My biggest ever recruitment stuff-up!

It’s quite a few years since I worked a desk as a recruiter. But I did, for many years. And I was a pretty good recruiter too. Not great mind you. Just good enough to have a lot of fun, and make a bit of money.

And although it’s true that I billed a fair bit in my youth, I also made some monumental stuff-ups. And I don’t mean the odd lapse of judgment. I mean gargantuan mistakes. Colossal gaffes that make me cringe to this very day.

A while ago, I wrote a blog about my biggest blunders as a manager of recruiters.  But they are mostly forgivable errors, as managing people is such a nuanced endeavor. But today I hope to to exorcise my demons by sharing what is probably the worst of several almighty balls-ups I made as a recruiter.

It was in London in the early 1980s, and the market was starting to boom after a severe recession. I was placing accountants from a pokey office behind Oxford Circus, and frankly the whole industry was a bit of a circus in those days. Don’t get me wrong. It was a real, thriving industry. But it was largely unregulated. It was tough. It was fast. It was brutal actually, but it was exhilarating too.

I loved the cut and thrust of it. We interviewed people at our desks. We had job orders circulated from office to office by motorbike to get the information around the business faster. That’s right. No email and no fax. A good recruiter often placed three or four people a week. In those days, the process of recruitment was undefined, and certainly at the fast end of the market, you simply referred candidates to jobs you thought would suit them, based on the interview you had conducted with them.

Looking back I am amazed that at the time it was routine to refer candidates to roles without their specific permission on that role or that client. It was all too fast. Yes, that was the standard practice in accounting recruitment, London circa 1982.

As a result, we often placed people on the day they came in to see us. In fact that was our preferred modus operandi, as many clients would interview candidates based on our ‘telephone sell’ of their background. Often a resume was not needed at all!

But, often, the only way to secure an interview for our candidates was to send the client ‘CVs’ as we called them at that time. And it was a bun-fight to get your candidates included on the ‘shortlist’. It was truly a case of the quick and the dead, because you were competing against many other recruitment firms of course, but you were also in earnest competition to get CVs to the client before other offices of your company, and also before colleagues in your own office! (Did I mention the environment was competitive?).

But all this is no excuse for what I did. There is no easy way to say this, so here goes …..

I sent the resume of a qualified accountant, a delightful young woman, to her own employer!

There it is. I did the unthinkable. I was moving so fast, that I quickly matched a job description with a candidate and put the two together.

And it was a good match too. It was HER job!

Did I realise my blunder? No. I found out by the client calling me. “Did you send me the resume of Mary Candidate? “ he said in a quiet monotone. “Oh yes sir, I certainly did” I gushed, still unaware of the horror about to unfold. “ Well this is just to inform you that I am her boss and until now I was unaware she was looking for a new job. Thank you for this information.”


The horror. The shame. The guilt.

I phoned her. Many times. She never took my calls. Never called back. In fact I have never spoken to her again.

And to be honest I don’t know what happened to her or what the consequences for her were. Labour law was not nearly as supportive of the employee in those days, and she could easily have lost her job. At the very least, I put her in an awful position.

But in the long run the whole diabolical episode did me a lot of good. For a start, it brought me down a peg or two. Made me realise that there was a major flaw in the way we were doing things. (I was only in my early 20s and we were being told, ‘This is how it’s done’.)

It also taught me the importance of care and process, and it reminded me of our duty to candidates and how attention to detail counts.

I never made a mistake like that again.

How about you? What is your biggest recruiting stuff-up? Your darkest recruiting hour?

Come on, please tell us. Tell us your tale in the comments section below. The secret you never wanted to share.

You will feel so much better! 🙂


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About Greg Savage

Over a career spanning thirty years, Greg Savage has established himself as a global recruitment leader. Greg is a regular keynote speaker at staffing and recruitment conferences around the world.

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31 Responses to My biggest ever recruitment stuff-up!

  1. Nameless and shameful April 27, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    hmmmm, had been with a global recruiter for 3 weeks and they had their annual conference at the beginning of each year, which I got an invite to.

