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Distributor's Link Magazine Winter 2019 / Vol 42 No1


44 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Jim Truesdell James Truesdell is President of Brauer Supply Company, a distributor of specialty fasteners, insulation, air filtration, and air conditioning with headquarters in St. Louis. Mr. Truesdell is adjunct professor at Saint Louis University and Webster University. An attorney and frequently published writer, he is the author of “Total Quality Management: Reports From the Front Lines”. GHOSTING JOBS...ARE EMPLOYERS GETTING WHAT THEY GAVE? Employers are experiencing something that has been heretofore largely unfamiliar to them. As the job market heats up and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep key positions filled, companies are finding that prospects in significant numbers are scheduling interviews and failing to show up. Additionally, some people are even accepting jobs and then fail to show up for the first scheduled day of work. These things occur without a telephone call or even an e mail from the “no show” employee. It leaves the employer hanging and hesitant to pull the trigger on a second choice until contact can be made with the disappearing employee to make sure he or she hasn’t fallen ill or met some other fate which caused their disappearance. This phenomenon has a slang term which has been applied to it. It is called “Ghosting” jobs and it apparently is an increasing problem for hiring managers. The term originated in the world of dating and romance to describe a situation where someone goes on a date and then hears absolutely nothing from the person they went out with who does not respond to one’s attempts to keep in contact. Why is this scenario becoming more commonplace in the hiring world? There are a number of reasons: [1] Qualified applicants at all levels are in short supply and potential workers probably feel they can easily find a comparably compensated job which they might enjoy more, so they don’t think twice about kissing off any one opportunity. [2] Technology makes the entire hiring process move CONTRIBUTOR ARTICLE faster with job posting boards and massive resume data bases so that both workers and employers move rapidly on to the next opportunity. [3] In an age when many younger people communicate largely by social media there are those who lack the experience in direct communication who just avoid the negative confrontation inherent in cancelling an interview or changing one’s mind about acceptance of a position. They just “disappear” and feel no concern over the uncertainty they leave in their wake. [4] Many people may not be concerned about any harm to their professional reputation such actions might create. They don’t think through the consequences of burning one’s bridges behind. This is especially a paradox when many people are thinking about building their personal “brand”. But perhaps that is not such a concern at the lower job levels where ghosting is more likely to occur. [5] Finally, employers may be reaping what they have sewn during the years of job scarcity. Applicants have no doubt endured years of chasing jobs with no follow up or feedback from prospective employers who have neglected to keep those under consideration up to date on selection status. How often do employers just fail to communicate that a decision has been made and leave an applicant wondering if he or she is still in the game? Now that the tables have turned perhaps job seekers feel no similar obligation to communicate when their own plans or choices change? CONTINUED ON PAGE 120



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