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Ghosting in Recruitment: The Spooky Side of Gamedev Tales

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When the eerie winds of early November blow and ghouls take to the streets, it’s the perfect time to delve into a modern haunting: ghosting in recruitment. The term, originally hailing from the realm of personal relationships, refers to the act of suddenly and without explanation going silent. Today, we’ll unravel this mysterious practice’s presence in our beloved gamedev industry.

Ghosting Defined

Ghosting, in its essence, has its roots in personal relationships where one person abruptly cuts off all communication without explanation. This disconcerting behavior has evolved and taken a firm grip on business interactions, especially in the recruitment realm. The reasons behind such actions can vary, but the emotional impact remains significant.

1. When Candidates Experience the Chill

The bone-chilling experience of waiting for a response after applying for a role (or even worse – after an interview), only to be met with silence, can leave candidates puzzled and disheartened.

Potential Causes of Being Ghosted by a Recruiter:

High Application Volume

Recruitment for certain roles can attract a deluge of applications. Sifting through hundreds, perhaps thousands, of applications is no small task. While recruiters strive to be meticulous, the sheer volume can sometimes lead to oversight or prolonged response times.

Mismatched Qualifications

Sometimes, despite your valuable skills and experiences, they may not align perfectly with the specifics of a job role. It could be that the recruiter has found another candidate whose profile matches the immediate needs of the position more closely.

Internal Company Hurdles

Recruitment isn’t an isolated process, no matter if we’re talking AAA or indie studios. Sometimes, unexpected events within the company, be it restructuring, budgetary constraints, or shifts in project priorities, can put recruitment on the backburner, leading to unintentional communication gaps.

Complicated Hiring Processes

Not all hiring processes are created equal. Some can be lengthy, winding, and fraught with multiple evaluation stages. This complexity, especially if not managed efficiently, can lead to communication lags. At 8Bit, we’ve seen the pitfalls of convoluted processes and hence advocate for simplicity — an approach to recruitment where efficiency and quality go hand-in-hand.


It’s an often-undiscussed aspect, but the truth is, delivering rejection is not easy. Recruiters are human too, and some might delay or completely avoid communicating a negative outcome, especially if they’ve built rapport with the candidate.

Tips for Avoiding Recruiter Ghosting:

Clarify Timelines

After your interaction, be it an InMail, an interview or a casual chat, it’s wise to get clarity on what follows. Understand the subsequent steps, the probable time frame for each, and when you can expect an update.

Build Relationships

At its core, recruitment is relational. It’s more than just filling a role; it’s about forging connections. Cultivating genuine relationships with recruiters can set the stage for open, transparent communication, ensuring you’re always in the loop.

How to Handle Ghosting in Recruitment as a Candidate?

Seek Feedback

Uncertainty can be unnerving. If there’s silence from the other end, it’s reasonable to send a gentle nudge or a polite inquiry for an update. Your assertiveness can also highlight your commitment to the role.

Stay Professional

Ghosting can stir a pot of emotions. But it’s crucial to channel these feelings productively. Reacting negatively or impulsively can inadvertently jeopardize future opportunities with the same organization or recruiter.

Don’t Ghost Your Dream Job!

2. The Bewildering Vanishing Act of Candidates

Recruiters, while often painted as the culprits, aren’t immune to ghosting’s chilling effects. Candidates, too, sometimes disappear into the mist.

Why Candidates Might Ghost?

Doubts and Uncertainties

Candidates are seeking roles that align with their personal and professional aspirations. If they come across elements of the job that don’t quite sync with their vision or if they get an offer that appears more enticing elsewhere, it might cause them to retreat without communication. Their silence could be a result of their internal struggle to weigh the pros and cons, or perhaps they’re waiting to finalize another offer before they respond.


The digital age has streamlined the recruitment process. However, it also means that candidates, especially the highly skilled ones, might find themselves inundated with messages, InMails, and emails from multiple recruiters. This deluge can be daunting. For some, the easiest way to manage this might be to ignore or delay responses, especially if the roles aren’t an immediate fit.

Changing Circumstances

Life is unpredictable. Candidates might be genuinely interested in a role but face unexpected personal or professional changes. Relocations, family emergencies, or unforeseen offers can divert their attention, leading them to inadvertently ghost recruiters.

How Recruiters Can Navigate Ghosting in Recruitment Process:

Open Dialogue

A culture of transparency goes a long way. Encouraging candidates to voice their concerns, apprehensions, or any shifts in their interest levels can be beneficial. Ensure that they understand it’s a judgment-free zone and that their candidness would be appreciated. This not only facilitates smoother recruitment processes but also fosters trust.

Regular Check-ins

While it’s essential to keep candidates in the loop, it’s equally crucial not to inundate them with messages. Striking a balance is key. Regular, structured check-ins at pivotal junctures in the recruitment process can make candidates feel valued. It provides them with timely updates, reduces uncertainties, and offers them an avenue to share any changes on their end.

Stop ghosting people, period.

Ghosting in recruitment, though eerie, is a reflection of underlying communication challenges in our rapidly evolving gamedev world. As we forge ahead, fostering environments of empathy, respect, and openness can ensure ghosting remains a tale of the past.