Recruitment Horror Stories… we’ve all had one…

Been in the industry long enough and you can be sure you’ve had one… at least one. An experience, story, confrontation, client visit or interview that sends shivers down your spine… You like to whip it out at parties and social gatherings to get the mood moving… Go on, admit it…

fart 3The one I go with is slightly benign… no deaths or maiming’s… but here goes anyway…

I was filling a Company Auditor role a few of years back, great company – close knit team of 6 – but working in a pretty tight space.

I completed a thorough recruitment process and identified a candidate that ticked all of their boxes. They duly hired, but… it was not until the ‘follow up’ stage of the process that my Horror Story began….

 

It was a Monday morning – week 2, around 10.30am – when I picked up the phone to the Financial Controller…

‘Good Morning Sally,’ I begun, ‘just checking up on how Jason is getting along?’ Jason’s not his real name by the way… his real name is Aaron… but for the purposes of this post I changed his name to Jason, so not to embarrass him… and so that he wouldn’t be angry with me… and because Jason sounds more like a name we associate with Horror Stories… Oh…  but I didn’t change his boss’ name… Sally, now she’s a real trouper…

‘Ummm, Ahhh…’ Some shuffling of paper and various other sounds as Sally made her way to a more private location… (Note to self – next time call on the landline…).

 

‘Yes Craig. I was going to call you today… there is a small problem with Jason…’

Here it comes… Jason is lazy… Jason is confrontational… Jason isn’t the right fit…

fart 1‘I don’t really know how to raise this, but Jason… ummm…’ Yes. Go on… ‘You see… Jason…. has… a… flatulence problem…’

**Insert sound of crickets chirping…

 

‘A flatulence problem?’ Try saying that as you bite your lip through fear of laughing…

‘Yes, a flatulence problem… It’s not so much the sound, they’re pretty quiet actually – it’s the smell…’

‘I can imagine…’ I replied, trying even harder not to laugh and at the same time wondering what in hell’s name they want me to do about it… ‘Have you raised this… ummm… flatulence problem with Jason?’

‘No, Craig… We were hoping you could, as he is still under guarantee..’  My jaw silently drops to the ground, as a million thoughts rush through my head… not least of which being I wonder if they paid the invoice on time… If not – theoretically Jason is not under guarantee. ‘It seems to be worse when he has been out the night before, and to be honest it’s really affecting the rest of the staff…’

 

‘I can imagine…’ I repeated, my mind focused on her previous point about me raising the issue with Jason. ‘Ummm, are you sure it wouldn’t be best coming from you?  If I do it, he will know that you have spoken to me about it… and may embarrass him?’ There’s no come back to that one is there? Phew, responsibility successfully delegated!

‘No Craig, I’d prefer it if you could come down here this afternoon and speak with Jason about it.  After all, you are his agent… and we need this dealt with today.’

Long story short, I went down to the office and spoke with Jason.  I suggested he stay off the beers and kebabs and maybe chew on some charcoal tablets…. Sure he was embarrassed – but so was I. We managed to have a laugh about it in the end. I told him that I was relieved we’d had the discussion in a coffee shop and not a small, windowless, non-ventilated interview room… which broke the ice – from my perspective anyway

fart 2Jason is still with the business 4 years later.  They have thankfully moved to a larger office – in fact, Jason now has his own office, and I am led to believe it has fantastic ventilation and air conditioning…. not that he needs that now… Horror story over, sanity restored…

Sure, my Horror Story turned out to be more National Lampoons than Stephen King, but as I’ve said before, we work in an extremely unique field. We are in an industry that has us deal with 2 sets of clients during every process. Coupled with that we are selling the most unpredictable, individual and sometimes unreliable product in the world… people…

You will have Horror Stories and you will have your patience, your super hero powers and your sanity tested… time and time again. It’s how you learn from these situations and make every effort to control the process that will reduce the chapters…

I’d really love it if you could post your Horror Story in the comments section below. It may help us in our endless quest for perfection as a Recruiter, it may just give me a good laugh, but – most importantly – it could be cathartic for you… no… who am I kidding? I’m really hoping it just gives me a good laugh!

Craig Watson

 

4 thoughts on “Recruitment Horror Stories… we’ve all had one…”

  1. I had a call from a client about a week after a candidate had started once asking for a refund. Turns out their offices were raided and my candidate arrested for a multi-million pound drug deal he was involved in!

  2. I did have the BO problem (not me, my candidate!) The said candidate went for an interview and I had to deliver the feedback that they smelt.

    I do agree, that these difficult situations make us stronger communicators.

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