Ghosting by new hires—it’s really a thing that many dealers are facing


Ghosting is not only a modern dating term: employers are similarly getting left in the dust after candidates are going silent on communications, skipping interviews, or simply not showing up for the first day of work.

That was the blurb for a “ghost-busting” seminar at the recent Retail Council of Canada (RCC) Human Resources Conference in Toronto. The conversation touched on employer branding, varied approaches for in-store and hybrid employees, and the expectations of a value-driven workforce.

Kelly Mawhinney, a partner at Toronto HR consultancy Mercer Ltd., was interviewed on the topic by Michael LeBlanc, senior retail advisor at the RCC. When it comes to ghosting, there are steps that those who are hiring can take. Complacency is the number one enemy, Mawhinney said.

“You can’t be blasé. You can’t just say, this is our stuff: we are a great company.” You have to constantly market yourself as an employer, reach out to prospects, and enlist, enlist, enlist.

If you’re an HR professional, you have “internal clients,” Mawhinney said. These are the people within your company whom candidates will be reporting to. HR professionals need to get them to “narrow down the three things they need [for a position].”

Why is hiring so difficult nowadays? Part of it is that a company’s values and secrets are openly available online. Glassdoor—the heavily-visited website where employees talk about what it’s like to be a worker at a firm—is just part of the equation but it’s a crucial one. “Make sure your Glassdoor is clean,” Mawhinney said. That means checking it frequently and addressing workplace issues that make a company look bad.

“You have to be proactive there. You may not realize how many people actually go online to see what people think about your brand—or the CEO! There’s a lot going on [online]. People are much more aware about what they’re getting into,” and what you stand for as an employer.

When it comes to a “values proposition,” a company has to know what it values in an employee and it needs to communicate that to prospective employees in a way that is compelling, Mawhinney said.