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How to Prevent Ghosting in the Restaurant Interview Process

New hires can be hard to find — and keep — in a post-pandemic job market. Here are powerful interview tips to get candidates to say yes.

9 min read
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DoorDash is pleased to introduce a guest blog from our Merchant Benefits partner LANDED, the first end-to-end recruiting platform helping restaurants and hospitality employers hire top-notch candidates quickly.

Wooing a potential hire to take the job and then stay has become a game of 4-D chess. Job candidates are pursuing and taking other offers; they’re losing interest during long hiring periods; and often, they’re ghosting interviewers altogether, costing them valuable time needed to fill critical positions. In fact, 85% of restaurant owners say they’ve had trouble finding staff, and many have raised wages in an attempt to attract new talent.

While there are significant challenges to finding and maintaining new hires in the current job market, there are effective ways employers can reimagine their interview process to change a candidate’s "meh" to a resounding "absolutely yes!" 

1. Give an offer on the spot. 

When given the opportunity to accept an offer on the spot during their interview, job candidates are more likely to take it. 

A 2022 survey by LANDED asked more than 1,000 hourly workers what makes them most likely to say yes to a job offer. 45% of respondents listed an on-the-spot job offer in their top three reasons for saying yes to a job.

Potential hires are often interviewing with multiple companies at once. They’re looking for the right job, but mostly they’re on the hunt for the right opportunity. The quicker that opportunity presents itself, the more likely they are to take it, especially in an ultra-competitive market. Don’t be afraid to show too much interest too quickly, especially if there’s a candidate who feels like a great fit.

2. Schedule interviews 24-48 hours after initial engagement and communicate clear interview timelines.

The moment someone submits a job application is when anticipation and excitement for the job are highest. It’s critical to make contact with them within 1 to 2 days of submission.

The longer a candidate has to wait to hear back from you about interviewing, the more anxious or doubtful they’ll feel. They might question if they really want the job, or they may feel forgotten, neither of which are compelling motivators to say ‘yes’ when the time comes.

The first thing you should do after a potential hire submits their application is reach out to them and communicate a clear timeline of events leading up to the hire. This way, they know you respect their time and their interest. If their application seems like a good fit, you should be scheduling an interview with them ASAP.

"We’ll let you know as soon as we’ve made a decision," doesn’t cut it anymore. Without a clearly defined timeline, candidates are left with enough uncertainty to push them right out the door. 

3. Ask about other job opportunities. 

Employers can feel blindsided when great candidates accept other offers during the interview process. That’s often because there isn’t any communication about who else those candidates are interviewing with and what is incentivizing them to choose one offer over the other.

A potential hire may be interviewing with three or four other employers, quietly comparing them and making their decision without any discussion that could sway their choice in your favor. 

You can nip competition-related ghosting in the bud simply by asking candidates who else they’re interviewing with and what factors they’re considering. You may find new questions bubble to the surface for them, such as what is the opportunity for growth at your company or what can your company do for them that the next one they’re interviewing for cannot. 

4. Complete all interviews in one day.

When possible, completing all of a candidate’s interviews in a single day is ideal. Multiple rounds of interviews held across multiple days may give your team more time to participate and get to know a candidate, but it also gives your candidate more time to change their mind or get burned out by the process and look elsewhere.

Ghosting decreases when the amount of interviews a candidate has to participate in decreases.

5. Complete administrative hiring tasks live. 

Let’s say you’ve held your interviews, and you’ve successfully hired a new candidate. Half the battle is won. You also have to successfully get them throughout the onboarding process without dropping off and then ensure employee retention, which can be just as challenging as hiring them to begin with.

The best way to retain new hires is to complete (or at least begin) administrative onboarding tasks like background checks and document signing in-person as soon as possible, even right after the offer has been extended. This way, candidates don’t fade out during lengthy and tedious onboarding periods. 

Communicate these needs up front so job candidates know what to expect before they interview. As with every tip on this list, speed is imperative and the best way to get ahead of ghosting.

Vivian Wang

Getting ghosted doesn’t just occur leading up to the interview; it happens after the interview has been held as well. By focusing on speed and implementing such practices into your hiring routine, you can reduce candidate falloff and start driving more hires from your interviews.

Vivian Wang, Founder and CEO, LANDED

Resources for restaurant recruiting

Employers have a lot of plates to juggle, especially short-staffed employers. LANDED helps them do it all by finding, screening, and hiring the best candidate for the job so they don’t have to. LANDED finds, chats with, and screens candidates in real time, scheduling interviews with qualified candidates to get them through the door within that 24-48 hour sweet spot.

LANDED also minimizes ghosting by texting candidates, sending regular interview reminders and confirmations, and prioritizing speedy contact to maximize candidate-to-new-hire conversions. 

Learn more about LANDED, explore LANDED’s partnership with DoorDash merchant benefits, and sign up for LANDED today with an exclusive offer for a free month.


Vivian Wang
Vivian Wang

Founder and CEO, LANDED

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