Ghosting has entered the workplace and it's causing problems for employers

A term once reserved for the dating world, ‘ghosting’ has made its entrance to the workplace [Photo: Getty]
A term once reserved for the dating world, ‘ghosting’ has made its entrance to the workplace [Photo: Getty]

Chances are if you currently have Tinder on your phone or have an online dating profile, you’ve heard of the term ghosting.

While it may not have happened to you, the ruthless trend has now made its entrance into the workplace, says one LinkedIn editor.

According to Google, ghosting is the “practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”

What was once reserved only for the dating world, ghosting is more common in the workplace than you think according to Chip Cutter, managing editor at LinkedIn.

“Candidates agree to job interviews and fail to show up, never saying more… Some accept jobs, only to not appear for the first day of work, no reason given, of course,” wrote Cutter.

“Instead of formally quitting, enduring a potentially awkward conversation with a manager, some employees leave and never return. Bosses realise they’ve quit only after a series of unsuccessful attempts to reach them. The hiring process begins anew.”

While candidates most likely aren’t ‘ghosting’ to cause stress for employers and recruiters, it’s believed the new hires want to avoid the awkward confrontation of quitting their job or turning down an offer.

According to LinkedIn, unemployment is currently at an 18-year low, proving the theory that candidates aren’t being malicious in cutting off communication but rather just don’t know how to professionally approach uncomfortable conversations at work.

Professionals who entered the workforce a decade ago, during the height of the Great Recession, have never encountered a job market this strong,” wrote Cutter. “More open jobs exist than unemployed workers, the first time that’s happened since the Labor Dept. began keeping such records in 2000. The rate of professionals quitting their jobs hit a record level in March; among those who left their companies, almost two thirds voluntarily quit. Presented with multiple opportunities, professionals face a task some have rarely practiced: saying no to jobs.”

Due to this new trend, recruiters have borrowed the airline method of ‘selling more tickets than seats.’ Getting in touch with multiple candidates regarding roles, this ensures they aren’t left chasing a single candidate who may never return their call.

When it comes to companies retaining potential candidates, Cutter recommends maintaining communication with candidates – and letting them know when they weren’t selected for the role. Proving communication should go both ways.

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