    Turned up and proceeded to make use of the bar facilities on the first night, got amorous with a person from another office, and woke up in said persons room at 11 am……….missing the first 4 hours of the first day of conference ………. and we got nailed by the worldwide CEO publicly – not sure how we kept our jobs, but the other couple of hundred attendee’s thought it was hilarious – my GM hated me from that day on. Having said that, was the office top performer for that year ensuring there was never another reason to get rid of me….( not sure if I feel any better – still makes me feel sick! )

  2. Uncle Walter April 27, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    This is the worst error I’ve experienced, but it was initially a client oversight that we should have picked up on.

    I was working in London in the mid-90s and we hired a Finance Director for a large conglomerate’s Papua New Guinea affiliate. The candidates were interviewed in London, and two of the candidates had the same last name, with pretty standard Anglo-Saxon first names, let’s say ‘Paul’ and ‘Peter’. The client made their choice, but the CEO’s assistant had mixed the names up and we offered the job to the wrong guy. He turned up in PNG two months later and the hiring manager, who was based there by that time, had to wing it when the mistake became obvious (i.e. as the guy got off the plane). The candidate had failed within three months, and we were blamed. We had a poor follow-up and reference checking processes, so the accusation was reasonable, in my book. They were paying us to facilitate the hire, and we didn’t do a great job.

    I haven’t got your courage, Greg, so I shall remain anonymous.

    Oh, once I nodded off interviewing quite a senior but long-winded Chinese HR manager in Beijing, but I don’t think she noticed. Hey, she was my eighth interview that day !

  3. Brad April 27, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Gee Greg, OUCH! Thats a real mega blunder alright… even I cringed! Nothing as exciting but once about 6 years ago (yes not that long ag) I was given the brief to recruit several executive roles for a national organisation in Aussie. Wanting to get ahead of the curve I wrote a blind advert for the “biggest” role as I knew I had no one for that position in the database and posted it on SEEK. Skipping ahead… the client found out and it blew the cover of their restructure. Actually it was probably as big a blunder as yours… To this day even if I see the companies logo I get the chills!!! Safe to say thats never happened again (I promise)! B.

  4. Yuriy Shevchenko April 27, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    I placed a candidate with one of the Australian government departments in Canberra, paid him $35 per hour and charged the client $75 per hour.

    A few weeks later the candidate (surprise) found out and resigned. Neither he, the client, nor anyone in that team ever worked with me again.

    Screwing the contractor down to that rate was a Pyrrhic victory – I lost much, much more than I won.

  5. Simon McSorley April 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    I remember starting as a resourcer on my first day in recruitment and getting told that we didnt interview candidates as it took to long and thinking it was a bit odd. I was actually really looking forward to learning how to do interviews, but still, not wanting to rock the boat, or appear like a smart@rse, just went along with it.

    Anyway, i submitted a candidate that i had phone interviewed, but not met, and he was articulate, engaging, technically knowledgable, likeable, knew how to open and close clients – everything you’d want in a client facing, account manager type role. So i naturally thought, “here’s my first deal – you little beauty!”

    The candidate called me after the interview, really liked the company, thought he could excell in the role, found it challenging, interstign environment etc – all the good things you want to hear post interview.

    The client returned my call shortly after, and agreed with all my comments on the candidates suitability, however was curious to know “what it was about him, when you met him, that made you think he would suit a client facing role, representing our business and our products?” Obviously I hadn’t met him and was mortified to hear that he turned up in his black ripped jeans, Slayer T-Shirt, tattoo’d arms on show, ring still through the nose and mohawk hair cut – dyed black obviously.

    Needless to say I have met everyone i have submitted to a role since then, and make it an absolute must for my team. Oh well, live and learn don’t you?!

  6. Glenn April 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    My personal mistake was similar, with the exception I sent an interview invitation to my candidate’s work email instead of his personal one. Turns out the work email was the only one in the company and went straight to the boss. Since then I have double checked every email I have ever sent.

    Probably the biggest blunder I heard of recently (by a 30 year veteran in the industry no less) was quoting, in writing, an “off the record” referee by name and title when marketing the candidate. Got back to the referee, his boss and the company was wiped from a long standing and very lucrative National PSA immediately. The sad thing is it was not an oversight.

  7. Ann April 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    I had an engineering candidate interviewed on a Friday, the client to my astonishment started him on the following Monday morning. Credentials and reference checks had not been checked or completed, messages still out . I didn’t panic, neither did the client – but then no one but no one got back to me and the qualifications/credentials didn’t eventuate either. It took weeks for me to track any one down and when I finally did it became apparent, – not an engineer at all but he had worked for some very well known engineering groups – so had pulled the wool over many .

