Ghosting in a Strong Job Market

Ghosting in a Strong Job Market

My best friend runs a high-end cleaning service in Palm Beach. She has more business than she knows what to do with, and not surprisingly in this business, her biggest headache is finding good employees. She recently experienced a first though, a new employee who was expected to start on Monday, just did not show. No call, no response to her calls, just a complete no-show. She was ghosted (that is what the kids call it these days). This was baffling, as this potential employee, came with great recommendations, strong background, and seemed like she was genuinely excited for the position.

Later, as my friend scrolled through social media, there she saw it, the no-show employee being featured on a competitor’s page as a new employee.

We were astonished at the brazenness of the employee, but as I was scrolling the news, I was shocked to hear that this is becoming less brazen and more commonplace in a job market where job seekers are in control.

The statistics still support the strong job market, with an unemployment rate still at 3.7 percent, at a near 18-year low.

The headache and the associated cost of being ghosted is real. You have to start the laborious and costly recruiting process over again. You have to deal with employees who were counting on a new hire to relieve workload, or clients, who you have possibly assured that you would have someone starting.

This all has an overall bottom line business impact.

In a USA Today article, Dawn Fay, the District President of Robert Half in New York, basically points out that employers have been doing this to employees for years. She is right. If you think back to the times following the great recession, when hiring managers were overwhelmed with candidates, job seekers were often strung along in the dark, would not hear back after interviews, no responses to emails. While, it may seem like rude behavior to employers, it seems status quo to job seekers.

Some Tips to Mitigate Being Ghosted:

  • Increase Communication Through the Hiring to Start Process. Be Transparent, communicate next steps and follow through. If you fail at any of this, you risk being dismissed by potential candidates as not a serious contender.
  • Increase Engagement. The time period between an offer being accepted and start date, is still a risking period for employers. Assume your new-hire is still dating around. Ensure that you are regularly communicating details of their new jobs, send a picture of their desk, a welcome packet, anything to make them feel like they are already part of the team.
  • Change the Interview Process to work better for the Candidate. Consider phone/video interviews, or even off hour times to better accommodate schedules.
  • Train hiring managers and human resources to not only interview for positions for skill, but to sell the company to potential employees. Ensure you are talking about why it is so great to work for your company.
  • Shorten the time period from accepting an offer to start date.

The older I get, the smaller the world becomes, so I am not sure ghosting, good job market or not is a strong strategy for candidates. I personally would not forget being ghosted.

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