For some of you who have followed my writing and opinions for a number of years, you may have noticed I have not been a prolific writer as of late – for good and for bad. The good is that we have had as much business as we can handle and writing takes time; the bad is that perhaps I’ve done myself a disservice by not sharing our opinions and trends we see in the workplace with you all.

But I am seeing a dangerous trend in the marketplace that has prompted me – all business aside – to take time out and write my thoughts, in the hopes of providing a less-than-gentle reminder of what key leadership starts with: communication.

The problem? The disappearing act. Now, if you were at a magic show, a disappearing act could be quite entertaining. However, in our business disappearing clients (and more importantly, disappearing candidates) aren’t only mystifying but down right troubling, rude, and may I say, a quick way to burn a bridge forever with firms like ours and people in high places that sometimes circle back and become your bosses.

I don’t get it; if you are a leader or an aspiring leader – and that is who we work with – you know the value and importance of managerial courage. It is a competency much discussed and valued and a key component to being a leader of others or an influencer of many. The antithesis of that managerial courage is disappearing without a call or email in the midst of an interview process. Not interested in moving forward? No problem. Slept on it and decided the role wasn’t for you? We get it. But to discuss, commit, and disappear without any communication or explanation? Unacceptable (and I do mean unacceptable in any circumstances – with the exception that you are dead in a ditch somewhere).

Usually, there is one odd duck a year that disappears and we shake our heads, mystified. But this year it seems like an entire flock of people have gone off the radar and don’t have the courage or fortitude to come clean and say they’ve changed their minds. I am often heard saying to my clients and staff that we have the only commodity that can change their minds. That is part of being human and it is fine with us. However, if you choose to disappear without thought of our time, our clients’ time, the schedules and importance of so many people hinging on your commitment, you’re not only being rude, you are being cowardly, and that is not a quality we (meaning any of us) value in our lives, personally or professionally.

As a recruiter, we understand that life happens and circumstances change, but one’s core values and integrity should not. I hope we all take a moment to reflect on what is proper, not only in communication, but what should be and is expected in our daily actions.

Nobody is perfect; certainly no one I know – myself included – but if I disappear on you after I commit, call me on it. I’ll deserve it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask here.

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