    I came clean to the clients HR officer and his senior, they said their hard to please engineering guru by now thought the candidate the “best thing since sliced bread” . They kept him on for quite some time – pushing him out later through lack of work available – we still have the client !!!

  8. Aaron Dodd April 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    I was young, very green and naive.

    I had been in the industry about two weeks, and was excited and motivated about my new found understanding of personalities and fit with roles and cultures. I managed to blag a cold call with the MD of significant manufacturing company….

    As I sat down in their plush boardroom, I started to explain the company’s methodology and thinking behind measuring personality and matching it to roles. “We understand personality” I happily announced. I then made a brief quip about accountants and their lack thereof.

    MD looked me in the eye and said “you do know I’m a trained accountant, don’t you?” At which point I looked for space under the boardroom table within which to hide. There was none. The rest of the cold call was really just making polite talk. I then left and he never returned my follow up calls.

    It was along drive back to the office.

  9. Paul B April 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    “Looking back I am amazed that at the time it was routine to refer candidates to roles without their specific permission on that role or that client……”

    Gee Greg, how I wish that still didn’t happen today, but I’m afraid it still happens all the time – I still see it today and is actually encouraged by my Manager – he says its a way of baiting the client to get them interested ! Doesn’t matter if we dont have the candidate, we can find another one later.

    Perhaps my most embarrassing moment is still happening 🙁

    (Great article as always though !)

  10. What a disgrace April 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    My darkest recruiting hour (and I’m staying anonymous as well Greg, but those who were around at the time will know the story well)……

    Late 90’s, big Sydney based recruiter opened a Melbourne office & hired a new State Manager. This new state manager over a course of a year then proceeded to create stories about how his child had been abducted by his ex wife, how he was sent to the UK (by another very well known global recruitment icon) to find the child, how his ex wife was deceased (who was actually alive & well and came to the office seeking payments for child support who was never abducted), how he was caught using cocaine in the mens toilets, how he gave sales pitches to clients & promised the world about things we could never ever deliver (which lost said clients), how he had affairs with two female employees (that I personally know about at least), how he proclaimed to everyone that he was a psychiatrist (which he certainly wasn’t) and if I had the time, I could tell more & more stories…….

    In the end, he was caught falsifying sales documents (which he happily took the commission cheques before being caught) and was finally sacked. The reasons why he wasn’t sacked earlier – is that the company was desperate to float, they had invested some serious big dollars to be listed on the stock exchange and they didn’t want the bad publicity of such a termination of a key role. The float never happened & the company is no longer around today.

    I am so happy to say I wasn’t involved in any of that & was long gone before they shut the doors, but absolutely my darkest days in recruitment. The sad thing is, this individual is still around today (after being released from prison in more recent times which I wont comment on here), but was still recently employed by another recruiter to give “mentoring” sessions to staff. Oh dear……..

    Again, I will not mention any names or identifying details here, but there will be plenty in the industry who will know of this & other tales of this chap very well.

  11. Kay Coles April 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    We have all done it!! It’s character building!!
    My story was just as bad but actually helped me in more ways than one. I faxed a CV to a girls Boss (who was also one of my clients)!! He called me up and asked that question did you just send me Mrs Recruitment!! Yes I did she is amazing – actually she works for me already she sits opposite me and her figures are wrong. BUT I do want to be rid so I’ll correct her CV fax it back to you and say nothing aslong as you keep me in the loop and find me a replacement!! I did work hard that next few weeks, paranoid that she would discover the blunder or my client would tell on me !!!! Two placements later it was all forgotton …… by them but never forgotton by me …… and I hasten to add despite the result I never repeated the blunder!!!!!

