I’ve provided some serious food for thought for any talent acquisition leader looking to improve their new hire pre-boarding and put a stake in the heart of new hire ghosting once and for all.

Thanks for reading, liking, commenting on this post, and sharing with anyone in your network you think would enjoy starting their week with this quick read. The purpose of, “The Lighthouse” is to provide content to shine light on solutions to challenges facing all levels of professionals and I’m happy to keep this conversation going with anyone seeking to level up to the next stage in their career and please connect and follow me with the links below.

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Andre J. Boulais

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