A job applicant had his application withdrawn when someone (perhaps another candidate) sent the employer an email stating that he wanted to withdraw from the recruitment process. The employer, perhaps unsurprisingly, took the email at face value and did not progress his application any further.
Will employers need to start checking the validity of their communications with applicants? Could they miss out on top talent if they do not? Is it for the individual to better protect themselves (in this case, the candidate had publicised his application on Twitter)? Some interesting questions are raised by this, hopefully, unusual situation.
The employer's handling of personal data also needs to be looked at. As part of the application process, the candidates each had to save a written piece of work in a particular place using their full name as the file name. They could not only see the names of the other candidates but also access the other files too. Under our data protection rules, personal data must be processed in a secure manner and so the employer may well have fallen foul of this duty.
Journalist and blogger Nicholas Fearn told the BBC that someone created a Gmail account in his name, and withdrew his job application. He said he had applied for a writing job at a company in South Wales and was selected for a written assessment at its office.