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As the ‘ghost’ haunts employers, injured HR reps take to Linkedin to call candidates. Experts call it unethical

  • In recent months, stories of job candidates ghosting your potential employers before the date of incorporation are growing on the Internet.
  • Employers are now turning to public platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to denounce these fugitive candidates who disappear without saying a word.
  • We spoke to recruiting and staffing platforms to find out the reason behind this higher rate of churn before the onboarding date and how employers can move on after ghosting.

You meet them for a cup of coffee. You can tell that things are going well from the way they talk about their dreams and goals in life. You begin to imagine your future together, hoping that they will accept your offer. At which point, they reply to your email: “Thank you for extending the offer, I am delighted to accept it. I will submit my letter of resignation today and look forward to working with you in two months.”

However, two months later, they stop responding, block you on social media platforms, and simply disappear before the check-in date without saying a word. Sorry to break it to you, but dear employer, your job candidate is “cheating” you.

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Originally coined in the world of online dating, ghosting occurs when someone disappears from a relationship without warning. In the workplace, ghosting refers to one party disappearing from the interview process without a trace.

This phenomenon of ghosting is creating new headaches for employers in a tight labor market marked by great resignation.

Employers are still searching for their long-lost virtual ghosts


Post-pandemic, the hiring process has moved online and there is no human interaction with prospective employers, making it easy for candidates to disappear and become untraceable.

Before the pandemic, the acceptance rate after the offering was launched used to be around 80%, which has generally dropped to 60% acceptance now, says Anshuman Das, CEO and co-founder of the vendor. of Careernet talent solutions. “Furthermore, before the pandemic, the proportion accepted to join was almost 80% and now it has dropped to 55-60% in India.”

Another survey by recruitment platform Naukri revealed that when it comes to having multiple job offers, 56% of job seekers believe it’s okay to decline their current offer if there’s a better offer on the table.

Sharing why ghosting is becoming more common now, Sharmeen Khalid, Human Resources Director at Naukri.com, says: “There is pent-up demand post-Covid due to an increase in the number of opportunities available to job seekers. as the labor market continues to show strong signs of recovery. Due to these trends, getting a job offer sitting from the comfort of home, in a very short time, has become an achievable possibility. This has led to many job seekers receiving multiple job offers, leading to offer rejections, employee churn, ghosting, etc.

Is it ethical to publicly denounce fugitive employees?

It is also before the evaluation process that many candidates start looking for better opportunities and the reorganization in organizations begins. There has been a 15% increase in employees seeking a job change during this review season, according to data from Spectrum Talent Management.

There is also a clear upward trend in the demand for talent. According to Naukri’s JobSpeak Index, there have been consistent signs of hiring activity over the past two quarters with 16% year-over-year growth in March 2022.

With this surge in demand, candidates now have the upper hand in claiming a measure of power in a situation that has favored employers for decades.

While the practice of ghosting itself isn’t new to corporations, it appears to be more widespread than ever, as job postings outnumber job seekers after a long hiatus, turning the tables.

As a result, hiring and retention have become huge challenges for employers at different stages of onboarding. These frustrated employers and their HR representatives are using social media platforms to call out runaway candidates with the hashtags #hiringwoes and #ghosting.

Quess Corp human resources director Ruchi Ahluwalia says calling candidates on a public platform like LinkedIn may be unethical as it violates confidentiality between a candidate and the organization.



Instead, he suggests, “calling in public forums won’t send the right message about the organization. Candidates can be flagged in the internal organization’s database, so in the future there may not be opportunities for them in that organization.”

Manali Parekh, human resources business partner at talent consulting firm Never Grow Up, says this trend of using the internet to publicly name runaway candidates puts the company in a bad position.

“Calling out a candidate publicly feels a bit extreme. On a human level, we must ask ourselves if there could be another reason, besides monetary benefits, why a candidate has misled a potential employer, look at multiple factors, including their health, location, sudden change in social circumstances, and mental health, That could play a role in why a hiring manager has been left in the dark. Strengthening the hiring process, maintaining a database of candidates who have cheated you in the past, and committing to a ‘no ghost’ policy within the company will benefit your business in the long run.”

If an employer calls a candidate on a public platform, they must also be prepared for it to backfire.

“If a company calls a candidate saying they backed out of a contract, some candidates will also start sharing their unethical practices. All these conversations should not be carried over to social media,” says Careernet’s Das.

Reasons why employers are ghosting and how they can avoid it

According to Google trends, the query “how to look for a job” peaked between March 27 and April 2, 2022 in India. On a scale of 0 to 100, this query scored 67 over this period.

As the 'ghost' haunts employers, injured HR reps take to Linkedin to call candidates.  Experts call it unethical

While the lure of a better salary package, attractive benefits, comprehensive health care and flexible work schedules could be possible factors why candidates pose as shell companies, experts told Business Insider India it’s not just of a compensation.

Highlighting that this is a trend among younger groups who are known to be more vocal, Sekhar Garisa, CEO of job search and recruitment firm Monster India, says: “The gap between supply and demand leads to offers competitive, and typically candidates negotiate based on the current offer and end up receiving better offers than the first offer Second, the lack of post-offer engagement results in candidates failing to make a connection with the prospective organization Third, feedback from former and current employees, which may not be positive, and increased retention efforts by their current organization to curb employees after they quit, In addition, young candidates often turn down a job. company alleging that the work culture is not to their liking.

According to Google trends, the query ‘How to say no to your boss’ peaked this week in India. Saying no to your boss or potential employer is difficult, especially if you’re in the early stages of your career or passionate about your work.

Ahluwalia believes this hesitation is also one of the reasons candidates find it easier to leave without saying goodbye.

“In some cultures, especially in India, direct refusals, such as saying the word ‘no’, can be interpreted as rude and impolite. Rejection often leads to disagreements or disputes, which one tries to avoid.”

Young Internet users who have developed shopping cart syndrome, the put-in-the-cart mentality, also like to keep multiple options working, some of which they don’t even need or aren’t sure about, he says. Ahluwalia, adding that this practice of job shopping increases satisfaction and self-esteem.

To avoid ghosting and embarrassing yourself by ranting about a candidate later on public platforms like LinkedIn, companies need to have a very robust hiring process that includes a compelling employer value proposition that sets them apart from the rest.

The disappointment of people who take the offer and don’t join at the last minute, that percentage in the US, even in this hot market, is no more than 10%, says Das.

He points out that there is a big difference between these two markets. In India, the notice period is 30 to 60 days. In the US, the notice period is only 15 days, leaving very little time for candidates to search for job openings and plan their wild plans.

The experts also said that companies should focus on having a healthy and strong pipeline of alternative candidates so that they can better manage such situations.

Khalid of Naukri.com advises: “The candidate experience process needs to be transformed so that the candidate has confidence that they are receiving a great opportunity. There must be transparency in the hiring process so that candidates trust recruiters and share all the details regarding other offers, expectations, etc.”

The Internet gives job seekers the power to report an employer for unethical practices and also to go away if they are treated poorly.

To avoid ghosting, employers must create an inclusive and transparent environment where employees feel heard and fairly compensated.

“It is important to lead by example and show values ​​such as inclusion, transparency and trust throughout the organization through its existing employees, the practices it follows, the policies it creates and the social presence it has. This will allow candidates to prioritize the culture of an organization over the CTC [cost to company] that has been offered to them,” says Parekh.

She adds: “And lastly, don’t outshine your candidates. After all, you know the saying:
karma eventually it will bite back.

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