Episode #142 – The Top Reasons Why Animal Health and Veterinary Professionals “Ghost”

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #142 - The Top Reasons Why Animal Health and Veterinary Professionals “Ghost”
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Julea: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast,  Animal Health Executive Recruiter and Veterinary Recruiter, Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary organizations hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast episode, we’ll be talking about why some Animal Health and Veterinary professionals “ghost.” Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Julea. It’s great to be here. I have been looking forward to doing this podcast with you.

Julea: Stacy, let’s review quickly what it means for a candidate to “ghost.” Can you do that for us?

Stacy: Certainly Julea. I am happy to.  When a candidate “ghosts” during the hiring process, it means that they simply do not show up for something. It could mean they don’t show up for a phone screen or a face-to-face interview. Those are two of the most common occurrences. It could also mean that they disappear once they receive an offer of employment from an organization. In more extreme cases, they fail to show up for their first day of work after accepting an offer of employment, or if they do show up for their first day, then they fail to return to work after lunch or don’t show up their second day of work.

Julea: Wow, it is hard to believe that happens Stacy but you are saying those things have been happening in the employment marketplace?

Stacy: Yes, they have unfortunately, and that includes within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession.  Recruiters in other professions are seeing it happen more and more too. It is not only happening in the Animal Health and Veterinary industries.

Julea: Stacy, is the underlying reason why things like this are happening because we’re in a candidates’ job market?

Stacy: Yes, that would be accurate. The unemployment rate is low, especially in the Veterinary profession. Candidates have more options and they have more leverage, which leads to “ghosting” behavior.

Julea: You’ve talked before on this podcast about why “ghosting” is a bad idea for candidates, haven’t you?

Stacy: Yes, I discussed “ghosting” on the job offer during a previous podcast episode. Today, though, we’re going to talk about the topic from the point of view of the employer. We’re going to discuss some of the specific reasons that candidates “ghost” during the interviewing and hiring process. That way, if hiring managers have some insight into the “ghosting” situation, they’ll be better prepared to deal with it and hopefully, better prepared to prevent it.

Julea: That makes sense. Stacy, the title of our podcast episode is “The Top Reasons Why Animal Health and Veterinary professionals ‘ghost.” Where would you like to start in terms of those reasons?”

Stacy: Good question. Julea, there are a host of possible reasons, and those reasons involve the position, the organization itself, or a combination of the two. The first reason that I’d like to discuss is the organization not being a candidate’s top choice.

Julea: What does that mean?

Stacy: It means the candidate has a list of companies or organizations for which they would like to work, and the one that they eventually “ghosted” on was not near the top of the list. For example, perhaps they scheduled an interview with Company A, but then Company B also called them for an interview and they really like Company B. In fact, Company B is at the top of their list. So they simply do not show up for the interview with Company A and instead focus all of their energy on Company B.

Julea: But that doesn’t sound like the professional thing to do.

Stacy: That’s correct. It isn’t. Unfortunately, though, that hasn’t stopped “ghosting” from happening. It’s the reality of the situation, and employers must deal with this reality if they want to overcome the hiring challenges that are associated with it.

Julea: What are some other reasons why candidates “ghost”?

Stacy: Well, these next few reasons have to do with the organization itself. First, the candidate feels as though the position is a lateral move for them. Remember, top talent will rarely move for an opportunity that is not clearly better than the job they currently have. If they don’t believe the job is clearly better, then they ultimately will not make a change for it.

That’s why employers must actively “sell” the opportunity to candidates during the hiring process, and that includes all stages of the hiring process, starting with the job description. You just can’t roll out an ordinary job description or post an online job ad and expect top candidates to come flocking to it. That’s not going to happen, not in this candidate driven job market.

The second reason is that the candidate doesn’t see any advancement potential within the organization. They don’t see a clear career path for themselves. Yes, they had initially considered the opportunity, but at some point, they decided that the employer doesn’t have what they’re looking for. In other words, they don’t believe they can grow their career.

Julea: Stacy, is this why you advocate hiring managers  “selling” both the opportunity and the organization?

