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The simple mistake that wrecks your recruitment

Tech recruiter Gavin Fox explains how ghosting job applicants can damage your employer brand and turn candidates from ambassadors to saboteurs.

You might think the term ‘ghosting’ is reserved for dating app interactions, or teenagers who can’t articulate their romantic feelings. But it’s a huge problem in recruitment.

When employers ghost candidates, they do all kinds of damage to their talent pool and brand reputation.

I was cautious about writing this article. I didn’t want it to be a snide, opinionated affair if I didn’t have any evidence to back it up – especially since I’m just as guilty of this working in agency recruitment, which only emphasises the cultural need for change. But recruitment software company TribePad has shared research into employer ghosting, confirming my hunch.

Click here to check out the top sci-tech employers hiring right now.

The impact of ghosting in recruitment is monumental. 65pc of UK adults surveyed had been ghosted during the recruitment process, and 86pc of those candidates said the experience made them feel bad about themselves.

Every time you alienate a candidate by ghosting them, their confidence dips. As an employer, you might think, ‘So what?’ If they were the wrong candidate for the role, why does it matter how you made them feel?

It matters, because it’s extremely damaging to your employer brand. That candidate has friends and connections who could possibly be perfect for your company. And when they hear how you mishandled an applicant, they probably won’t apply for your jobs.

According to the 2021 Edelman Trust barometer, 53pc of those surveyed consider people like themselves to be an extremely or very credible source when it comes to information about a company. Friends trust their friends. Therefore, a candidate can be your ambassador or saboteur, depending on your behaviour.

When it comes to recruitment ghosting, there are some common tactics companies use, with different impacts. Let’s explore some of these.

Snail ghost

You post a job and get lots of applicants. Too many. It takes you so long to screen them that candidates don’t hear from you for two weeks. When they finally do, you’re booking interviews another two weeks in advance.

Meanwhile, they’ve been interviewing here, there and everywhere. By the time you pull your finger out and hit reply, they may have already accepted an offer.

I won’t pretend this is an easy challenge to solve, but preparedness is key. Make sure you have the facilities to handle lots of applicants, and keep them up to date with emails, phone calls, or any other communication that keeps them in the loop.

As soon as you go silent, they go elsewhere.

Automated ghost

You post a job and get lots of applicants, and you know that means lots of time to be spent assessing them. So, thoughtfully, you send out an automated email to say you’re inundated with CVs and successful applicants will hear back.

You pick your favourite 10, and the rest of the CVs find their way into the shredder (or Google trash can, this isn’t 1990).

While you get excited about seeing which of the 10 has the X factor, those other candidates are waiting for some kind of acknowledgement. They don’t even know they’ve been rejected.

It’s simple to schedule an email that says: ‘You were unlucky this time, but we’ll keep you on file. Thanks for applying!’ Give people closure. It’s the least you can do for the hours they spent writing their application.

Heartbreaker ghost

Now you have your top candidates, it’s time to give them an interview. Or maybe a tech test. Whatever comes first for your company.

You interview the candidates and there are some great contenders. You shortlist half of them for a final interview. The rest were unsuccessful.

Except, instead of telling the rest of them they were unsuccessful, you just move on with the shortlisted ones. Those candidates who didn’t make the cut might be ace in a few years’ time. They could turn into exactly the kind of developers, project managers, or data scientists you need in five years.

But you disappear off the face of the earth. And they think, ‘I’m never applying there again.’

You can fix this, easily. Pick up the phone. Tell them they didn’t get shortlisted. Give them one piece of feedback. End on good terms. You can do that in the space of 10 minutes, and it’ll do wonders for your reputation.

Turning the tables

When I was researching this article, there was one study I found particularly amusing. Because, on the flip side, three quarters of UK adults surveyed by Viser have ghosted employers in the last 18 months.

According to that same survey, 24pc of those candidates said it was due to an inaccurate job description. It appears that when employers actually bother to embrace comms, they’re still being deceptive.

I promise you, if you ghost candidates at any stage of the hiring process, it will come back around and hurt your employer brand. Whether they become exceptional candidates who no longer want to interview at your start-up, or their talented friends get put off applying, how you behave has a direct impact on the quality and quantity of candidates you receive.

When you take too long to reply to successful candidates, or don’t bother informing them, you shrink your talent pool. Not just for today, but for the future.

Leave ghosting on the dating apps, and stay present in your recruitment process. Or the consequences will haunt you forever.

By Gavin Fox

Gavin Fox is a director at tech recruitment firm Martinsen Mayer with 14 years’ experience in the industry. He is also founder of Dublin Tech Talks, a meet-up group and podcast series.

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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.

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China Reveals Lunar Mission: Sending ‘Taikonauts’ To The Moon From 2030 Onwards

China Reveals Lunar Mission

The Voice Of EU | In a bold stride towards lunar exploration, the Chinese Space Agency has unveiled its ambitious plans for a moon landing set to unfold in the 2030s. While exact timelines remain uncertain, this endeavor signals a potential resurgence of the historic space race reminiscent of the 1960s rivalry between the United States and the USSR.

