How common is ghosting - ie employee disappearing after taking an offer letter or not showing up at work on day one?
From India, Bangalore
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
Vaishalee Parkhi
Hr Consultant & Trainer
Senior Hr Consultant
Hr - Generalist
+1 Other

Dinesh Divekar

Dear Vaatsalya,

Not reporting for the duties on a specified day after taking the offer letter is called a "No Show" by the candidate. This has been happening for the last 15-20 years and nothing new about it.

During my training programmes, occasionally this matter is discussed. To tide over this challenge, some of the participants have shared the practices followed in their company. These are as below:

a) Not mentioning the salary break up in the "Offer Letter".

b) Issuing the offer letter on a bond paper and including a clause on penalties for not taking employment.

c) Telling the candidate to deposit the academic certificates while issuing the offer letter. Give a proper acknowledgement for receipt of the academic certificates. Return the certificates once the candidate joins.

d) Telling the candidate to deposit two or three times the gross salary of the candidate. The amount is refunded with interest after three months since the employment. A proper legal agreement is required to design these terms.

Disclaimer: - I have just shared the practices that my participants disclosed with me. That does not purport that I subscribe to these practices.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Vaatsalya - this question is very subjective and a unanimous action/ suggestions may not be decided/ elicited on a public platform like this. It is a known concern and will always be.

We as HR professionals may not want to suggest/ introduce any form of unhealthy practices to attract, retain or release a person from employment - it is completely unprofessional.

Please discuss and close this matter internally and ponder over why a candidate may not want to join you/ what you could have done differently to attract talent - I think it is extremely subjective and specific to the job.

Thank you.

From India, Delhi
Hello Everyone,
I hope you all are doing well.
Can anyone guide me through this situation, wherein candidates accept the offer letters, acknowledge and send the acceptance of offer and then after few days reject the offer, what can be done in such a situation. Also, can we make some changes in the offer letter so that the candidates do not do so.

From India, Pune

I searched using Google and there does not seem to be any survey done on the topic of not showing up for the job after receiving a job offer.
From United Kingdom

Its a very common practice of candidates, there is nothing new in this approach. As an HR professional, obviously it feels bad when the candidates don't join after accepting the offer letter but on the other hand, its better not to run behind such candidates, let them leave. Such candidates will never fit into your work culture, will not show interest in performing the duties or working little extra. At least your time and efforts on onboarding such candidates will save. Trust is important between the recruiter and the candidates, the gap between offering the job and joining the job is filled with TRUST, if trust is not there nothing will workout in the future as well.
From India, Pune
It is a very common practice. It is more prevalent in the IT Sector. Though, it does happen in other profiles as well.

The candidates take offers and then negotiate with their current employer and also do "offer shopping". Then they join the organization where they get the highest package.

It is normal.

Good Evening all,
I need suggestion on this "No-Show" business of candidates. I am in need of candidates as resources are less, Scheduling Interviews since long, giving my 100%, but still not successful in onboarding them. Candidates are just busy taking counter offers and wherever they get the best deal they run away and I know it is normal, but to tackle such situations and get the required candidates. Please suggest what strategy should I use to onboard the candidates.

From India, Pune
Vaishalee Parkhi

Hello all,

This is a real practical issue that almost every employer /HR is facing. Being an HR System Consultant, I sometimes suggest customized ideas that can help a Company avoid or control such situations. Few of them are worth pondering upon -

1. In the interview itself, structure your questions such a way that somewhere it helps you capture that a candidate has and is thinking on other offers as well (it's common) Reiterate the fact and insist that as a Company OR HR, you ensure a smooth and fair Recruitment practices vis-a-vis you expect an employee to stick to his 'commitment' also. This will give a hint to the candidate and if they are genuine, they tell you upfront that they have other options OR you get the idea through their non-verbal cues.

2. Why to bank upon a particular candidate? When candidates have 2 to 3 options, why not an employer can semi-select at least 3 candidates whom you can rate as A, B & C so at least when A does not join, B is there and if B does not join, C is there. For this, you will have to make the joining period short (15 days to 1 month) to get the idea.

3. Preferring immediate joiners can also solve this problem to some extent. That is what is being preferred by employers now.

There could few more ways to work on this problem.

From India, Pune

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