Ghosting Tales: A Mini-Series – Part 3

In a recent article we explored the concept of ghosting, where an applicant that would have been a good fit and maybe even has accepted an offer just vanishes without a word. Thanks to a collaboration with recruiters at Addison Group, we have a special three-part series. Each part will include one ghosting tale. If you have your own tales, feel free to share them in the comments! Check out part 1 and part 2.

Source: FangXiaNuo / E+ / Getty

Our final ghosting story comes from Timothy Leylek, a Branch Manager at IT Direct Hire. His story follows:

“We received a job order for a client of ours in the northern Chicago suburbs that was looking to add a Senior Network Engineer to their group on a full-time direct hire basis. In this market, more often than not, our candidates are gainfully employed. This need was an urgent one that required the candidate to start more quickly than usual.

“In what we thought was a fortunate coincidence, we made contact with a candidate whose job was more likely than not going to be eliminated due to companywide layoffs in his department. In an effort to not be out of work, this candidate engaged with us at Addison Group to pursue new opportunities. We immediately discussed the Senior Network Engineer role with the candidate and he was very interested. We discussed his transition out of his current employer, the new commute to the northern burbs (his current employer was in the Loop) and his compensation requirements for the new position. Once all of those details were finalized, we presented his resume to the client for review. The candidate was a strong fit and the client almost immediately requested a phone interview, which was quickly followed by a face-to-face interview. Throughout the process, the candidate was engaged and eager to hear next steps. Upon completing the face-to-face interview, an offer was presented, and the candidate quickly accepted. This was despite the fact that his current employer assured him that although there were layoffs in his department, he (the candidate) would not be affected.

“Although he was reassured of not losing his current job, he put in his notice and started with our client. The candidate showed up on time, received his laptop and got to work, learning the network and system infrastructure at his new employer. The week completed, and in our world many times, ‘no news is good news’ is a motto we live by. Unfortunately for us, there was some news. Late Sunday night, six days after the candidate started, we received an email from the candidate stating, ‘Thank you for the opportunity with *Insert Client Name Here*, but I will not be returning to work with them tomorrow. I have shipped my laptop back to their address under the following tracking number. I apologize, but this isn’t the right role for me. I will be going back to my old company.'”

“We were obviously quite surprised to receive a note like this. Up until that point, things were going well at the new employer. We reached out to the candidate excessively, finally connecting to ask what happened. He explained that he wasn’t 100% sure about the job with the new employer when he accepted. Turns out that he never actually gave notice at his current employer, rather taking a week (5 days) of PTO (Paid Time Off) to test the waters in this new role and decide what to do from there. This was a first for us. We explained to the candidate how unprofessional his actions were and how it put us in a very difficult position with our client, to which the candidate seemed totally unfazed by.

“The joke ended up being on the candidate because a few short weeks later, the company ended up laying him off, despite the reassurances a few weeks prior that he would be safe. Surprisingly, he actually called us back to see if we would help him again. I think you can guess what our answer was to that question.”