For years and years, recruiters and hiring managers have treated employees terribly. They ghost candidates--even after the candidate has come in for multiple interviews. They've required multiple interviews over multiple days, requiring candidates to use their vacation time for their own jobs, and then not even bothering to let the candidate know they didn't get the job. And companies have no problem simply laying people off without notice and without severance.

So, yeah, I'm rejoicing in the karma--experiencing Schadenfreude--at this article at LinkedIn, People are 'ghosting' at work, and it's driving companies crazy by Chip Cutter.

Cutter tells the sad, sad tale of recruiter Jo Weech, who found the perfect candidate and wanted to make an offer, but the candidate simply stopped responding to her. 

Even if Weech never personally ghosted a candidate, her recruiting colleagues certainly did. Candidates learned that recruiters consider it proper to simply ignore people they don't want to hire. It's not surprising that candidates have now decided that what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

And, it seems, some people are quitting just by not showing up. While this has been common in retail and restaurant positions, it's starting to invade corporate life. With the average person staying at a company only a  few years, it's likely that you can get a reference from someone who left the company before you did, so there's not a big reason to leave on good terms.

(Side note: You should always give notice before you quit because it's the right thing to do, but I can't say I blame people for simply not showing up after companies have treated them poorly.)

I agree with management professor and director of Wharton's Center for Human Resources Peter Cappelli, here. He told Cutter,  "I think they have learned it from the employers. Employers were notorious for never getting back to people, and only letting them know what was going on if it turned out they wanted them to go to the next step."

The big problem here is, it's not just your company culture that needs to change to fix this problem: Everyone's culture needs to change. Recruiters and hiring managers need to start treating candidates like actual human beings, and not just commodities to be plucked off a shelf whenever you want one.

The job hunt should be more like dating than grocery shopping, but for years, recruiters have treated it like the latter. They weren't worried about the candidates liking them--they assumed there would always be 100 applicants for every position--and now that there are more jobs than candidates, the tables have turned.

I would prefer that everyone treat each other politely, but I can help but laugh at companies who dislike this behavior that they modeled for years. So listen up, recruiters and hiring managers, it will take everyone being polite to turn this around. It might take a few years, though, so I suggest you decrease your decision-making time so that you can make an offer to that perfect candidate before someone else makes a better one.

Published on: Jun 27, 2018