Stacy: Yes, that’s exactly right. When you’re trying to hire top talent, you can’t just expect the job itself to be enough. You also have to “sell” candidates on the prospect of working for the organization. That means you have to emphasize the value that the organization provides to candidates and prospective employees.

The third reason in this group is that the candidate is not sure of the company culture. Once again, this is something that the organization must “sell” to candidates. The candidates must be convinced that the company culture is one in which they can thrive.

Julea: Stacy, it seems as though candidates change their minds during the hiring process and simply drop out of the process. Is that accurate to say?

Stacy: Yes, that is accurate to say. Just because a candidate agreed to enter the interview process does not mean they will stay in it all the way to the end. To put it another way, it is dangerous to assume they will stay in it all the way to the end. Candidates do drop out for a variety of different reasons and they do it all the time.

Let’s talk about our final two reasons why Animal Health and Veterinary candidates “ghost” occur during the latter stages of the hiring process.

Julea: What reasons are those?

Stacy: The first one is that the candidate is close to accepting an offer of employment with another organization. Top candidates typically interview with more than one organization, so if they think they’re about to receive an offer from one employer, then they simply drop out of the hiring process of the other employer. Or employers, plural, if they’re being considered by more than two organizations. They disappear because they think they have a job offer “in the bag.”

The second reason is that the candidate is using an interview or an offer of employment from a prospective employer in order to obtain a counter-offer from their current employer.

Julea: So you’re saying that’s a deliberate attempt on the part of the candidate to try to get a counter-offer from their current employer by going on an interview with another organization?

Stacy: Yes, that’s the case, although it may not have started out that way when the person began looking for another job. They might have thought they were actually ready to leave their current employer, or at the very least, they wanted to see what was out there in the marketplace. Once again, though, at some point they decided to use interest from another employer and leverage it against their current employer for a raise in salary or other benefits and perks.

And that’s why they simply disappear from the hiring process of the organization that showed interest in them in the first place.

Julea: Wow, Stacy,  how can Animal Health and Veterinary employers stop these kinds of things from happening?

Stacy: Well, as you might imagine, Julea, it can be challenging. But as we’ve mentioned throughout today’s episode, an employer absolutely has to “sell” candidates on both the position and the organization. In fact, it should “sell” the entire opportunity as a chance for the candidate to advance their career.

In addition, the employer must keep candidates engaged as much as possible during every stage of the hiring process. This means communicating on a consistent basis and letting each candidate know where they stand and what the next steps of the process are going to be. I know this sounds like it takes a lot of time, energy, and effort, and that’s because it does. However, this is what is required in today’s market if employers wish to have a chance to hire the best candidates.

“Ghosting” is wrong and unprofessional, as I’ve said on many occasions. But once again, it’s the reality of the marketplace for employers. They have to take it into consideration when they’re trying to hire, and they have to do whatever they can to prevent it from happening. Yes, candidates are “burning bridges” when they engage in this type of behavior, and in a way, if a candidate is going to “ghost,” then you don’t want to hire them, anyway. But when it happens, you lose precious time and energy that could be devoted to hiring the person who will really make a difference for your organization.

Julea: Stacy, this is such great information and thank you sharing your expertise with us today. Before we go today, I want to mention, for those people who are considering a job change, there are plenty of employment opportunities on The VET Recruiter website and for companies in need of hiring talent to fill critical job openings reach out to Stacy at The VET Recruiter.

Stacy:  Thank you Julea. We do have job opportunities that can be found on The VET Recruiter website.  For those listeners who want to change their current situation and are interested in exploring Animal Health jobs or Veterinary jobs, I invite them to visit our website at www.thevetrecruiter.com. We are always looking for top talent who we can place with our client’s organizations.  If you are an employer in the Animal Health or Veterinary industry with a critical hiring need reach out to use so we can talk about how we can help you.

Julea: Once again, the website address for The VET Recruiter is www.thevetrecruiter.com. Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: It’s been great to be here Julea and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health Employment Insider!