Professional Courtesy – RIP ?

Holden Jones was established over twenty years ago as an alternative recruiter to the familiar market players and the poor business practices that were emerging within the recruitment world in the mid-nineties. Recruiters were garnering a reputation for ignoring candidates and lacking the courtesy you would expect from a professional. For this very reason Holden Jones was born and we hoped to lead the way with a more ethical brand of recruitment. I am happy to report that we have never knowingly wavered from our mission and we continue to uphold the highest standards we can.

Recently we have been experiencing what we describe as rather surprising behaviour: “ghosting”. This occurs when a person decides to not respond to any communication from another party. For example, trying to inform a candidate they have been offered a job or second interview only to never hear from them again. In the last twelve months this has been our experience on numerous occasions and is as concerning as it is perplexing. “Ghosting” has even been given its own WikiPedia page. It’s not a serious problem …. yet, but there are definite signs that it is on the increase.

We have been trying to understand why this practice is on the up and how we, as recruiters, can adapt. In researching this article we’ve read stories about the sharp increase in anxiety disorders and how this affects people-based interactions (more messaging, less calling), and for the anxious we understand there can be problems communicating, which is why it is important to address these issues and create solutions to our changing environment. It’s not just recruiters that encounter ghosts. There are a thousand articles about ghosting and the different ways it affects our lives; dating, friendships, even family members have ghosted their relatives.

But why is this happening ? … Perhaps, there is something more obvious at play: the fear of conflict, the use of an avoidance strategy or is just a lack of respect and professional etiquette ? Is decency being phased out along with so many other basic human values ?

In spite of the daily news bulletins of war and conflict, it would appear that conflict is not something we are trained to deal with and the multitude of ways we have to communicate allow us to avoid friction whenever we choose. We can block, unfriend, delete, and generally hide from whomever we want, as long as we don’t bump into them in the street. It’s easy to forget and move on in the modern world. Gone are the days when when you couldn’t walk down the street without saying hello to almost everyone you met. Society is becoming digital. Now you can leave the house with your hood up, plug your headphones in and happily not know the name of the person who lives next-door.

What are we to do? Getting frustrated is not the solution but is an often the result. New times require new skills and innovations; we have to try and evolve ….. but how ? Text, WhatsApp, SnapChat ?

If any job seekers read this then please let us know what you consider to be the best form of communication to reach you and which you would respond to …. we’re in this together !!


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