Alan Price: How to handle ‘ghosting’ in the workplace

We’re all accustomed to describing bad dating behaviour with terms like “catfishing” and “ghosting”, but according to new research, a jobseeker seems to be just as likely to encounter these behaviours by employers in the hunt for a dream job as for a dream date.

The research* found that a shocking 90 per cent of job hunters have experienced nuisance behaviour when dealing with recruiters. The ten most commonly encountered bad recruiter behaviours are:

Kittenfishing (experienced by 30 per cent of job seekers) – Making the job seem a bit better than it really was to grab a candidate’s interest.
Catfishing (29 per cent) – Making the job seem a lot better than it actually was, to the point where the job description didn’t match the reality.
Rostering (2 per cent) – Keeping the candidate waiting for ages before letting them down because they were actually the second-choice candidate.
Slow Fade (24 per cent) – Gradually paying the candidate less and less attention over time.
Ghosting (23 per cent) – Suddenly ignoring the candidate and cutting off all communication.
Submarining (23 per cent) – Ignoring the candidate for a certain amount of time, then reappearing like nothing happened.
Player (21 per cent) – A recruiter which promises someone they are the lead candidate while actually speaking to lots of others.
Cushioning (19 per cent) – Promising they were the only candidate but was actually speaking to others on the side.
Being clingy (16 per cent) – Contacting the candidate too much/won’t leave them alone.
Stalking (15 per cent) – Knew all about the candidate from their social media feed even though they’d never spoken.

It wasn’t all bad news for recruiters as 22 per cent said they found recruiters to be laid-back, helpful and constructive, known as “breezing” in the dating world. However, the research shows that there is a growing disconnect between what job seekers want and how recruiters operate.

Adrian Ezra, Founder and CEO of JamieAi, commented,

The recruitment industry regularly gets criticised for lack of focus on the job seeker’s needs, but our research demonstrates the true scale of the issue. These days we have a lexicon of terms for describing bad dating behaviours, and their similarities to the bad recruitment behaviours are too close to ignore.

*From JamieAi, a UK based HR-Tech start-up,





Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!

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