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Ghosting makes good help even harder to find for local businesses

Paul Horton, former owner of Taco Crush was forced to close his McKinney, Texas restaurant because he couldn’t staff it.

If you’ve ever tried online dating, you’re probably familiar with the term ghosting, but it’s becoming an increasingly common problem for employers as well. Job seekers also know about ghosting, as many employers don’t follow up with candidates after the interview.

In this context, ghosting refers to job candidates failing to show up for interviews or new employees missing work without calling their employers. For Eddie and Carol Kennedy – owners of Great Deals on Furniture located at 270 Bobby Jones Expressway, Suite 148 in Martinez – ghosting has become a challenging part of their hiring process. “I’ve had weeks when I had 10 interviews scheduled, and nobody showed up,” says Carol. “You can’t get anybody to come to the interview.” She explains she always asks candidates to call her if they can’t make it to the interview, but they rarely do.

Eddie says this problem has forced many employers to over-recruit job candidates to increase their chances of finding reliable employees. “As a business owner, you talk to all of them,” he states. “This is something we never would’ve experienced a few years ago.” The Kennedys have also dealt with people who accepted a job and never came to work or stopped showing up for work. “In the early stages, they’re telling us what their intentions are,” which is why they typically fire those employees, Eddie explains.

But the problem isn’t limited to the CSRA. According to an article from Business Insider – a national financial and business news website – some employers have reported that as many as 90% of their job candidates haven’t shown up for interviews, which is extremely frustrating, particularly when so many companies are dealing with the current labor shortage. For example, the article cites Paul Horton – former owner of Taco Crush near Dallas, Texas – who was forced to close his restaurant when his kitchen staff was reduced to two employees, and he couldn’t find help because very few of his candidates showed up for their interviews. “You can’t be choosy anymore,” Horton says in the article. “You’re basically hiring anyone that would show up.”

Robert Kelly – vice president of Augusta Staffing Associates and Job Shop Inc. – says local employers have frequently complained about being ghosted by their employees. (Photo taken by Josh Heath)

Robert Kelly – vice president of Augusta Staffing Associates and Job Shop Inc. – says he’s heard many stories from local companies who have been ghosted by their new hires. “People will get a position offer and accept the offer and not show up for work, or maybe they’ll show up for a few days, but they go missing for two or three days at a time,” says Kelly. He explains some of his manufacturing clients have even allowed employees to ghost them for a few days and still return to work. “Before 2020, that would have been a termination,” Kelly states.

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