While ghosting is the source of wide frustration and high costs, most organizations react to it by keeping records of no-shows and tracking them, but there’s a better way. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Until recently, we thought “ghosting” meant your blind date didn’t show up and left you sitting alone at a table for two, totally humiliated. Ghosting has moved beyond the dating world to create havoc for organizations trying to compete for great talent in a tight job market. Too often in the past, employers treated candidates disrespectfully, not responding at all or keeping them guessing until the very end—in a word, “ghosting” them. Now the tables have turned. Employers in every industry are being ghosted by candidates who don’t bother to show up for interviews or even for the first day on the job after they’ve been hired. Health care is no exception to this new trend, but the outcomes can be more consequential.

Staying fully staffed has historically been a challenge in the health care industry—and even more of an issue in the current job market. It’s not solely the stress and burnout of Covid that’s negatively impacting recruitment and jobs, although the pandemic has arguably hit health care harder than any other industry. In addition to an aging population and skills shortages that currently challenge many industries, health care recruitment has a unique and ever-present need to balance patient satisfaction with quality care. This means recruiting and retaining mission-driven people committed to caring for others, which is both an added burden and source of pride. There are things you can do to find and keep the skilled, heart-centered people you need.

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