  12. Ross Clennett April 27, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Hmm, okay, here goes. I was a recruiter in my first year in London working for the same recruitment agency that Greg worked for when he was in London. I was falling behind in my target and under pressure. I thought I was out of the woods when I found a really good chartered accountant for an internal audit job at an oil company. The salary was really good and both the candidate and client were keen on each other. The only catch was the candidate was on 3 months notice and I hadn’t told the client this fact. Fearing a disappearing offer I didn’t tell the client about the 3 months notice and when they sent the candidate the offer letter I told him there was a mistake (as the start was listed as 4 weeks hence) and he could start in 3 months. The candidate duly signed the offer letter and sent it back. I then had 4 weeks to work out how I was going to explain to the client that the candidate couldn’t start on that date and would only be turning up in another 2 months. A few days before he was due to start I called the client and (I cannot remember what I said exactly) and made up some BS re the start date. Thankfully the client didn’t rescind the offer and agreed to the new start date but I never spoke to either the client or candidate after that (I was heading back to Australia shortly afterwards) as I was too embarassed. I was worried sick about it and finished up giving myself a stomach ulcer over the whole thing. Needless to say I never did anything like that ever again.

  13. Sandy Rolfe April 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Hi Greg – love the thread and some very interesting ( and horrifying !) stories being told above.

    As my father always said, a mistake is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it as some of the best lessons in life are learned from the mistakes we make.

    I too have made some major errors in my time in this industry. A time when I first started I sent a candidates CV straight to the client who I didn’t interview in person as I thought making a quick buck from rapid fire sending CV’s was the way to go if they looked good enough on paper & sounded OK on the phone.

    Needless to say that all came to an end the day my client rang up & asked myself if I had met the candidate, to which I said “of course I had (as I felt I could talk my way out of the situation)” to them then asking then why I thought someone with multiple piercings & facial tattoos (yes, facial tattoos !) would be right for their customer facing role.

    I lost the client, lost the deal and lost the business – my quick get rich scheme was found out and my credibility was damaged – but I learned a very valuable lesson, that I still instil into new consultants today.

  14. Liz April 27, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    On the other side of the fence, was placed by a prominent agency in SA with an IT firm as their HR Manager, the MD who did the interviews left the recruitment file on my desk for “sorting out” when I started so was able to read all the other applicants CV’s and interview comments, plus my own reference checks etc (which were conducted about 5 years before by the said agency and not for the role I was hired for). Never used the recruiter again!

  15. Nicole Underwood April 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Hmm, are we really admitting this stuff? I was inexperienced, keen to build rapport and show who I knew in the market to build credibility. I had a meeting with a CFO and we got talking about the market and a particular building company that he used to work for. I said oohhh yes…have you heard about them? They are in a bit of financial trouble aren’t they etc etc. Thinking it had all gone swimmingly, I got a phone call that afternoon from the CFO at THAT building company telling me he was going to take me for slander! As a 21 year old – I had never been so scared and panicked in all my life. I thught my consulting career was over! I back peddled VERY quickly and said it was a misunderstanding etc etc and then called the other client back apologised and grovelled . What did I learn? Never gossip about other clients and companies – especially in a small town like Adelaide!

  16. Nathan Reese April 27, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    Oh God, don’t remind me, I went to a meeting 1 week in to my recruitment career and was excited that I had my first client, well after a credit check and all, it appeared I had found a real dud, he was on the brink of bankruptcy and was still hiring. Anyway he kept sending me emails and I forwarded an email to my manager asking what to do with this twit, I was also using a few other unnecessary words and guess what I pressed reply not forward.

  17. Peter Leonard April 28, 2011 at 2:12 am #

    I can recall two blunders, neither of which was (mercifully) too damaging to either my credibility or fee production – well, ok, maybe my credibility took a fairly big hit!
    I once tried to headhunt someone called Kerry who on paper seemed a strong candidate for a job I was trying to fill. Having done some (very) basic background research, I made the initial contact call. When asked to identify myself and the reason for the call by the switchboard I confidently asserted that I was an old friend of ‘hers’ (the candidate’s, that is) from University, smoothly assuring the operator that ‘she’ would be delighted to hear from me after all these years and urging her to connect me without further unnecessary delay. After a slightly unexpected pause as the clearly reluctant (and slightly bewildered) switchboard operator regained her composure, then connected the call, I heard a rather gruff sounding (male) voice saying, ‘Hello, Kerry speaking. Who’s that f*****g joker then?’ He wasn’t very pleased at all. On the plus side I did eventually manage to fill the job but – as you might expect – with a different candidate (and it wasn’t a boy named Sue!). Oh, and I didn’t get far enough into the call to properly identify myself, which was probably a good thing.

