‘Ghosting’ becoming more common among workers

By Cole Lauterbach
Illinois News Network

CHICAGO – With an economy that’s producing more job openings than there are people to fill them, applicants and even newly-hired workers are walking away from their jobs, leaving no notice to their employers.

The term “ghosting” comes from the dating world, when one party suddenly cuts off contact with the other without notice. Multiple outlets are now reporting job applicants and even newly-hired workers are ghosting employers, skipping interviews or not returning to work, leaving no notice.

The situation has even gotten the attention of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. In a “Beige Book” report on Chicago from last December:

“As they have for some time, contacts indicated that the labor market was tight and that they had difficulty filling positions at all skill levels,” it read. “A number of contacts said that they had been ‘ghosted,’ a situation in which a worker stops coming to work without notice and then is impossible to contact.”

Chicago-based Express Employment Professionals franchisee Michelle Wimberly can’t imagine a time when she would have entertained hanging an employer out to dry like she’s seeing now.

“They go to a job, everything is great, come back the next day, everything is great, go to lunch and don’t come back after lunch,” she said.

People of all ages, races and education levels are ghosting employers, Wimberly said.

For the first time in American history, there are more job openings than there are people actively seeking jobs. Wimberly expects that to be the driving factor behind the trend.

“They know that the employers are going to need them at some point and, unfortunately, they’re right,” she said, adding that employers are going to have to react to the issue by either higher pay or incentives to further employee buy-in of the job.

Training Magazine estimated in 2017 that training a new employee costs more than $1,000.

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