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How to Handle a New Hire No-Show

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How to Handle a New Hire No-Show

You posted the open position, conducted extensive interviews, and did due diligence with background checks. And it paid off: You hired the perfect candidate…who didn’t show up for their first day of work.

Now what?

What Do You Do If a New Hire Doesn’t Show Up?

No Call, No Show: A New Phenomenon Among New Hires

If a new hire ghosted you recently, you’re not alone. Once limited to online dating, “ghosting” — making a connection and then disappearing without explanation – has become a huge human resources problem.

According to a 2019 Indeed survey of job seekers and employers, 83% of employers have experienced candidate ghosting. The survey found that 22% of job seekers admitted to ditching the new job before they even started.

Who is Ghosting?

Low-wage, high-volume positions like manufacturing, restaurant service, airline, and cleaning jobs are especially vulnerable to new hire no-shows.

And if you think ghosting is a phenomenon of Gen Z workers, think again. While 23% of survey respondents who didn’t show up for their first day of work were 18 to 24 years old, the same percentage of workers age 35-44 bailed on their first day. Another 20% of ghosters were age 45 to 65. That means fully 34% of no-show workers surveyed were age 25-34.

Where Did They Go?

There are many reasons a new hire might be AWOL. It’s possible they had a car accident on the way to work or experienced some other kind of personal or medical emergency. Maybe they mixed up the date.

Or maybe they received a better job offer.

A bad experience with HR is another reason someone might be a no-show. In this competitive job market, new hires won’t put up with rude behavior and won’t forgive being misled about job duties or benefits.

Some new hires who’ve changed their mind feel uncomfortable reaching out to withdraw their acceptance, so they avoid the task completely. And others just don’t know how to handle the situation.

What Can the Employer Do?

Many companies have policies to deal with employees who don’t show up for work and don’t call to explain their absence to their employer. In the case of an existing employee, the consequences of a “no call, no show” absence are clearly defined. But what do you do about an employee who hasn’t even started yet?

  1. Call them. The first thing to do is to reach out through all possible means, including phone, email and text. Best case scenario: They answer the phone or respond somehow.
  2. Find out why they didn’t show.
  3. Decide how you will handle the situation. Will you give them a break or let them go?

If the new hire’s explanation seems reasonable, it’s your prerogative to give them a second chance. Arrange for a new start date but establish clear expectations about their first day.

How to Avoid New Hire Ghosting

Some experts recommend employers pre-empt ghosting by establishing a relationship with the new employee. They say increased communication and pre-boarding can be helpful in building an early bond with the new hire.

“Candidates can lose interest in even the best job opportunities if the company they’re joining doesn’t keep in touch,” notes British firm Ernest Gordon Recruitment.

Reach out regularly to let them know how you are preparing for their arrival.

This helps create a sense of obligation, said Jeremy Tolley, chief people officer at CareHere, told CNN Business. “That way it’s not just some company they don’t know much about, they start to think: ‘If I don’t show up, I will let them down, I know they are expecting and preparing for me.’ ”

Do You Have a Plan In Case You Were Ghosted By a New Hire?

If you’ve been ghosted by candidates or new hires recently, consider calling in some expert assistance. The staff at Pro Resources Staffing Services have experience in screening job applicants to identify qualified and motivated candidates for your open positions.