‘No show’ by prospective employees is criminal

Along with the global perception of being an IT nation, Indian professionals have also acquired an infamy for evading commitments. This is being manifested by many professionals who accept the job offer but just don’t show up at the date of joining. It may sound criminal and is popularly known as ‘no-show’ behavior. The industry estimates that about 60-65 per cent of prospective employees displayed this aberrant conduct.

This not only jeopardizes operations but also leads to delays in delivery schedules. Based on the candidate’s acceptance of an offer, companies plan project schedules, inform clients and set client expectations. When candidates do not turn up on an agreed data to without informing, it obviously spells disasters.

The toll of ‘no shows’:

It also means dwindling of company resources in terms of time and money invested for hiring these candidates. The cost of hiring each candidate varies from $ 500-$1000 depending on the experience range. Thus one has to go back to square one, restarting the hiring all over again. It is fine if the candidate collects the offer and reverts with his/her decision to not join. But a silent ‘no-show’ hits the companies they are completely unprepared.

Diluting the global Image:

The damage that such a practice could cause is not merely internal. This phenomenon is hurting the global Indian talents loyalty image. In US and Europe, when a candidate accepts an offer, it is considered a contract whereby they invariably come on board. Contrary to India where candidates care less and faltering the committed date of joining is becoming a common trend. Clients are aware of this since they keep a track of entire teams dedicated to their projects. In today’s knowledge industry, the client takes key interests in interacting the potential candidates before they are hired. ‘No-show’ cases make clients apprehensive about the reliability on the country’s talent pool and the company image.

A phenomenon common in the Rs 4-5 lakh salary category, is creeping fast into the senior bracket (Rs 15-20 lakh). But why is this happening? Well, both the industry and professionals are to equally share the blame. For the candidates gap in demand supply scenario enables them to stop for multiple offers. Since knowledge is in demand, the concept of lifetime sticking around is declining. Many candidates just want to see their market value given their skill sets. From the employer side, when candidates give in their papers instead of letting them go they make counter offers with pay increase and promotion in an attempt to retain them.

HR community at times hire candidates despite the fact that they openly revel the other offers that they have got. Reject candidates at the first sight if they are shopping around to get a few more thousand.

The irony, at the end of the day, is that no one is the winner here. Because IT is quite a close knit sector through the many headhunting agencies, reputation is the most valuable asset for candidate. By backing out of a commitment to a prospective employer or previous employer, candidates not only tarnish their reputation but also get black listed fro ethical employers. In symphony we send a well worded letter to such candidates indicating that they have been disqualified from over applying to our company

About employers, winning back employees with counter offers can only serve as a short term fix. Most employees who accept counter offers leave within 6-12 months. Added to this, other employees might threaten to leave so as to gain similar raise.

The solution is to strike just at the roots. One of the remedies could be to share such instances among like minded companies so that there is caution when these candidates apply elsewhere.

Creation of a dependable back up system could be another answer. If a company needs one candidate, shortlist three and make an offer to the first one, keeping the rest as back ups. A good idea would also be to show a long term career to candidates during interviews, so they come back. Show him/her the possibility of working at multi-faceted projects.

Further internal training for critical skill building and eternal recruitment for common skills would help. Redundancy level at IT industry is rampant. Training employees on relevant skills in multiple areas would build up resources for companies and employees would value the organization’s investment on them.