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Ghosting: The Workplace Disappearing Act

Posted by Allyson Edwards on Oct 24, 2019 9:54:32 AM
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  1. When a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they're dating, with zero warning or notice before hand. You'll mostly see them avoiding friend's phone calls, social media, and avoiding them in public.

Ghosting has gone well beyond bad first tinder dates and has made its way into the workplace- and it’s on the rise. This year, the number of candidates and employees ghosting employers has increased by 10%. Pretty spooky, right?

Employees and candidates that wish to avoid uncomfortable conversations have decided to perform the greatest disappearing act of all time by simply ignoring all communication with the hope that an employer will eventually get the hint and go away.

Here are three common ghosting scenarios we are seeing in the workplace today: 

  • No-show for an interview- A recruiter or manager has scheduled their entire day around an interview only to be stood up and left waiting in the dust. The candidate never calls or shows up.
  • No-show for the first day- A candidate has accepted a job offer and is expected to start on Monday at 9am. Monday comes and the new hire never manages to make it in or send an email. It’s assumed that this new hire received a better job offer and will not be joining the team.
  • Quitting without notice- An employee decides that this current position or organization is not the right fit and takes a new job elsewhere. Instead of giving two weeks’ notice, the employee decides to stop showing up for work and avoids all calls and emails.

This whole concept may seem pretty unprofessional and well, witchy. But in a candidate-driven job market, this has become the scary reality.

The ghosting phenomenon is seen across all generations, but Gen Z leads the way as an alarming 43% report accepting a job offer and then no showing on the first day.


What to do about ghosting

There is no magic spell HR can cast to stop this ghosting madness, but there are a few steps HR can take to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to the disappearing act:

  • Build Your Brand
    Your organization’s reputation is important, so make sure you’re represented appropriately. HR may have to work closely with other departments to create content that showcases your organization’s unique culture, maintain its career page, manage Glassdoor reviews, and enforce social media policies indicated in the employee handbook.
  • Review Onboarding Process- 20% of employee turnover occurs within the first 90 days of employment. Review onboarding processes, analyze data, and look for any correlation between employee termination and the new employee onboarding phase.
  • Focus on Your People- Millennials are expected to make up 50% of the U.S. workforce by 2025. This generation demands real-time feedback, clear career paths, and flexibility. Invest in the growth of your people and align people goals with your organization’s goals. A culture that is focused on its people will yield higher levels of employee engagement and improve its retention rate.

It’s hard to say with certainty how long this ghosting in the workplace trend will last. To reduce the chances of being ghosted, revisit your organization’s talent management strategy to ensure its practices are aligned with the behavior of today’s workforce.

This post was written by Allyson Edwards and may not be copied or published without PeopleGuru's express written consent. 

Topics: Now Trending, Recruiting, HR, Culture

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