Being ‘Ghosted’ by a New Hire

Who doesn’t show up on their first day on the job?

Some company leaders are finding that the answer to that question these days is: a lot of people.

A recent US survey found that nearly a third of participating retailers say at least 25% of the candidates they hire to staff their warehouses don’t ever show at all.

Last month the industry body, UK Hospitality, warned that 188,000 jobs were unfilled just as people were able to start enjoying pubs and restaurants again,  and because of this, hotel chains and restaurants that expected their new staff to be on the job are having to scramble to take orders and clean tables when the new crew doesn’t materialize.

To combat this and be more competitive in the recruitment market, more employers are increasing wages for bar and waiting staff, according to data from the jobs website Indeed. The average hourly rate has risen by 5 per cent across England for shifts during the week, while weekend pay rose by 9 per cent compared to May 2019.

The increase varies significantly around the country. In Greater Manchester and Cheshire, hourly rates for weekday hospitality staff rose 11.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, and weekend staff earned 13.9 per cent more.

This trend is being seen globally, highly compensated workers in India are either not showing up for their first day on the job or declining the job they were offered—a day before they were supposed to start.

This current candidate driven job market isn’t going away any time soon, candidates are getting multiple job offers between the time they accept one and the time they are supposed to start. It’s an issue across all job levels with more senior workers joining in the vanishing act. It is an issue that is only going to get worse as economies worldwide emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ghosting, at least in the workplace, usually refers to employers stopping—or sometimes never starting a job.  The main reason for this happening is a lack of a relationship between the hiring company and the employee or candidate.  According to a recent UK survey, relationship building between the hiring company and has never been so badly done.  The survey stated 75% of candidates didn’t get replies from the majority of their job applications (their first impression of a hiring company), and 78% of candidates that took the survey rated communication between hiring companies and candidates as poor.

With badly managed relationships between the hiring company and candidates and employees, hiring company reputations take a battering. Candidates and employees worldwide are taking out their frustrations by bad-mouthing those hiring companies to friends, relatives and other job candidates face to face and online.

With unemployment dropping and companies who have had their growth plans on hold throughout lockdowns now pushing to grow and add more employees the recruitment competition is fierce.  Unless Employer A moves fast, Employer B will scoop up the potential candidate and these candidates will not show up for Employer A.

Ghosting will be particularly acute for retail, hospitality and call centre jobs as the candidate pool is shrinking rapidly due to Brexit (500,000 people left the UK), Furlough (1 million + still on furlough), changes to the way we work, and high demand for staff as the economy recovers.  This has created a perfect storm.

However this isn’t all bad news as there are simple, straight forward steps we can implement to buck this trend.

As stated earlier, Communication and the CX (Candidate Experience) is key.  Hiring companies need to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at getting the candidate invested in working at their company before their first day on the job. Continual communication and relationship building needs to be a huge part of the CX and onboarding process to make your new recruits feel welcome and appreciated.

At Red Dot the CX is at the centre of what we do, just check out our google reviews from our amazing candidate “fans”.  We support all our RPO clients to give candidates the best experience from application through to their first 3 months in the role.  If you would like further information please get in touch on the details below.

About Red Dot

Red Dot is a specialist recruitment organisation that delivers 500+ new hires per month to 50+ locations throughout the UK.

We deliver permanent, contract and contingent staff to UK based organisations. 

Our specialist sectors are Contact centre, Education and Executive search.

Our shared vision at Red Dot is to Improve the organisations that we partner with by consistently delivering the very best talent.

We are a company of values. We believe that through integrity, accountability, ambition, knowledge, simplicity, innovation, and a focus on success, we have a vibrant company culture where ideas can blossom, people can thrive, and success can flourish.

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Best regards

Martin Warding