This person is most likely to ghost you at the office

Photo: Alessandro Vallainc

If there’s one thing that Millennials can be blamed for, it’s creating the dreaded dating buzzword called ghosting.

In dating culture, ghosting is when someone mysteriously ends a relationship or connection suddenly and without warning. It usually comes without an explanation or justification, and despite attempts made by the person who’s being ghosted to reignite communication, the ghoster will ignore any attempts at re-creating talk. It’s a vicious cycle that has become a norm in the dating world (and life) that it was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2017.

Unfortunately, there are other forms of ghosting that have crept into life at the office. Employees have started ghosting their employers, where employees have literally just stopped showing up to work and become impossible to get in contact with. It happens during interviews and even managers are guilty of ghosting, in terms of ignoring an employee for feedback or during promotion talks.

As for the statistics of ghosting, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the phenomenon created by younger generations is committing the same pitfalls in the office, according to a new report.

Human resource firm Randstad released its 2020 US Compensation Insights survey, where they interviewed 1,213 Americans on salary negotiations in the workplace today. The report found that the work force’s two youngest generations — Millennials and Gen Z — are the most guilty of ghosting their employers.

Fifty percent of Millennials and 50% of Gen Zers admitted to ghosting an employer, according to the survey’s findings.

While the younger generations are the most likely to just up-and-out their employers, Millennials and Gen Zers are not the only ones. Thirty-five percent of Gen Xers were guilty of having ever ghosted an employer, while 19% of Baby Boomers admitted the same and 9% of the Silent Generation also ghosted.

Beyond ghosting, the younger generations also are implementing bold tactics during salary negotiation like using a potential job offer as leverage to demand a higher wage at their current job. Both Millennials (59%) and Gen Zers (58%) admitted to using the tactic in order to wiggle some more money out of their employers’ wallets. Forty-eight percent of Gen Xers said they’ve done the same, while more than a quarter of Baby Boomers have also dangled a job offer for more money.

More than half of Gen Z and Millennials respondents also told a prospective employer they had another job offer when they really didn’t. The same tactic was used third-most by Gen X (39%), followed by nearly a quarter of Baby Boomers (24%), and Traditionalists (15%).

Why do potential employees ghost?

There are many reasons why a prospective employee might ghost a boss, but what it comes down to is a drastic shift in power fueled by a stronger job market, which has placed the balance in the employees’ hands, according to Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli.

“When the labor market tightens, the power does start to shift,” Cappelli said. “I think part of the reason this is so surprising to employers is we’ve gone through the 10 years of the worst labor market for job seekers, but the best labor market for employers and hirers. You know, you didn’t have to do anything, and people were just really grateful that you’d even consider their application. So, the power has changed, and that’s changing the story.”