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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?

Tags: Laugh, dummies., for, recruiting

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Dumb things? Way too numerous to list all but here's the one I repeat most often:
Assumed I knew what I was doing.
Every time I do that I learn better.

;)
M
Why would Dr. Doolittle put forward a candidate he had not spoken with?
He had spoken with him several times, he had the contact information in his notes that was correct but it was not on the CV nor was the address. When he looked up the address he stuck the phone number associated with that address on the CV instead of going back to his notes. When he was asked to contact the candidate he looked at the CV instead of his notes. Comedy of errors
Great way to start off on Monday morning with an example of what can and does happens at times...thanks for the chuckle!
this one qualifies as one of the dumbest, and i still cringe a bit when I think about it...must've been my second / third year as a recruiter? anyway, here's me calling away, trying to find a sales rep who might be interested in a position I had..

I called a guy who I knew was an experienced rep, and had spoken with a time or two before..he had even been cool enough to recommend some guys to me...anyway I mention the company name I was recruiting for, and the guy goes OFF..how he wouldn't ever work for such thieves, cads, and bounders.. lots of informed opinions ( mixed with some profanity) on how they treated customers and employees.

so, when he finished, instead of just thanking him for his time and ending the damn call, I asked in my most cheerful robot recruiter voice: "Well, that's fine, that's obviously not for you, would you know anybody who might be a fit"?

Whoops! I realized what I just did, after I said it.. well, you think mr. prospective candidate was pissed off before? I hadn't seen anything yet.. not only was my client a den of vipers, I obviously was in league with the demons myself, AND a bad listener who didn't take what people said seriously enough, or care what sort of meat grinder I was pushing candidates into..even went so far as to say he'd never return my call again, and would tell other reps he knew that I was a used car salesman that couldn't be trusted.

The guy sounded sincere, and he seemed really hurt I went into robot recruiter mode on him..he never did return another call I made to him. And I didn't blame him one bit. it was my fault for mentally and emotionally checking out on the call.

That was the day I learned to "be present and alive in the moment" when I was talking to people.
Tom,
That is funny amazing isn't it how much we learn. It seems that in the world of recruiting..we sorta can fix stupid.

Very early in my career (as Jerry says, when we still had rotary phones), I was all prepped and ready to call an employer and present a candidate. Maybe the thrid candidate i had ever presented to anyone. I had all my stuff on the desk, had reviewed the job order and the resume and my notes. Dialed the phone, my client answered. I drew myself up in all my professional glory and said:

"This is Jim McCleary at Southwestern Public Service".

My client said, "Really, i thought i was."

I choked like a big dog. He laughed so the only thing i could think of to say was, "Ok how about i start that one all over, do you know who this is?"

He laughed again and said, "Hi Sandra, you must be excited about the candidate, but do you know HIS name.

When that one was over i put my head down on my desk and mumbled something about..i don't know if i can do this job. Jim has long since retired but once in a while i see him someplace. He never forgot it and always says, "Hi Jim" when i run into him.
LOL Sandra!

That's great..." I thought I was".. goes to show just how important a sense of humor is.
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.
Love this one Jer. I guess all of us have been set up. About the time i thought i was the end all to be all of the accounting recruiting world i got my kick in the teeth. I came back from lunch to find a job order neatly typed on my desk that was a killer job order and a total fit for a super candidate i had found that morning who was a Big 8 (Yes it was then the big 8) Sr. Manager ready to change to a CFO role. I called him immediately and had him standing on his hind legs pawing the air about this fabulous job that had just come in albeint neither of us had ever heard of the company. He was ready so, ready to make the biggest placment anybody had made that year i picked up the phone, dialed the number that was on the job order.

Ring, ring, ring, "Hello, you have reached dial a prayer, the prayer for the day is....."

Thinking i had dialed the number wrong i slamed down the phone and redialed. Same drill. I dialed again, same thing so i ran to the office administrator screaming that she had taken the wrong phone number. She looked weird and indicated she had never seen that job order and had not typed it or put it on my desk. I was numb and headed back to my office. As i passed the row of offices, all doors were shut and the sound of hysterical laugher was not very muffled. THE ACCOUNTING GODDESS HAD BEEN PUNKED.

Did i lie to my candidate, oh yes i did, shoot me, burn me at the stake. I called him and told him that unfortunately the company had decided that there really was not a prayer that they would get this division open in the next six months after all ,so it was by the boards and i would be in touch soon with other opportunities.

Jerry Albright said:
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!
LOL, not sure there is a recovery from that one Thomas.

Thomas Mitchell said:
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.
I probably have already told this one but it fits here...

Several years ago (pre-Skype), I was doing a search for a Director of Nutrition for a large health care district in Central California. I was able to identify a few key candidates, one that was being flown in from Florida. The VP of HR called me right after his first round of interviews (a full day had been scheduled)..
"Rayanne, did you ever meet this candidate?" "No," I answered trying not to let her hear my throat closing up.
"Rayanne, did you ever see a picture of this candidate?" "No," I said trying to cover up the sound of my heart falling out of my chest...

"Ummm..., Rayanne, you know this search is for a Director of Nutrition, overseeing NUTRITION, right?" At this point, I gave up and said, "Jean, what happened?" She proceeded to tell me how our Number 1 candidate weighed about 400 lbs, couldn't make it across campus without stopping several times and had spittle in the corners of his mouth... oops.

I stepped up and said, "I'll take care of it, Jean." He was on the next plane and that was that... Lesson learned.

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