You get a resume, it looks wonderful, the credentials are stellar, the salary range is on target, the old recruiter pluse starts beating a little faster, you leap for the phone with sweaty palms ready to grab this wonderful candidate before somebody else places them.

 

The person on the other end of the phone sounds like a cross between Mother McCree and somebody scratching on a blackboard.  They have the attitude of an old dog with a sore foot.  They regale you with all the reasons they hate their current boss, current company and if they were any more negative you would nominate them for terrorist training in a remote area of the desert or they simply have no personality on the phone, nada, zip zilch, zero or they giggle and say things you haven't heard since the last obscene phone call came in when the caller asked you what color your underwear was that day.

 

Arrrggghhh!  Ok, maybe it's just that some people don't do well on the phone.  You look at the resume again and wonder how the hell somebody with that job record and credentials can have the personality of a rattlesnake.  If they are local you decide to get them in the office and see if you can figure this one out.  Maybe they will do well in person.

 

In they come, presentation is good, well dressed, well groomed then they open their mouth and as they start to tell you all the reasons they are looking, what they are looking for and why all you really want to write on your interview notes is "obnoxious, arrogant, ass.  Now what?  You have three openings that are a slam dunk fit for the credentials and experience.  Your obnoxious candidate knows it and you know it and you know they know you know it.

Do you send this candidate?  How do you present this candidate?  Do you just sell the credentials and hope that if the client wants to interview that your candidate just hates recruiters and will interview a different way with your client?  Do you dare tell your client that this person has the personality of a slug or a rattlesnake.  Do you dare broach the subject with your candidate and try to make a warm puppy out of a rattlesnake?

 

Have you had this experience and if so did you place the candidate or did you relagate this person to the file where obnoxious candidates go to wither in the hopes that another recruiter will be willing to take the heat to try and place them?

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Great question! You can certainly place someone you don't like. When you submit the resume to your client, mention to him/her you have some reservations about the candidate. "His background and skills are an excellent match, but I'm not 100% on the personality." That way the client has the heads up, and won't hold you responsible if the candidate is, indeed, horrible during the interview. On the other hand, the candidate may just knock the client's socks off, and BAM! placement!

I placed one rattlesnake like this several years ago.  I tried being a bit understated when i presented him to a couple of clients.  It was a disaster so the next client i called i simply said, "here's the deal , this guy is smart but he would have trouble getting along with the Virgin Mary.  The client laughed and asked me to elaborate a bit.  Not wanting to completely express my distaste i said, " During my interaction with him my final thought was that he has the personality of a rattlesnake."  My client laughed again and said, "Send him over i have the perfect pit for him to hiss in, there are two more like him in there and if they don't kill each other it may be a match made in heaven.  At last account they refer to that section of accounting as "the snake pit".  So all's well at this point, proving once again that there is a place for everyone. 

 

I sincerely hope that he stays happy.

Hello,

 

No I won't , as I can say no to a customer i dislike, i do the same for the candidates i can't stand. But I will say him that he is arrogant & cie , just to allow him to improve his way of beeing in his job search .

hmmm - that IS a good question.  Over the years I've met many candidates who've fit into that category.  We all know you don't have to LIKE every candidate you place - some people we just work with better than others.  For me it depends on just how awful they are....:  if they are competent and presentable, I would try to put aside my feelings and try to make a match - although I would definitely mention something to my client about my thoughts up front.  I would not want to run the risk of my client wondering about my judgement or screening skills.  On the other hand, if they are complainers, negative, gross or obnoxious in other ways - counseling them just doesn't work...sooner or later....they will show their colors.  Then, for me, its into the trash.....the stress and the probable " fall-off" just isn't worth it.  The means doesn't justify the end.


Katherine Anne Farrell said:
hmmm - that IS a good question.  Over the years I've met many candidates who've fit into that category.  We all know you don't have to LIKE every candidate you place - some people we just work with better than others.  For me it depends on just how awful they are....:  if they are competent and presentable, I would try to put aside my feelings and try to make a match - although I would definitely mention something to my client about my thoughts up front.  I would not want to run the risk of my client wondering about my judgement or screening skills.  On the other hand, if they are complainers, negative, gross or obnoxious in other ways - counseling them just doesn't work...sooner or later....they will show their colors.  Then, for me, its into the trash.....the stress and the probable " fall-off" just isn't worth it.  The means doesn't justify the end.

