Top News

Ghosting a new work phenomenon

Job searchers are blowing off hiring managers, abruptly cutting off all contact or don’t show up for job interviews, without apparent warning or explanation, and it’s causing lots of headaches according to a new survey by expresspros.com.
Job searchers are blowing off hiring managers, abruptly cutting off all contact or don’t show up for job interviews, without apparent warning or explanation, and it’s causing lots of headaches according to a new survey by expresspros.com. - Contributed

Ghosting isn’t just a widespread online dating phenomenon – seems it’s on the rise on the employment terrain.

Job searchers are blowing off hiring managers, abruptly cutting off all contact or don’t show up for job interviews, without apparent warning or explanation, and it’s causing lots of headaches, frustrations and challenges, reports a new survey by expresspros.com.

No phone calls. No texts. No emails. No response. No-shows – even on the first day of employment. They simply disappear! With an abundance of job openings out there, and job seekers getting multiple offers, ghosting is an increasing occurrence, reports Express, a staffing company that surveyed 445 businesses.

Silence is golden, says Jonathon W. who ghosted, vanished without a trace, one personal relationship and two hiring managers. The 27-year-old IT expert ghosted two different companies mid-job negotiations, much the same way people end romantic associations. “Something better came along and it was easier to say nothing and not show up.”

He didn’t feel he owed them an explanation since the wages were competitive, but not amazing, and job perks minimal. According to the Express survey, low pay is one of the top reasons that job seekers turn down job offers and why employees will leave a job. Lack of advancement and not a good cultural fit also impact job attractiveness and retention.

“There’s an increase in the number of cases where a candidate accepts a job offer and leaves shortly after starting for what they perceive is a better opportunity,” says Ted Maksimowski, an Express staffing company franchise owner in Ontario, who says ghosting is a commonplace occurrence.

USA Today reports that 20 to 50% of job applicants and workers are pulling no-shows at interviews or new jobs without explanation. And it’s not just for minimum wage jobs. It’s happening across industries and occupations – even white collar workers.

General manager Barry Goulding has been ghosted. “I’ve had people not show up for their job interview, and I even had one person ghost after starting – went for lunch and never came back! Calls were not returned.”

Goulding, of 3D Mechanical, a steel fabrication company in Brantford, Ont., has seen an increase in ghosting in the past three years, adding that it’s also getting tougher to fill jobs, especially skilled trades positions. “Those looking for a job, it’s easy to just post your resume – and just as easy to not show up. It can be very frustrating and time-consuming for employers.”

Employers are having to sell job opportunities to prospective candidates more than they have had do in a very long time, says Maksimowski.

And it goes beyond wages. “As the competition for candidates is fierce, employers have to be very specific in describing the ‘What’s In It For Me’ for the candidate. Working conditions, training, flexible hours, and advancement opportunities are other factors prospective candidates are looking for.”

Who Has The Upper Hand

Well, could be what goes around, comes around. For years, businesses have had the upper hand in the hiring process, but with unemployment near record lows, employers need to modify their hiring practices and work on their work environment. Or expect quitting and ghosting.

“Some have argued that the employer has done this for years to the seeker and now the pendulum has swung,” says Angela Payne, senior vice president at Monster.ca. Employers have a large responsibility and role in this increasing issue.

“Employers need to have a well-defined and mapped out process for engaging and onboarding new candidates, meaning you cannot lag or not keep commitments of follow up, cancelled interviews, etc. and expect more from the candidate than you are displaying,” says Payne.

Today candidates have choice and they’ll exercise it. “If the candidate has been exposed and had a transparent, positive journey, it is possible to retain them.”

Payne says to keep in mind that candidates don’t only want to improve their position but also want to work for purpose-driven organizations who can clearly define their value in an authentic way – “miss this and you miss good candidates.”

RUDE AND IRRESPONSIBLE

Ghosting is rude and irresponsible, but it’s likely rooted in a desire to avoid an awkward conversation.

But no-shows spell wasted costs and lost sales as hard-to-fill jobs stay open. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost-per-hire for companies is US$4,129 and it takes 42 days to fill a position.

Employers spend a lot of time and money recruiting, screening, verifying, interviewing – often multiple times – and sometimes providing job shadowing opportunities in the hiring process, and these costs can’t be recouped. “There are also situations where other candidates are let go or find other opportunities that could have been hired,” says Maksimowski, of Express staffing firm.

There are tangible costs and consequences of ghosting when it comes to the employer and the job seeker, says Maksimowski. “Employers often keep records of their interactions with job seekers and their employees, and there is no benefit to burning a bridge with an employer. You never know if you might interact with that employer in the future.”

Just send a quick email or make a quick call to say you won’t be coming in for an interview or you will no longer be coming into work, whether that is because you found another job, or there is a family emergency, or whatever the reason, suggests Maksimowski.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

Recent Stories