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Help wanted: Employers being 'ghosted' by new hires

Posted at 8:27 AM, Oct 14, 2019

“Happened nine times in a five year period,” said Dawnie McNamee, a former hiring manager.

Stood up.

“We got to the point where we were actually surprised that someone would actually show up on their first day [because] it got to be so frequent,” said Craig Cummings, a former restaurant manager.

No show.

“You go home and you wonder, what did I miss about this person,” said McNamee


We’re not talking about dates. People aren’t showing up to their first day of work.

“It’s like dating, right? Well I had coffee with you, I don’t like you, I’m going to block you. And that’s kind of how you feel like if you’re a hiring manager,” said McNamee.

McNamee is a former hiring manager and now works for a payroll company in Colorado. She says she sees this all the time.

“What I found, especially since the stock market has recovered, and jobs now aren’t as rare as they used to be, is there’s a lot of people out there that’ll come in, nail it on the interview. You’ll go through the hiring process, all the paperwork and then their first day they will not show up.”

She’s right. Unemployment is at 3.5 percent, the lowest it’s been since in 50 years. That means some employers can’t find someone to take a job.

Searching for a new hire can be a little bit like dating, you never know exactly what you’re going to get, it’s expensive, and they may not even show up.

I went to a job fair and asked people looking for work if they’d ever consider doing this to a potential employer.

“If I had a job offer in hand that I’d accepted," said Julie Ziobro who's looking for a job.

“Absolutely not,” said Nathaniel Diamond, a job seeker.

I come from a generation, and I grew up, making phone calls, don’t text,” said Cummings.

“I definitely wouldn’t do it without communicating; that’s not fair,” said Ziobro.

“Just let them know, like, 'Hey, I got a job that better suits my skill set, and I’m going to take that one instead,'” said Joshua Curry, a job seeker.

No one was ready to admit they’d leave an employer hanging out to dry.

But it doesn’t mean there are no other signs.

“We really want to take a look at their job history to look at, are they a job hopper? Are they moving around every three months or every six months with different companies. To me that would signal someone is always looking for that next best thing,” says Keely Teynor, who runs her own hiring firm.

Teynor says there are a few things employers can do, including looking at someone’s job history.

“Even in this really tight labor market, the unemployment rate is so low, we kind of have to find this nice balance of having multiple steps in the process to show they’re really invested and interested in this opportunity,” she says.

She says that process helps her avoid the dreaded no show on an employee’s first day.

McNamee can still remember the sting of being stood up.

“People are excited to have new hires come in and be a part of your team," she says. "And so when you have people not show up, leaves a little mud on your face.

“I’ve stayed awake quite a few nights wondering about that what could I have done better.”