The sins of recruitment

Not just a dating issue…Ghosting, catfishing and submarining rife in recruitment

recruitment sinsBad dating behaviours and their corresponding terms such as “catfishing”“ghosting” and “stalking” have become the buzzwords of the past year, driven by the rise of online dating platforms and growing cultural influence of millennials. 

Spanning founder with over 20 years of working in the recruitment and HR space, Adrian witnessed an array of bad recruitment practices, which led to the idea to set up JamieAi with a mission to radically disrupt the sector. Ultimately, we want to eliminate the clear inefficiencies and biases which not only hinder the collective progress of businesses but country’s brightest minds. 

It’s no surprise that our research found that these days you’re just as likely to encounter these bad dating behaviours in the hunt for your dream job as you are for your dream date. In fact a shocking 90% of job hunters have claimed to experience one of the notorious ‘recruiting sins’:

1. Kittenfishing (experienced by 30% of job seekers) – Making the job seem a bit better than it really was to grab a candidates interest.
2. Catfishing (29%)  Making the job seem a lot better than it actually was, to the point where the job description didn’t match the reality. 
3. Rostering (25%)  Keeping the candidate waiting for ages before letting them down because they were actually the second-choice candidate
4. Slow Fade (24%)  Gradually paying the candidate less and less attention over time.
5. Ghosting (23%) – Suddenly ignoring the candidate and cutting off all communication.
6. Submarining (23%)  Ignoring the candidate for a certain amount of time, then reappearing like nothing happened. 
7. Player (21%) – A recruiter which promises someonethey are the lead candidate while actually speaking to lots of others.
8. Cushioning (19%)  Promising they were the only candidate but was actually speaking to others on the side.
9. Being clingy (16%)  Contacting the candidate too much/won’t leave them alone.
10. Stalking (15%)  Knew all about the candidate from their social media feed even though they’d never spoken.

Can we fix it?

There is a clear growing disconnect between what job seekers want and how recruiters operate. This means that there is a clear proportion of job seekers who experience frustrating behaviour from recruiters

The research wasn’t all bad news as 22% said they found recruiters to be laid-back, helpful and constructive, known as “breezing” in the dating world. This highlights the true scale of the issue. The recruitment industry is ripe for disruption and we believe the future of recruitment lies in technology. AI and machine learning will massively increase efficiency and transparency both for job seekers and hiring managers. 

AI is expected to create $13 trillion in value for businesses by 2030while other industries are rapidly adopting AI and machine learning, recruitment is clinging rigidly to the old, profligate ways of working that benefit neither job seekers or businesses. Our vision for JamieAi is to dramatically increase the accuracy of job search and in doing so, save businesses huge amounts of time and expenditure.

We’ve created a hiring experience that is better than any human recruiter can give, setting out to radically disrupt the recruitment sector, dragging it into the 21st century which will hopefully see the end of ghosting, catfishing and stalking; making people’s job hunt much easier and enjoyable.


This post and the findings of our survey were featured in: London Evening Standard (21.01.19, p.53), Sunday Express (20.01.19, p.56), Business Leader, Start Your Business, HR Review, The Global Recruiter, Business Matters,, Elite Business.


Read also: What to watch in 2019 as an HR professional

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Irene Papantoniou

I’m nosy and always joining mid-way through conversations.

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