    The second blunder could have been more damaging. I recruited an Account Manager for a leading agency – and one of my best clients – many years ago who I automatically assumed could drive – never assume anything of course, but said candidate had actually asked me what sort of car she would be eligible for as an Account Manager and to this day I think she’s the only Account Manager I’ve met who couldn’t drive, so there is some – though not much – mitigation. A full UK driving license was essential for the role in question. Having been offered the job, she duly arrived for work on day one and was taken to the car park to collect her new motor, whereupon – you’ve guessed it – she informed the HR Manager that she couldn’t drive and had in point of fact never said she could, which was technically quite true, of course (the agency hadn’t asked her either). She left soon afterwards (though for other reasons). I got off lightly – without having to offer even a partial rebate – and the agency remains one of my best clients to this day, but their erstwhile Chief Exec developed what seemed like the rather more than coincidental habit of reminding me of this episode whenever he wanted a favour (for quite a few years afterwards), so there was a price to pay. Not a mistake – I’m pleased to say – I’ve ever repeated!

  18. Carey Eaton April 28, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    In 1995 in my first couple of months as a recruiter I sent a candidate uninterviewed to a temporary credit control job where she had to do phone collections of debt.

    After a couple of weeks I called the client to see how she was doing.

    He said ‘Your recommendation of a hearing impaired credit controller was either madness or genius”

    Apparently the candidate would call the debtors and say ‘you owe us $x and by the way I’m completely deaf and can’t actually hear what you’re saying so just make sure the money arrives this week so I don’t have to call again’ and this proved very effective.

  19. Piers Rowan April 28, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    I had just started out in industrial recruitment in Adelaide during the recession we had to have. After many, many calls I finally landed a big temp order: 15 electricians for a building site through a well known contractor.

    I asked about the site pay, conditions, union membership requirements, etc, etc – this was my first big break so I wasn’t going to leave anything out. I did the paper based file search and managed to get 15 resumes down to the contractor. He told me that most of them were $*** and took five. Ah well at least I got 5 temps out for 3 months and a new client on board.

    I went to the site to pick up time sheets and as I was signing the book noticed that there was a list of temps on site. The other 10 of mine were working through a competitor for the contractor – they had just taken my work and flicked the resumes to his mate at another agency (even without numbers on them ‘back in the day it wasn’t hard to find someone in Adelaide).

    Then next thing I hear is that I’m responsible for a dispute on site as the client had given me incorrect pay rates (each building site would have a specific rate of pay and the project managers would give it to you to quote). So of course I quoted competitively and there was no room to up the base rate by $2.50 (and subsequent factors).

    When I had to back pay the staff went to the contractor and he basically laughed in my face and said it wasn’t his problem.

    Lesson learnt: You can always find a better client and don’t yet yourself be humiliated or be taken advantage because your dazzled by what the figures might look like on paper.

  20. Moray R April 28, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Love all the stories but in particular the one about the deaf credit controller. LOL! im not brave enough to go into my worse stuff ups but I recall a time where I took an informal reference on a candidate. It wasnt great and basically said he was rubbish. As a result of this I didnt represent him to my client but did tell the client the name of the candidate and why I wasnt submitting him. As is the way his CV found its way to the client and was hired! more than that he did a great job. for some reason this client told the candidate that I had not reccomended him and got a pretty pi55ed off call from said candidate. Moral of the strory is dont believe all you hear! and be careful what you say and to whom

  21. Yuriy Shevchenko April 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    Reading these remarks and especially Greg’s post, I can’t help but think of Harry Enfield’s “Loadsamoney” character from the 1980s. Brilliant!

  22. Brett Iredale April 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    As a young fellow I once sent an email to a work colleague referring to a client as “hot” and her boss as a micro dick. The boss’s nickname was actually because that was very close to his company name, not necessarily a comment on his manliness.
    It was suddenly not very funny when I hit send and realised immediately that I had sent it to the client and not my colleague.
    Net result was she thought her boss’s nick name was hilarious and she took it as a compliment that I called her hot.
    I however was mortified and learned a number of important lessons that day. One of the lesser ones was that recalling an email does not actually work and in fact serves only to highlight to the recipient that someone somewhere is presently wetting their pants in distress.

