As “ghosting” haunts employers, injured HR reps are taking to Linkedin to call out candidates. Experts say it’s unethical

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  • In recent months, testimonials from job candidates ghost their potential employers before the date of joining are multiplying on the Internet.
  • Now, employers are turning to public platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to challenge these candidates on the run who disappear without a word.
  • We’re talking to recruiting and staffing platforms to find out the reason for this increased rate of pre-hire date dropouts and how employers can move on from being ghosted.

You meet them for a cup of coffee. You can guess things are going well from the way they talk about their dreams and life goals. You start imagining your future together, hoping they would accept your offer. At that point they reply to your email: “Thank you for extending the offer, I’m glad to accept it. I will be submitting my resignation letter 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 disappear just before the join date without saying a word. Sorry to tell you, but dear employer, you are “ghosted” by your candidate.

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

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

Employers Are Still Looking For Their Long-Lost Virtual Ghosts


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

Before the pandemic, the acceptance rate after the rollout of the offer was around 80%, which has generally dropped to 60% acceptance now, explains Anshuman Das, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of the supplier of Careernet talent solutions. “Also, before the pandemic, the ratio of acceptance to membership was almost around 80% and now it has dropped to 55-60% in India.”

Another survey by recruitment platform Naukri found that when it comes to having multiple job offers, 56% of job seekers think it’s okay to reject their current offer if there is has a better deal on the table.

Sharing why ghosting is becoming more and more common now, Sharmeen Khalid, Human Resources Manager, Naukri.com, says: “There is pent-up demand after Covid due to which there is an increase in the number of opportunities available for job seekers as the labor market continues to show strong signs of recovery. Due to these trends, getting a seated job offer from the comfort of home within a very short time has become an achievable possibility. This has led many job seekers to receive multiple job offers resulting in job rejections, employee leaks, ghosting, etc.

Is it ethical to publicly challenge fleeing employees?

It is also before the assessment process that many candidates begin to seek better opportunities and the redesign of organizations begins. There has been a 15% increase in the number of employees seeking a job change this assessment season, according to data from Spectrum Talent Management.

There is also a clear upward trend in 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-on-year growth in March 2022.

With this increase in demand, candidates now have the advantage to regain some power in a situation that has favored employers for decades.

While the practice of ghosting itself isn’t new to businesses, it appears to be more prevalent than ever, as job postings overtake job seekers after a long, role-reversing lull.

Therefore, hiring and retention have become big 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.

Recruitment and Business Services Ruchi Ahluwalia, human resources director of Quess Corp, said that calling for candidates on a public platform such as LinkedIn may not be ethical due to the breach of confidentiality between a candidate and organization.



Instead, she suggests, “calling in public forums won’t give the right message about the organization. Applicants may be flagged in the organization’s internal database, so in the future there may not be more opportunities for them with that organization.

Manali Parekh, HR business partner at talent consultancy Never Grow Up, says this trend of using the internet to publicly nominate runaway candidates puts the company in a bad light.

“To publicly call out a candidate is a bit extreme. On a human level, we need to consider if there could be any other reason besides monetary benefits for a candidate to ghost a potential employer, look at several factors including health, location, sudden change in circumstances social and mental health, which could play a role in why a hiring manager was left in the dark. Tightening up your hiring process, maintaining a database of candidates who have ghosted 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 you walked away from a contract, some candidates will also start sharing their unethical practices. Not all of these conversations should be on social media,” says Das of Careernet .

Reasons Employers Ghost and How They Can Avoid It

According to Google trends, the query “how to buy jobs” peaked between March 27 and April 02, 2022 in India. On a scale of 0 to 100, this query scored 67 between that time period.

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While the lure of a better salary package, attractive benefits, comprehensive health care and flexible working hours could all be possible factors why applicants are ghost companies, experts told Business Insider. India that it was not just about compensation.

Emphasizing that this is a trend among younger groups who are known to be more vocal, Sekhar Garisa, CEO of recruitment and job search company Monster India, says: “The gap between Supply and demand leads to competing offers and candidates usually negotiate based on the current offer and therefore end up getting better offers than the first. Second, the lack of post-offer commitment leads candidates to fail to connect with the potential organization. Third, feedback from former and current employees, which may not be positive, and their current organization’s increased retention efforts to retain employees after resignation. In addition, young candidates often reject a company citing a work culture that does not suit their taste. »

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 a tough thing, especially if you’re just starting out in your career or if you’re passionate about your work.

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

“In some cultures, particularly in India, outright refusals, such as saying the word ‘no’, can be interpreted as rude and impolite. Refusal often leads to disagreements or arguments, which we try to avoid.

Young internet users who have developed shopping cart syndrome, the mindset of putting items in the shopping cart, also like to keep various job options some of which they don’t even need or don’t are not safe, explains Ahluwalia, adding that this practice of job shopping adds to satisfaction and self-esteem.

To avoid being ghosted and embarrassed by later ranting about a candidate on public platforms such as LinkedIn, companies need to have a very strong recruiting process, including a compelling employer value proposition that sets them apart. others.

The disappointment of people accepting the offer and not joining at the last moment, that percentage in the United States, even in this hot market, is no more than 10%, Das says.

He points out that there is a major difference between these two markets. In India, the notice period is between 30 and 60 days. In the United States, the notice period is only 15 days, which gives candidates very little time to research job openings and map out their runaway plans.

Experts also said companies should focus on a healthy and strong pipeline of alternative candidates to better manage such situations.

Naukri.com’s Khalid advises, “The candidate experience process needs to be transformed so that the candidate feels confident that they are getting a great opportunity. There should be transparency in the hiring process so that candidates trust recruiters and share all details regarding other offers, expectations, etc.

The internet gives job seekers the power to call out an employer for following unethical practices and also to disappear if they are treated poorly.

To avoid being ghosted, employers need to create an inclusive and transparent environment where employees feel heard and fairly compensated.

“It is important to lead by example and display values ​​such as inclusiveness, transparency and trust throughout the organization through your current employees, the practices you follow, the policies that you develop and the social presence that you have. This will allow candidates to prioritize the culture of an organization over the CTC [cost to company] offered to them,” says Parekh.

She adds: “And finally, don’t ghost your candidates. After all, you know the saying –
karma will end up biting you back.

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