Imagine you’re a recruiter contracted with a mid-sized company. You’ve throughly vetted your candidates, guided them through the interview process, and now you’re down to three; all qualified, skilled, talented, – just what the position needs. The day of the final interview arrives… and two of the three fail to show. At this juncture, the amount of time/energy/focus and MONEY you’ve already invested makes you certain that something awful must have happened. An accident? A family emergency? But the new normal is more likely…. you and your client have been ghosted.
Currently, there’s a power differential at play in the jobs to seekers ratio, and it largely favors the seekers.The arrogance of ghosting exhibited by companies during the recession is coming back to (haunt) them, and candidates may expect that their failure to show up will be considered “business as usual”. But for recruits who blow off the final interview, don’t respond to the job offer, or don’t show up to the first day of work, the impression left here is one of immaturity and selfishness, so don’t bother to ever apply for a job at a company you have treated this way. Recruiters and HR professionals never forget a ghosting.
I’ve attempted to find some data on how much this phenomenon afflicts companies voted “Best Places to Work”. I suspect that a company with a reputation for treating workers well does not experience ghosting, at least not to the same degree. There is data to support the idea that jobs offered by workplaces known for good benefits and fair expectations, accountability and transparency have high rates of acceptance, even with lower salaries.
So I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that companies need to employ positivity to avoid ghosting!
What strengths do you want to amplify? What’s good about working in your company? Ask those at the bottom tier in particular, as their impression can be pervasive. How are you working to improve the culture and what specific goals do you have toward that end? The same way you would ask an interviewee to name their most challenging workplace behaviors/qualities – you should be prepared to reveal the same about your company. When problems arise, as they do for everyone, be prepared to answer questions and own what you don’t yet know. This goes a very long way to improve trust and a reputation for transparency.
Ask the New Guy
Why would a new hire want to work at your company? How do you know? How much attention is paid to on-boarding, and how well do people at your company actually get to know each other? Are there customs and rituals in place to make these efforts intentional? What are they and do they really work toward building rapport? Have you gained any information from exit interviews with those leaving the company? Have they felt safe enough to tell you the truth of how they feel?
The “R” Word (be very afraid)
Chances are, if you’ve read this far, you most likely have something in mind that would very much improve the culture of your company, but to put it forward feels like way too big of a RISK. I love the model for making change profiled in the book “Switch”. If you haven’t read it, or it’s been awhile since you did, it’s well worth brushing the dust off this gem. The metaphor at the heart of the book is The Elephant, the Rider, and the Road. The Rider is you – the one who knows things have to change, and has ideas of how to change them. The Elephant, of course, is maybe everyone else; those who do not want change, or have stopped believing change can happen and have made peace with the Way Things Are. The Road is your company culture; the environment – which can either support and augment the change you want to make, or obstruct it, and most likely, in your workplace there are elements of both.
Intentional creation of company culture is not on the front of many managerial minds, but it needs to be to avoid all kinds of negative employee behavior; from burnout to disengagement to ghosting by new hires. I invite you to check out a new company tool designed for working teams to break though conflict and get off the surface with each other. It’s called Shift/POV: From Conflict to Collaboration.
Be intentional about your culture and employ positivity to avoid Ghosting!