Shocking number of applicants get cold feet after receiving job offers
The current candidate driven market is presenting challenges for the recruitment industry, and new research by staffing firm Robert Half has found that the challenges don’t end when a suitable candidate is found.
The company’s research, which polled a grand total of 2,800 workers over the age of 18, claims that more than a quarter of workers have backed out of an offer after initially saying yes.
And whilst some candidates believe it to be morally important to let the recruiter know at the earliest opportunity, the decision is often followed by a period of ‘ghosting’.
What is ghosting?
The term is usually applicable to dating, rather than the professional sector. In the case of job interviews, it refers to a candidate that seems enthusiastic and even takes part in an interview, and then refuses to answer calls or texts, and simply ceases to communicate at all. This not only wastes a lot of time but also damages the credibility of the recruiter.
"Having cold feet is understandable; ghosting an employer is unacceptable," said Paul McDonald, Senior Executive Director for Robert Half. "Even though it may seem easier to avoid an awkward situation, transparency is always the best policy during a job search. If you have a change of heart after accepting a position, be honest with the hiring manager."
According to Peninsula, the issue isn’t just affecting new workers; the support network revealed that it had received a 21% increase in calls to its advice line last year from employers regarding employees leaving a job with zero notice instead of formally quitting, and new starters never turning up for the first day.
And Jane Amphlett, Head of Employment at law firm Howard Kennedy, warned that there is very little that employers can do to punish this sort of behaviour. “Employers are not required to pay an employee for unauthorised absence and, having made reasonable efforts to contact the employee, will usually be able to terminate their employment,” she explained.
“However, although the employee will technically be in breach of contract, there is usually little point in the employer pursuing them unless the employee has failed to return valuable company property or documents or breaches post-termination restrictions.
"In those cases, the employer may need to consider initiating legal proceedings to recover its property or protect its business, but this can be costly,” she concluded.
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