I have been thinking about whether to tell this story or not because my split partner may kill me but it's Friday, i have been laughing about this for over a week and thinking about a lot of nutty things that happen in the people business.
Recruiters, in my experience, jump through themselves rattling on about being "Professional". We pontificate on and on about how candidates can not write resumes, read job descriptions blah, blah, blah. But do we ever fess up about some of the dumb stuff we do. Not very oftern.
Couple of weeks ago a split partner and i were working our tails off to find a senior research scientist for one of my clients. This verical is really his venue so i dig up all kinds of folks, send him the CV's for him to review. In the meantime he comes up with some that really do fit, Sends me the CV and says , don't ask and/or figure it out just send him. I follow orders very well when i am working in a vertical where i struggle to be able to read the CV.
He sends me a CV that has enough keywords on it that i can understand that even i think it's a great fit. But..it's the worst resume i have ever looked at in my life. No contact info, none, nada, just a name. And it's written backwards with early career first, so i fire back and say. "I am not sending this piece of dog do to anyone. Get him to redo this mess and for God's sake get some contact info on it. A day later comes back a good CV. I fire it to my client, they love it and come back immediately asking for a phone interview. Outstanding. I dont' hear anything for two days from my pard. I email, he says he's trying to find the guy, has left word for him twice and no call back. My client is pushing to confirm a phone interview so i pick up the phone and call the candidate myself. It went something like this.
A lady answers the phone.
Me: May i speak to John Jones please. This is Sandra McCartt with Professional Search.
Lady: He is not here, why are you trying to reach him (and she sounds a little funny).
Me: I am a recruiter, my associate Dr. Dolittle has been trying to reach to confirm a phone interview with one of our clients who is interested in his CV for a scientific position.
Lady: Dr. Do little left a message yesterday, i gave it to John, he doesn't know who Dr. Dolittle is.
Me: That's strange is this the number of John Jones?
Lady: Yes, i will give him your message but something is very strange about all this.
I send an email to my pal that says. Hey, The lady who answered John's number says he doesn't know who you are. He writes back, " Huh, call me". Before i can call Dr. Dolittle my phone rings, It's John Jones.
Me: Hi John , Dr. Dolittle and i have been trying to reach you. Our client XUZ is very interested after reviewing your CV they want you to speak with the SVP of Research and Development.
John Jones: Well you called my ex wife and she can't figure out what is going on but she thinks i am trying to leave the country so i think we have a mis communication or something going on. I am a movie set production designer. I don't know Dr. Dolittle, i am not looking for a job and i have no idea what you are talking about when you talk about cancer research.
Me: Do you live at 3333 West 33rd in blah, blah , Canada?
John: My ex wife does but i don't.
Me: Well somehow we have the wrong contact info on this CV. I am so sorry but if you ever decide to make a move give us a call. He finally laughs so i suggest that it might be good to tell the ex that a couple of goofy recruiters got the wrong contact information.
I send an email to Dr. Dolittle that says. "We got the wrong John Jones".
My phone rings, Dr. Dolittle is trying to figure out what happened. I take a deep breath, and say,
"Dolittle, when i had a fit about the CV did you redo it or have the candidate redo it.?"
Dolittle takes a breath, "I did"
Me: and when you put his contact information on there where did you get it, did you look it up on the internet?"
Dolittle takes a breath, "Yup".
Me: Laughing like a demented thing, since i am the dummy in this deal. "Find the freaking candidate, get the correct contact information , i will tell the client that he just moved or something and let's resend his CV without contact information for the exwife of a movie set production designer and let's hope to God that the client didn't get itchy and try to reach out to him since we have not been able to confirm."
There is no moral to this story, it's Friday and it's fixed. Come on, fess up , what are some of the dumb things you've done?
I remember my very first sendout. The client (as I later learned) had a great relationship with our senior recruiter. I didn't even know I was expected to be the one to gather the feedback - and was shocked when our receptionist said "Jerry - It's John with NCR and he sound's upset"
I kindof freaked out a little bit. I had no idea what to do so I ran to my desk, grabbed a notepad and answered the phone. Right off the bat this guy just went OFF! I couldn't believe my ears. As I recall it was something about this candidate being a complete waste of time - how I must have just made up a huge story to get him to come in there - the list went on and on. And the guy was yelling!
As the phone call progressed I noticed my manager and the company owner over in the big office - laughing hysterically. Then the guy on the phone started laughing too.
They set the whole thing up.
Those were the good old days I tell ya. The good old days!
My first year as a nurse recruiter I was doing staffing for local hospitals. A nurse who was in her late 20's called me and said that "John" with the same last name as her would be picking up her check. When he came in, he was an older guy in his mid-50's with a head full of grey hair. I looked at him and said, "Mr. So and So, you must be Sally's dad!" His reply was, "Nope. I'm her husband." I felt like a complete idiot.