Employers say 'ghosting coasting' is a growing problem, but workers have their reasons for quietly walking away from a job

Coleen Piteo is the director of marketing at Yours Truly restaurant. She puts up a sign for employment, Thursday, June 3, 2021 in Chagrin Falls. AP Photo/Tony Dejak
Employers in tight labor markets are facing new challenges from "ghosting Coasting", a phenomenon that causes headaches.

Managers and recruiters claim they are left empty handed by new hires who disappear without explanation.

Workers say that low wages and poor leadership are not enough to make them want to stay.

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Another headache is quietly growing after a summer of rage quits and the Great Resignation.

While many employees left this year with a bang, a growing number of them are leaving without a care in the world.

Retention and hiring are a major challenge in today's labor market. The Federal Reserve's latest summary of economic conditions in the US states that employers are facing new challenges.

In its September Beige Book entry, the Atlanta Fed stated that retention was a continuing problem for firms. "Restauranteurs raised concerns about ghosting coasting," where a new hire moves to another restaurant after working for a few days. They are then let go because they lack the skills.

While the practice isn't new, it seems to be more common than ever as job seekers outpace job applicants. This allows workers to reclaim some power in a system that favors employers for decades.

Many recruiters from different industries claim they have never seen anything similar.

One food-service recruiter said, "We are so desperate that I would literally employ anyone that passes the background checks," as she is currently trying to fill a large food service contract. An insider agreed not to publish the name of her client.

She told Insider that she had scheduled 58 interviews over the past six weeks for jobs starting at $14 to $20 an hour. Of these, 27 of them actually attended. After they had passed a background check she set up eight interviews for onboarding, but only five of them showed up to work. Three of those five have left her, leaving only two of the original 58.

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She said, "We are just understaffed and barely keep our heads above water."

A manager at a spa and gym at a California country Club said that eight of her new employees have ghosted her. This despite the fact that she explicitly discussed ghosting during her onboarding process. She asks that workers keep in touch with her and not quit if they are interested.

She said, "They have still done that."

Workers resisted the Fed's claim that ghosting workers were somehow ineligible for the job. They claimed that they had little reason to stay because of misleading job descriptions, low wages, and inadequate training.

Matt Murphy, an Oregon restaurant worker, said that employees are leaving their employers because they don't have to endure terrible working conditions, bad bosses, low wages, and being overworked. He has not seen this in his 25-year career.

Murphy claims he has not ghosted his employer but he has had the experience of dealing with the consequences when someone else on his team did.

Murphy is open to the possibility of disruption, despite the challenges. Murphy is especially happy in industries where managers have the legal right to fire workers for any reason.

He said, "It's causing some positive changes in our industry." Employers who used to treat workers like disposable workers now treat them like employees. It has definitely changed our perspective."

Dominick Reuter can be reached via email if you are a ghosted worker or employer. All responses to this story will remain confidential.

Business Insider has the original article.


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