The disappearing act

It has been observed that a large number of job seekers who are given offer letters do not show up on the day of joining.

Picture this – a candidate who has been given the offer letter and is expected to join does not show up on the joining date. In fact, he /she simply disappear without giving any notification to the employer. The employer is surprised as the candidate did display a high level of enthusiasm and interest towards the job during the interview. Then, what happened? A better job offer perhaps! In a democratic country, we all have the liberty to make choices but certainly not at the cost of maligning your future opportunities right? Also, for working professionals performing the no show act could have some serious repercussions and may even hinder his /her career growth.

This is an unethical practice but there is not much an organization can do at this stage. This is a reflection of social reality to some extent too. According to Vice president – HR and corporate development Acropetal Technologies Ltd, no show becomes an issue because in an open market, there are not many ways to curb this. However, at entry levels many institutes themselves impose restrictions on candidates to ensure they show up on the day of joining by shopping them to appear for more job interviews. At senior levels, it generally takes a couple of months for a person after accepting the job to join. In case the person fails to join, it generally pulls back the business by at least another couple of months. In India, it is not considered unethical to accept an offer and not join.

Is there any mechanism through which the employer can figure out that a certain candidate is not going to show up on the schedule joining date? It can be judged through gauging the interest level of candidates during the HR rounds. Constant touch and periodic interactions with the candidate could help towards identifying and anticipating whether the candidate will show up on the joining day or not.

The best way to curb this understanding, the candidate’s expectations and taking enough time to interpret the fit of the candidate vis-à-vis the job and organization. Many a times, it is only a misfit that finally ends up as a no-show. Constant engagement with the candidate is another best way to ensure that the person will show up. Building your employer brand and making a strong compulsive reason for a person to join after accepting the offer are two positive factors that can reduce no-shows.

For candidates it is imperative that they understand the consequences of committing such an act. If they ever decide to come back to the organization they had earlier done the no-show act with it can prove quite hazardous. So, will such a candidate be considered by the organization? Normally I would not encourage this practice. However, in a genuine case, we may reconsider the candidate and re-hire him /her after having been given a chance to explain their absence on the date of joining. If three is a genuine case or a person asks for prior postponement we may consider letting the candidate join a bit later. It is very rare that a person who has not showed up or communicated to you will try to come on board in the future. In such cases it will be considered as a fresh application if the case is worth considering and will depend on the suitability of the candidate w.r.t the position that he is getting.

It is not always easy to get away with fooling your employer. So, the next time you think of trying out the no-show act be careful as you might just get caught in the web!

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