KEY POINTS

  • New hires work only for a few days before disappearing without notice
  • The problem seems to be prevalent in at least two industries
  • The U.S. labor market has been suffering from staffing shortage and retention

A new labor trend dubbed as “ghosting coasting” has posed a difficult challenge for U.S. restaurateurs and other employers already bogged down with a staffing shortage.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta said in its most recent roundup of economic trends that “retention” continues to be a problem for companies, Insider reported. “Restauranteurs noted concerns over ‘ghosting coasting,’ where a new hire works for a few days and moves on to the next restaurant without notice before they are let go due to lack of skills,” the Atlanta Fed said.

With ghosting coasting becoming a trend in the U.S. labor industry, some employers have been left with no choice but to hire applicants without thoroughly looking into the candidates’ qualifications due to staffing urgency.

In the restaurant and fast-food sectors, in particular, retention has long been an issue. However, the ghosting coasting trend has also started making rounds in manufacturing due to the demands of the industries, Atlanta Fed’s New Orleans Branch regional executive Adrienne Slack said. “I’m hearing this from multiple contacts, not just in the restaurant industry, but I hear it in manufacturing as well,” Slack noted.

A recent report by the National Restaurant Association found that before the pandemic the average turnover at a restaurant was around 80 percent. However, it is expected that the figure will likely double, with employers forced to limit operating hours. During the lockdown months, restaurants closed because of restrictions, but recently, food businesses are either shutting down temporarily or limiting capacity due to labor shortage. 

CEO and Founder of hiring company Landed, Vivian Wang, said companies faced with shortages can try combining different sets of bonuses to attract and retain new hires. A “$20-50 for just showing up to the interview,” which will be paid after the candidate completes the interview, can help attract workers, Wang wrote in a Forbes Councils Member post. Wang added that a retention bonus for new hires who stay in their positions for 30 days could improve retention rates.

Some business owners believe the U.S. labor market shortage will drag on despite the lifting of most restrictions, NBC reported. President of Dallas-based SCCP Management Inc., Chris Dharod, told the outlet that he thinks there could still be “another six months of tough staffing ahead of that.” 

New filings for unemployment claims have dropped for four straight weeks to a new post-pandemic low as the labor market recovers New filings for unemployment claims have dropped for four straight weeks to a new post-pandemic low as the labor market recovers Photo: AFP / Olivier DOULIERY