Keep Employees from Ghosting You

All puns aside, “ghosting” is one of those terms that floats around a bit. It’s often associated with dating apps or social media culture, when someone shuts you out, stops replying, or simply disappears.

In the business world, your organization might be guilty of ghosting, as far as some job applicants are concerned.

  • If a job seeker doesn’t hear back from you when they apply to an opening, they might feel like you’re ghosting them.
  • Ghosting job applicants can come back to bite you, considering how easy it is to post a negative review on job sites.
  • Some job seekers are getting in on the act of ghosting. Many will stop replying to HR or hiring managers during the pre-interview phase, or not show up for interviews if a better opportunity comes their way.

But what about current employees? Would they really just stop coming to work without notice?

Employee Dissatisfaction Can Lead to Ghosting

Yes, ghosting on the job is becoming more common. One recent article suggests  that ghosting is a way for employees to “get back” at bad bosses, voice their displeasure, and quit on their own terms. Some workers see ghosting as fair play. After all, businesses can terminate them without notice. Why shouldn’t they have the same power?

Is the era of the two-week notice over?

Not quite. The vast majority of workers want to leave on good terms, and will do their part to help employers transition. Some might even support the candidate search and recruitment process if asked.

Still, ghosting is a growing trend. Some say that because of the hot labor market, and record unemployment rate, employees know they can leave and find what they want elsewhere.

Another key part of the equation points back to overall employee experience.

Below, we’ll take a look at some of the things that can create employee dissatisfaction, and what you can do to improve the employment experience before employees ghost you.


Employee retention is a major issue in today’s hiring environment, especially with so many opportunities. Download our recent Spotlight, “Improve Employee Retention,” to gain insight into ways you can keep workers from disappearing without notice.

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Employee Engagement and Trust

Organizations of all sizes invest time, capital, and energy to support workers. Many run extensive onboarding programs, offer mentoring, and help employees build career plans. Ideally, these investments will help workers succeed—and also help them see plenty of reasons to stick around.

Still, certain issues can drive a wedge between employees and the company.

  • Workers might be frustrated over their salary.
  • They might feel like they don’t truly have a voice in decisions.
  • Maybe they feel like the company only fills leadership positions from the outside, and doesn’t promote from within.

These types of frustrations can turn workers into passive job seekers. And, if the situation continues to worsen, an employee might jump at the first chance they get—ghosting you in the process.

Here are three of the top wedge-inducing issues that can turn an employee into a ghost—and some tips to help you keep them from disappearing:

1.They’re frustrated over pay

Workers know that they can get better money by switching jobs, rather than staying put. It’s one of the reasons why the nation’s quit rate—the percentage of workers voluntarily leaving their jobs—is higher than it has been in nearly two decades

One way to stay ahead of their frustration is to keep an eye on salaries in your market. Maybe their salary goals aren’t realistic. Or, perhaps they undervalue your benefits package, and aren’t taking it into consideration. 

However, talking about money isn’t your only option when salary is the wedge:

  • Find out how they feel about expanding their role in the company. Are they interested in taking on more responsibility? Where do they think they can add value?
  • What perks and/or benefits would they love to have that the company doesn’t currently offer? Are employees interested in taking part in a steering committee to explore new options that align with your company culture?

2. They want to feel more connected to their work

When employees feel connected with coworkers, their work, and the workplace, it can improve the way they engage on a daily basis. A strong connection can help address the intangible “fit” piece of what it means to clock in.

How can you help employees build a stronger connection with their work, especially if they’re already feeling disconnected? 

  • To start, you can discuss ways they might want to build their skills. Perhaps they’ve lost track of their career map. Or maybe their career map no longer feels valid. Now could be a good time to talk about ways they can move forward, even if it’s just a little at a time. There might be off-site trainings or conferences they can attend. Can the company pay part or all of their way?
  • You can also connect with managers, and help workers take on new projects that nudge them forward, or might even be a bit out of their comfort zone.

3. They’ve given up and are just biding their time

The office or workplace daydreamer might be the trickiest employee when it comes to ghosting. Perhaps they come across as happy—if not a little aloof. When you catch them staring into the proverbial middle space, ask yourself: are they dreaming about a big project, or considering other options?

How can you identify the office dreamer? Here are a couple of quick clues:

  • You notice them hovering around other people’s workspaces, not necessarily contributing, but just talking. Are they bored? Do they need something to do?
  • They’re physically present at meetings, but seem to be emotionally or mentally checked out. Do they having something to contribute? Do they want to be there?

If office dreamers are just biding their time, it’s possible that they’re also updating their resumes. They might even be taking interviews during lunch. Before they disappear without notice, be sure to check in with them:

  • Ask them if they’re happy with their role. Do they feel slighted because they didn’t receive a promotion? If they seem less-than enthused about what they’re doing, encourage them to write up a list of job duties they’d like to take on. This might help them form a game plan around their employment, and even encourage a new type of engagement.
  • Talk with their manager about opportunities. What new things can they take on in the short term? Is it possible for them to run next week’s team meeting? Can they help lead an upcoming project, even if they’ve never done so before?

Sometimes, conversation is the key to encouraging employee engagement. When workers know that they have room to express their concerns and share their voices, it can make the difference when that other opportunity shows up in their inbox. In the end, it might keep them from disappearing without a trace.


When employees quit without notice, it creates a hole in your workforce, and can cause you to scramble in order to ramp up recruiting. As your dedicated applicant tracking system, myStaffingPro helps you turn on your recruiting engineers quickly and effectively. Contact a representative today.

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