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    EaseMyTrip cofounder miffed at VP not showing up on joining date — what can employers do with such candidates

    EaseMyTrip cofounder miffed at VP not showing up on joining date — what can employers do with such candidates

    EaseMyTrip cofounder miffed at VP not showing up on joining date — what can employers do with such candidates
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    By Kanishka Sarkar   IST (Published)

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    EaseMyTrip co-founder Prashant Pitti last week built a buzz with his tweet welcoming suggestions to solve the hiring issue concerning candidates who decide at the 11th hour that they won’t be joining a firm.

    From great resignation to quiet quitting, ever since the pandemic began, the job market has witnessed a variety of trends, and the latest, a kind of extension, is the phenomenon of candidates not turning up on the joining date despite accepting the job offer months in advance.
    EaseMyTrip co-founder Prashant Pitti last week built a buzz with his tweet welcoming suggestions to solve the hiring issue concerning candidates who decide at the 11th hour that they won’t be joining a firm.
    Pitti told CNBCTV18.com that this particular hiring was for the vice-president level and that he was stunned because he had been mentoring and nurturing the candidate personally for a long time.
    “On the date of joining, I came to the office hoping to see him/her but got this shocker message instead. Now I am back to square one and wasted months to fill this position,” he wrote in a LinkedIn post.
    It’s not a one-off case
    Following the incident, Pitti checked internally and realised that such episodes happen almost 42 percent of the time. Explaining this, he said that each job candidate has almost 1.7 offer letters in hand, so companies are bound to see such last-minute dropouts, given talent is scarce.
    In the LinkedIn post, the EaseMyTrip co-founder said, “Employees can interview and accept 10+ offer-letter simultaneously. Hence they will end up breaking commitment to 9 of 10 of them. But companies cannot do that. For a senior position (like this case), they must hire only one (for one position) and wait months for that person to join. In the meantime, companies reject all other applications.”
    Pitti received support from the startup community with many saying that this is a recurring issue.
    Venture capitalist Vani Kola of Kalaari Capital replied to his tweet, saying, “It is a real problem. Larger companies have more infrastructure to deal with this. For startups especially, it is a real issue.”
    TeamLease Services' chief business officer Mayur Taday said this trend had been there for a long time but accentuated after the startups started ramping down. There is a scare of insecurity; hence, candidates ask for more details about the company and whether the job is secure or not, he said.
    Not joining is only part of the problem
    Giving an overview of the industry, Taday said for contractual hiring, only 70 candidates join out of the 100 who have been made an offer. Thereby, the ratio is 70 percent.
    "This can be worse for sales positions and can go as low as 55 percent. This is a typical supply-demand situation where demand exceeds the appropriate talent supply," he said.
    According to him, this trend more or less exists across the industries in various proportions (ratios). It varies from profile to profile rather than industry. "Sales profiles have been monitored to have the most number of dropouts whereas the back office profiles have fewer dropouts comparatively. If the hiring is happening with a referral scheme and the candidate is referred by a friend or a previous supervisor, the dropout percentage is less or almost zero," he explained.
    He added that working with friends or known people or with a supervisor where the candidate shares good rapport is a sticky proposition in all probability.
    EaseMyTrip’s Pitti also acknowledged that the issues are not only at the candidates’ end but also on employers' several times. He cited long notice periods for employees who resign and ghosting of potential hires among some of the problems that irked candidates.
    What can employers do?
    K Sudarshan, angel investor and lead at Asia partnership for global executive search firm EMA Partners, tweeted that some companies have tried imposing penalties in the contract in case there’s a no-show, but that hasn’t helped. “More rampant at the junior level, especially in tech and digital sector but happens at the senior level too. Not surprised,” he said.
    However, Anshul Prakash, Partner, Employment Labour and Benefits, Khaitan & Co, explained that if candidates do not turn up to join employment even after accepting an offer, such failure will not necessarily fall in the category of breach of contract as the offer acceptance has not led to the creation of a contract but only the intent to enter into a contract of employment.
    “Accordingly, while the candidate cannot be specifically required to join the services, the company may still contemplate approaching the court for damages or losses,” he told CNBCTV18.com.
    EaseMyTrip’s Pitti told CNBCTV18.com that while taking the legal route is a possibility, it is a cumbersome process, and a lot of time goes into it, so many choose to stay away from it.
    He believes it is time to introspect and find a solution to balance the situation. He said he would address the issue at the town hall with his employees and welcome feasible ideas.
    Meanwhile, Pitti spoke to his fellow startup leads and suggested that employers must make the hiring process more transparent and share outcomes as soon as possible rather than the "we will let you know” approach.
    "Some asked notice-period to be shortened. It could reduce the last-minute drop-off a bit but won't change things materially. The one who would want to shop around would do it regardless. Moreover, notice-period works both ways. It gives employees also time to find a new job if there is a mismatch," he said in his post.
    TeamLease's Taday, on the other hand, said the companies are ensuring that the communication to candidates is clear and transparent about the job role, salary and every other aspect.
    "Job fairs are conducted to ensure that proper audio/ visual communication is managed about the company as well. Handholding of candidates up to joining is also being done as communication plays a very important role here," he said.
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