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Quitting Without Giving Notice Is Becoming Common

December 27th, 2018

ghosting chairs

In greater numbers than ever, workers are quitting jobs without giving their employer the customary two week notice and increasingly, many are walking out the door without any notice at all.

A pair of articles in The Washington Post this month quoted a number of recruiting executives who estimated that job "ghosting" has increased by 10 or 20% just in the last year.

"It’s absolutely being directly impacted by the unemployment level, the lack of available talent and the number of positions companies are trying to fill,” David Lewis told the Post. The CEO of a national HR consulting firm, Lewis said he's seen a 20% increase in the number of employees quitting with less than two weeks notice, or no notice at all.

The problem has become so prevalent the Chicago Federal Reserve noted in its December report that, "A number of contacts said that they had been 'ghosted,' a situation in which a worker stops coming to work without notice and then is impossible to contact."

And ghosting is not limited to employees quitting without notice. Job candidates are skipping interviews; hot prospects ignore job offers and those who accept offers will sometimes simply not show up.

In years past, that kind of behavior would have put a black mark on a person's record. Now, though, with employers desperate to fill jobs and managers reluctant to provide references, consequences are rare.

“It’s an urban myth that you have to give two weeks notice and that if you don’t, you’ll get in trouble," employment lawyer Austin Kaplan said.

When the Post asked readers why workers are skipping the notice courtesy, it got an earful: 633 comments at last count. Most were along the lines of this one: "For several years now, most employers have emphasized they have no loyalty to employees. And now the employees are letting them know the feeling is mutual."

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