The ghosting trend in the HR world


It seems that poor social etiquette is entering the work force on many levels.

There is a very recent trend in the employment world where it is the employer who is getting “ghosted” by the employees.

For those who are not familiar with the term, ghosting is where you abruptly cut off all communications with a person – either on social media or in real life.

It appears employees and potential employee candidates are doing a lot of ghosting these days. Some examples are:

  • not showing up for confirmed job interviews
  • not responding back to an offer of employment
  • or the pièce de résistance, just not showing up for work one day. Gone like a ghost the day after Halloween.

This ghosting trend is not just the teenager who does not show up for their shift to flip burgers, it is at all levels of employment from entry level jobs to professionals with six figure job offers on the table.

Click here to read the Huffington Post article about employee ghosting

It’s a trend that is happening in countries such as Canada, USA, the UK, and Japan.  Why is this happening? There is no scientific data yet as to why this trend is expanding, but HR professionals have a few theories. The leading theories are:

1) Historical low unemployment rates in some countries.

2) Social payback from how HR recruiters have traditionally treated employment candidates by ignoring them once they have applied.

3) Some think it is the new standard form of communication.

One UK recruitment website believes that 2.8 million workers have ghosted their employers.

Can it be stopped? Can it be curtailed?

Click here to read how the HR professional can prevent being ghosted by your employees.

Some of the practices to prevent employee ghosting are very much HR driven. Good management practices such as flexible work schedules, not overworking your star employees, and being a respectful, observant manager will go a long way to prevent employee ghosting.

In today’s very tight job market where employees have their choice of openings, it is up to HR to be leaders in communication. To not only help discourage ghosting, but to not allow your recruiting process to do the same to any potential employment candidates.

Discussion Questions

Identify three reasons why you think employees or potential employees would ghost their employer.

Develop an executable action plan to help prevent employees from ghosting your company.