Recruiting Nightmares You Just Can't Make Up | TAG Talk - A Human Resource Blog
Recruiting Nightmares You Just Can’t Make Up
Recruiters engage with multiple candidates for a variety of job positions on a daily basis. Over the course of their careers, every recruiter comes across a situation or two that they’ll never forget. With Halloween right around the corner, we’ve complied some of the craziest recruiting nightmares we could find.
We’ve had some memorable moments here at the office, but none quite like these:
- Instant Regret
A candidate I had been helping for months finally landed a great opportunity with one of our clients. A week before the start date, the candidate turned down the offer for a better opportunity. About two weeks later, the candidate calls to let me know the opportunity turned out to not be as good as the one we had worked on together and asked if I could help with her job search again.
- The Forgetful Candidate
I was placing a candidate back in the day, before Criminal Background checks were a common part of the hiring process, and I specifically asked if there was anything that was going to come up that would be a concern. It was clear the client had a zero-tolerance policy for criminal record checks. When the background screening company called back to give the positive findings, the girl told me to grab a pad and pencil. The person had over 30 charges and was convicted of three things in the past 30 days alone. Needless to say, he did not get the job! Not sure how he forgot about going to court the week prior during our conversation.
- The Inappropriate Interview
When I first started off in recruiting, I was working at a staffing agency. This was before I knew how to cut bad interviews short. This one woman put me through my worst interview to date. She showed up late, smacking her gum, asking me personal questions like, “Do you have a boyfriend?” and “What size are you?” She also sat uncomfortably close to me while I interviewed her. When the interview was over, she asked me if I wanted to go to dinner with her. I did not.
- Mirror, Mirror
An applicant showed up late for an interview wearing a long trench coat with his hair slicked back in a pony tail. As the interview progressed, he answered the recruiting manager’s questions, sipped on his Starbucks coffee and tilted the chair on the back legs. When asked the question, “Why should I hire you?” he responded by taking a sip, leaning way back, running his hand along the side of his hair and saying, “Because I’m so good looking.”
- Indecent Intentions
One company hired what they thought was a qualified, excited applicant. But 10 days after the employee started, he resigned – and moved to a larger company. Turned out he’d used the company’s salary as leverage.
- Dazed and Confused
I have had several past candidates start to look extremely confused mid-interview. When I would ask them what the problem was, they would ask me to tell me who I was and what the company was they were at. Apparently they had applied to multiple jobs and could not keep them straight – they had no idea what company they were interviewing with!
- The Disappearing Candidate
A few years ago, a colleague placed a recent grad in a helpdesk type role at a major bank. A few days in, the client called to say this young man was disappearing during the work day for several hours at a time. When questioned by my colleague, he shared that he still had volunteer responsibilities he felt were very important and had to fulfill these obligations. The client let him know he could take all the time he wanted going forward to continue his volunteering effective immediately.
- An Accidental Invoice
I was screening resumes when I came across something that looked unfamiliar to me. It was a document, but wasn’t formatted like a resume at all. I began to read it and realized that someone had uploaded a receipt instead of their resume. Even worse, it was an invoice from their last doctor’s visit.
- The Echo Chamber
During a phone interview, a recruiting manager heard a candidate’s mother giving the applicant answers to her questions. The interviewer asked him, “Who’s feeding you the answers to my questions?” He said no one. The manager told him she could hear his mother in the background. The applicant got flustered and hung up.
- “Medical Emergency”
Mid-interview I thought I had the perfect candidate for the position. As I was about to extend the job offer, he began to sweat profusely. I offered water, turned the air conditioner to a lower temperature as he began to mumble. I thought “Oh No, I’ve got a medical emergency on my hands.” He excused himself to go to the restroom but didn’t return after 15 minutes. I asked a male staff member to enter the men’s restroom to check on him. The door was somehow locked and barricaded. The applicant wouldn’t answer our calls to open the door but began rambling aloud. I called the fire department and after another 20 minutes the applicant emerged totally intoxicated (empty bottle in hand) and possibly under the influence of “something” else. The next day his wife called me requesting to know when his start date would be… no job offer was extended to this candidate!