China’s recent strides in lunar exploration include the deployment of three devices on the moon’s surface, coupled with the successful launch of the Queqiao-2 satellite. This satellite serves as a crucial communication link, bolstering connectivity between Earth and forthcoming missions to the moon’s far side and south pole.

Unlike the secretive approach of the Soviet Union in the past, China’s strategy leans towards transparency, albeit with a hint of mystery surrounding the finer details. Recent revelations showcase the naming and models of lunar spacecraft, steeped in cultural significance. The Mengzhou, translating to “dream ship,” will ferry three astronauts to and from the moon, while the Lanyue, meaning “embrace the moon,” will descend to the lunar surface.

Drawing inspiration from both Russian and American precedents, China’s lunar endeavor presents a novel approach. Unlike its predecessors, China will employ separate launches for the manned module and lunar lander due to the absence of colossal space shuttles. This modular approach bears semblance to SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, reflecting a contemporary adaptation of past achievements.

Upon reaching lunar orbit, astronauts, known as “taikonauts” in Chinese, will rendezvous with the lunar lander, reminiscent of the Apollo program’s maneuvers. However, distinct engineering choices mark China’s departure from traditional lunar landing methods.

The Chinese lunar lander, while reminiscent of the Apollo Lunar Module, introduces novel features such as a single set of engines and potential reusability and advance technology. Unlike past missions where lunar modules were discarded, China’s design hints at the possibility of refueling and reuse, opening avenues for sustained lunar exploration.

China Reveals Lunar Mission: Sending 'Taikonauts' To The Moon From 2030 Onwards
A re-creation of the two Chinese spacecraft that will put ‘taikonauts’ on the moon.CSM

Despite these advancements, experts have flagged potential weaknesses, particularly regarding engine protection during landing. Nevertheless, China’s lunar aspirations remain steadfast, with plans for extensive testing and site selection underway.

Beyond planting flags and collecting rocks, China envisions establishing a permanent lunar base, the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), ushering in a new era of international collaboration in space exploration.

While the Artemis agreements spearheaded by NASA have garnered global support, China’s lunar ambitions stand as a formidable contender in shaping the future of space exploration. In conclusion, China’s unveiling of its lunar ambitions not only marks a significant milestone in space exploration but also sets the stage for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of humanity’s quest for the cosmos. As nations vie for supremacy in space, collaboration and innovation emerge as the cornerstones of future lunar endeavors.

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Aviation and Telecom Industries Reach Compromise on 5G Deployment

The Voice Of EU | In a significant development, AT&T and Verizon, the two largest mobile network operators in the United States, have agreed to delay the deployment of 5G services following requests from the aviation industry and the Biden administration. This decision marks a crucial compromise in the long-standing dispute between the two industries, which had raised concerns over the potential interference of 5G with flight signals.
The aviation industry, led by United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, had been vocal about the risks of 5G deployment, citing concerns over the safety of flight operations. Kirby had urged AT&T and Verizon to delay their plans, warning that proceeding with the deployment would be a “catastrophic failure of government.” The US Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the issue further highlighted the need for a solution.
In response, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) head Steve Dickson sent a letter to the mobile networks, requesting a two-week delay to reassess the potential risks. Initially, AT&T and Verizon were hesitant, citing the aviation industry’s two-year preparation window. However, they eventually agreed to the short delay, pushing the deployment to January 19.
The crux of the issue lies in the potential interference between 5G signals and flight equipment, particularly radar altimeters. The C-Band spectrum used by 5G networks is close to the frequencies employed by these critical safety devices. The FAA requires accurate and reliable radar altimeters to ensure safe flight operations.

Airlines in the US have been at loggerheads with mobile networks over the deployment of 5G and its potential impact on flight safety.

Despite the concerns, both the FAA and the telecoms industry agree that 5G mobile networks and airline travel can coexist safely. In fact, they already do in nearly 40 countries where US airlines operate regularly. The key lies in reducing power levels around airports and fostering cross-industry collaboration prior to deployment.
The FAA has been working to find a solution in the United States, and the additional two-week delay will allow for further assessment and preparation. AT&T and Verizon have also agreed to not operate 5G base stations along runways for six months, similar to restrictions imposed in France.
President Joe Biden hailed the decision to delay as “a significant step in the right direction.” The European Union Aviation Safety Agency and South Korea have also reported no unsafe interference with radio waves since the deployment of 5G in their regions.
As the aviation and telecom industries continue to work together, it is clear that safe coexistence is possible. The delay in 5G deployment is a crucial step towards finding a solution that prioritizes both safety and innovation. With ongoing collaboration and technical assessments, the United States can join the growing list of countries where 5G and airlines coexist without issue.

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