John Cassidy


Last month’s Thoughts for a Thursday had a look at the trends with regard to popular recruitment buzz-phrases like the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, Clandestine Contracting and Hybrid Work.  What became clear was that the turmoil of the pandemic, the development of remote working and some generational changes in attitude might be having a fundamental impact on employment.  Equally clear though was that, as with most fundamental changes, the impact was uneven and there is evidence of a rebound to more normal patterns of engagement.

Ghosting Goes On and On

While ghosting, the practise of cutting off contact with a potential employer or employee, has not been a particular issues in TALTRAN’s recruitment of finance professionals it continues to have widespread impact.  Recent research suggests that many of the problems can be overcome by offering simple, accessible and prompt options for applicants.  The suggestion is that GenZ candidates are particularly focused on real time responses and mobile friendly interfaces.  The logic is that if online retailers can offer immediate gratification then every company should.

While we haven’t found finance candidates ghosting us we are conscious of recent research by people analytics firm Visier which suggests that C-suite candidates indicate an over 90% propensity for ghosting.  The same research suggests that women are much less likely to ghost an employer than men (90% to 68%).  While ghosting in the early stages of an interview process can be driven by factors such as unacceptable pay scales or adverse reaction following research into company culture and reputation, over 30% of respondents indicated a willingness to ghost an employer after just one day in the job.

It all speaks to the value of good and relevant communication to make sure that time invested in recruitment is not wasted.  It’s an area where using a recruitment specialist can be a significant benefit because we are highly motivated to get candidates to interview and employment.  Candidates also recognize that acting inappropriately with a well-placed recruiter can damage their future opportunities.

Unretirement Uprising

Early in 2022 one of the big stories was that the retired population was engaging with employers and considering opportunities to supplement their pensions. A CNBC survey suggested that 68% of the workers who retired during the pandemic would consider coming back to work and 94% of those who left the workforce but never technically retired would do the same.  Recent reports are suggesting that high inflation and concerns over investments are making this trend a reality.

It’s worth saying that some research has suggested that 20% of people over retirement age stay in the workforce and there has even been research indicating 50% of retirees continue to work at least part-time.  Even if the trend is not new, it’s important for employers to remain flexible as they structure roles to attract people who have appropriate skills but may not be willing to work full-time.  Agesim is not cool or sensible.


The global trial of the 4 Day Working Week Project is past its half-way stage and is worth keeping an eye on.  At the start of October 2022 another 30 companies in North America joined the first 30 in the project, which is based on delivering 100% productivity in 80% of the time with employees getting 100% pay.  The project report at half-way suggested that most firms were committed to keeping the new terms at the end of the trial.

Many businesses may shy away from the notion of innovative employment practices but it’s another area where trends and societal changes are driving expectations. The very best talent can often choose where and when it wants to work and there is every incentive to consider all the options.  Most important is to take the trend as a signal to focus on the outputs and productivity of employees rather than time served at the desk.

Trending Now

There are some areas where buzz phrases haven’t yet emerged but where we have seen behaviours and attitudes that are a significant barrier to recruitment.  We have come up with a few phrases of our own based upon experience, as well as some of the stories we have heard from clients and candidates.

Snail Fail – the simple truth is that good candidates have plenty of opportunities available and employers who prevaricate during the recruitment process do not get the best people.  The process can be slowed down by having multiple interviews, requiring candidates to do sample pieces of work, delays in offer letters and many other factors.  Every delay is an opportunity for the candidate to rethink or be offered an alternative.

Culture Chasm – where a company says it is ambitious to seek diverse candidates without considering why they are currently monocultural or what plan they have to build a broader workplace community beyond a single recruit.  Any organization aiming to widen the make-up of its team needs to consider its longer term employment strategy and take good advice on fundamental aspects of organizational change.

Xerox Zombies – the opposite of a culture chasm is where businesses are seeking fundamental business change but provide a brief to recruit people who have the same characteristics and background as the current management.  It is often difficult for companies with long-standing management to see what type of new characteristics and skills may lead to beneficial change.

Rinse and Repeaters – there are some organizations that struggle to get good quality professionals to stay.  Rather than resolve fundamental issues around structure and responsibilities, or even simple things like induction, the response is to seek new blood.  This cycle of recruiting and then losing good people can become a characteristic of the organization which is seen as normal rather than a waste of time, money and effort.

Part of our initial briefing process with a new client is intended to help organizations recognize any issues around their requirements, expectations and standing which could prevent successful recruitment.  This also enables us to brief candidates about the challenges and opportunities they will face if they join.  It is an external but informed perspective which brings added value to the recruitment process and can be transformative for the business.

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