  23. John Linnett April 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    A collegue in 2001, placed a PA/Sec with a private company ”N” which was fully owned by a mega-rich businessman. When this PA resigned from her current employer “P” and told them where she was going, a day later we received notice that the offer was withdrawn. The mega-rich businessman did not wish to pay us a fee for moving an employees from one of his companies to another. Neither the PA or us knew he owned both firms! The collegue in question did not sleep for a couple of nights and everyone in the office worked their socks off to get this PA another role – which we did. We deleted company “N” from our data base and have never dealt with them since. Late last year a friend secured – not through us – a permanent role with company “N” with a 6 month (not the usual 3 month) probationary period. They were terminated after 4 months for ‘not fitting into the culture’ although they did work crazy hours over the very busy Xmas period !!!
    A leopard never does change its spots!

  24. Recruiter BE August 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Far too recently for my liking I made the most embarassing mistake of my career to date. It has taken 13 years and I still feel mortified that I would make such a faux pas. During an intake meeting for 3 positions I was happily explaining away our services, the processes we go through and the fantastically transparant nature of our way of working.

    One of the core services of my company is organisational mapping and direct search, I was explaining to the client how we present the information to them with example documents. I am always very careful to ensure that I take example documents from industry sectors far removed the company I am visiting. Indeed I did the same on this occasion, however, a rogue document had hidden itself in behind the information I was using for this particular meeting and somehow found it’s way into my hand as I began to explain our organisational mapping service. And who should be on the very first page, but the sales organisation of the company I was sitting in front of!!!

    Needless to say, they were not impressed that we had previously hunted in their organisation and whilst most business professional are aware it happens all the time I don’t think they particularly enjoy having it rubbed in their face. As I contemplated throwing myself out of the 7th story window, my colleague pulled off a fantastic feat of managing to turn the situation around in our favour. By some amazing twist of fate we walked away with the business, although I take no credit for the success.

    Now, several weeks later I still cringe at my mistake, but have learnt that even in the most difficult situations you can always salvage something and that even though you may think you are thoroughly prepared you should always be ready to expect the unexpected.

  25. James Overton November 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    Thats pretty bad, but not sure it will top this.. I rang a very large prospective client to ‘spec’ in one of my superstar candidates, after trying his number a few times and continually getting his voicemail a very ‘camp’ voicemail by all accounts… I rang a further time and put his voicemail on loudspeak in the office, I spent the next few minutes taking the mickey out of his very camp accent.. The banter contiued after putting down the receiver only for me to realise after 5 mins that his voicemail had been recording everyword, although the receiver was down the speaker phone was on!!! Needless to say we didnt win the business and never heard back from this client again! I have a red face while writing this!

  26. Tiago Pizarro D. November 23, 2012 at 5:22 am #

    Had a couple myself but my “favorite” was actually with a former colleague in a consulting company a few years back. She was very dedicated and an excellent IT recruiter but used to rely too much on our CRM/ database.
    She sent one of those “are you interested in this Job Mr. X?” e-mails through the application tracking system but the candidate had the corporate mailing address ( instead of his own e-mail…
    Needless to say the e-mail went straight to the Administration of the other company…

  27. Steve h November 23, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    That’s an unfortunate one Greg, unlucky.

    We had this shaky version of access as our recruitment database, and a fax machine in the corner, just 1 office email back in the late 90’s.

    Upon receiving junk faxes ( remember those!) and noticing that ye old shaky database had all the fax numbers on the client records I hit upon the idea of making the data base automatically fax out candidate sales features to client companies in the same postcode.

    Genius, clients rang in quoting candidate reference numbers and sendouts boomed, thoughts turned to fat cars and champagne.

    Unfortunately over the years of cold calling consultants had “updated ” various database records with comments and changed job titles to better suit the character of the incumbent client.

    Yes the clients howled and complaints flooded in as the new automated “lead machiine” faxed out addressing prospects as “ignorant w—ker” and “don’t bother this old tw-t” alongside fax headers of “sh– firm not recruiting” and “tight a–es, won’t pay fees”.
    i licked my wounds and went back to the phone :0)

  28. Rickey September 9, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

    I usually pride myself in my ability read to people (we are recruiters afterall!) and made the very unfortunate mistake of representing a perpetually drunk candidate who convinced me during our interview (and reference checks) that he had a speech impedement.

    Problem was, was that I was recruiting him for a c-level role with a global consulting firm! Fortunately, the Chief was quite amused at having the worst interview he has ever conducted.. And thankfully they still remain a client today..


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