Which one of these do you feel is harder: to be rejected outright, or to be simply ignored? Today, many employers are facing this question almost on a daily basis.
In dating and romantic relationships, the practice of one partner ignoring another – not responding to texts and treating all attempts at communication with radio silence – is known as “ghosting.” Similar practices are steadily creeping into the business world, with a wave of talent and prospective employees not showing up for scheduled interviews and agreed-upon start dates, or even for jobs they’ve already committed themselves to. Ghosting is giving hiring managers and employers a scare.
How We Got Here
The United States is in an era of low unemployment and sustained economic growth. As the demand for new talent outpaces supply, employers have struggled to find the right people for all of their open opportunities. Talent and employees thus have much more power than they did during the Great Recession when many lost their jobs with little fanfare and interviewers often ignored candidates they didn’t want to hire. The new reverse imbalance manifests in cavalier employee behavior such as unannounced absenteeism and a failure to communicate.
According to USA Today, as many as 20% of workers in some industries now engage in ghosting practices. This trend is negatively impacting large and small businesses, along with their customers. On the other hand, it’s inspiring conversations about how workers and employers can treat each other better, to foster more healthy and successful relationships down the line.
In order to facilitate mutual growth, the culture of work requires trust, respect, and core values to be shared between employers and employees. As any discerning politician can tell you, it is foolish to pin one’s fate to shifting, unpredictable trends in economics. We advocate that employers, employees, clients, and talent use the advent of ghosting as an opportunity to get reacquainted with the core values that can sustain them through booms and busts.
As a talent, it’s ok to reject opportunities that aren’t right for you, however, do it in a manner that respects the offer and lets any relevant stakeholders know. Honest compassionate communication always makes the truth easier to convey, and with an appropriate heads-up, everyone should be able to move on more smoothly. When leaving your current job, give two weeks’ notice when possible, and offer to tie up any loose ends in your work to facilitate an easy transition.
As a hiring manager, when you decide not to hire a candidate after an interview, let the candidate know. If you can, provide some constructive feedback, even if it may not be what the candidate wants to hear. It can be difficult to deliver bad news, however, it’s worth it if it means supporting a culture of openness and mutual respect. It is also important to acknowledge that it’s a candidate-driven market, and many candidates are experiencing multiple interviews. Providing timely feedback is key, especially if you are interested in the next steps with a candidate.
When we give accurate information to others, we empower them to make better-informed decisions in the future. We also invest in the strength of our own reputations, because everyone appreciates those who deliver the truth with respect and understanding.
As your circumstances change, make sure everyone around you knows what they need to know to prepare for any impact this may have. As a talent, this means letting your employers or recruiters know if you are available. As an employer, it means keeping your team informed about the state of the company and letting them know you’re all on the same side.
The world is small, and life is long. As technology makes us all more closely interconnected, our reputations, previous actions, and patterns of behavior are more likely to open or close new opportunities for us. If you must exit a difficult situation, and you do so with grace and full disclosure, you will more likely find support from your former colleagues when circumstances change and may be less in your favor.
At Artisan Creative, we believe a culture of respect is paramount in all human endeavors. We give our talent and clients the tools and support they need to succeed when they lead with their values. Contact us today to learn more.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the 488th issue of our a.blog.