Employers and their recruiters seeking top talent might learn a lesson or two from singer sensation Adele. In her mega-hit Hello, Adele asks, “I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet, to go over everything?” She follows with “Can you hear me?”

What Recruiters Can Learn From Adele’s Smash SingleWell, jobseekers are asking the same thing to potential employers. And while it’s not years but days or even hours since a candidate reached out, they too feel like “there’s such a difference between us, and a million miles.” Despite employers’ longing for top talent, they often play hard to get and fail to respond, even when the candidate is “the one.” That’s not just a bad business practice. It’s downright stupid.

These employers have their reasons…even when they demonstrate how out of touch they are with the way the world of recruiting works today.  More than half of employers (52%) respond to less than half of the candidates who apply and eighty-two (82) percent of employers think that a bad candidate experience has little or no effect on the company, according to a recent Careerbuilder survey. Employers used to get away with that behavior.

Jobseekers see it differently. But in today’s world of increased transparency and instant social sharing, jobseekers won’t play that game. They don’t have to.

Contrary to what employers believe, a jilted candidate may take revenge. They will note how they were treated and respond accordingly. Fifty-eight (58) percent are less likely to buy from that company if they don’t get a response. Sixty-nine (69) percent of candidates shun the company after a bad interview experience. In a world where a disappointed candidate can send his or her plight viral with the click of a few keystrokes, ignoring candidates is just plain dumb.

When a candidate applies for a job, he expects an immediate acknowledgement. In fact, eighty-four (84) percent expect a personal email response, and over half anticipate a phone call.  In this digital age, is there really any excuse not to acknowledge or thank the applicant via email? A customer won’t tolerate the silent treatment and neither will quality candidates.

As one might expect, first impressions are critical and have a significant impact on the quality of candidates inspired to apply.  Seventy-seven (77) percent are willing to accept a salary that is 5 percent lower than their expected offer if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process; even more (83 percent) would do the same if the company had a reputation as a great employer.

At a time when industry leaders and managers clamor for more qualified skilled workers, it doesn’t pay for companies to disregard the way that they hire potential employees. Ignoring texts, calls and emails from candidates who are following-up on the status of their application is rude, unprofessional and is all too common of a practice today. This practice of “ghosting” is not good for romance and it’s no better for recruiting. Employers need to rethink that attitude and show more respect to what many consider to be a business’s most valuable asset.  Clearly define your company’s recruiting and hiring process and then communicate it to your potential candidate.  That will manage expectations on both sides.

In a world where highly enabled and responsive communication is the norm, don’t let your company break the hearts of top talent or as Adele might say it, “It’s no secret that [you] are running out of time.”