I've dealt with a few candidates like this. Especially with high level IT recruitment, I've had my fill of "God complex" candidates that lead off with "I single handedly designed the *insert whatever* framework for Android/iPhone/BB etc. But you wouldn't understand that now would you?" Yeah, good times. Anyway, I still forwarded them as they had the best talent and skills. Many landed the role.

 

Did I invite them for a celebration beer after signing? Hell no.

Why not I have several clients that I diskliked over the years.
Hi Darryl - you are absolutely correct - I suppose much depends on the type of position/culture of company and that type of criteria - if its a specific skill/background/expertise that company needs then personality is not such a huge factor.  My specialty is administrative support in the legal field - expertise is certainly required, but personality/presentation is equally important.   

Darryl Dioso said:

I've dealt with a few candidates like this. Especially with high level IT recruitment, I've had my fill of "God complex" candidates that lead off with "I single handedly designed the *insert whatever* framework for Android/iPhone/BB etc. But you wouldn't understand that now would you?" Yeah, good times. Anyway, I still forwarded them as they had the best talent and skills. Many landed the role.

 

Did I invite them for a celebration beer after signing? Hell no.

I have this experience about once per month... I'll find the perfect candidate (on paper), but once I get them on the phone, it's literally the equivalent of chewing tinfoil bubble gum. I grin and bear (or is it bare???? It's one of those days) and try to move forward.

 

Try being the key word here...

I realized quite a while ago that I am not the one personally hiring anyone.  While I do believe my clients expect me to weed out unprofessional, unmotivate, etc. types - I don't expect everyone to get along with me on a personal level.

 

I've placed arrogant jerks before.

It is sometimes a tough call to try and work with either a client or a candidate that we don't like.  Depending on the day and the mood i am in sometimes it gets to be a challenge for me to try and work with both difficult clients and difficult candidates.  A couple of my best clients now are ones that started out being like working with a cactus.  When i hit that kind of personality i know that if they act that way with me they are probably acting that way with other recruiters so i sometimes try and turn a cactus into a blooming plant since nobody else will.

 

I am curious LeCairn, when you tell a candidate that you will not submit them because of the way they act or the negativity that they project, how often do they respond to your suggestion that they act better.?
le cairn 4 it said:

Hello,

 

No I won't , as I can say no to a customer i dislike, i do the same for the candidates i can't stand. But I will say him that he is arrogant & cie , just to allow him to improve his way of beeing in his job search .


I agree Katherine, it depends on the level of obnoxious.  Also agree that many times the effort to counsel candidates is like trying to change a personality which is seldom successful in my experience.  But ya know they make ice cream in 31 or 50 different flavors.  I once worked my tail off on an office manager position.  Kept sending candidates, the hiring manager kept turning them down as not a fit.  I finally decided to pay a visit to his office to talk to him face to face to see where i was missing the boat. 

 

When i walked in the door of the office i knew immediately.  The place looked like hell, wastebaskets full, coffee running down the side of the file cabinet where the coffee pot was placed on top of it.  the hiring manager looked like he had slept in his clothes for about a week.  The other "ladies" in the offfice could have stepped out on the dock and unloaded a boxcar without changing clothes.  I visted a few minutes came back to the office and found one of those candidates who was a pleasant old gal about 80 pounds overweight who wanted to work in her jeans.  They hired her that afternoon, the hiring manager has referred other clients to me and at this juncture my candidate has been there for 10 years and drops by to bring me a burrito from the snack wagon at work now and then.  Sometimes we really don't know what a fit is until we have the opportunity to eyeball the whole situation.

 

Katherine Anne Farrell said:

hmmm - that IS a good question.  Over the years I've met many candidates who've fit into that category.  We all know you don't have to LIKE every candidate you place - some people we just work with better than others.  For me it depends on just how awful they are....:  if they are competent and presentable, I would try to put aside my feelings and try to make a match - although I would definitely mention something to my client about my thoughts up front.  I would not want to run the risk of my client wondering about my judgement or screening skills.  On the other hand, if they are complainers, negative, gross or obnoxious in other ways - counseling them just doesn't work...sooner or later....they will show their colors.  Then, for me, its into the trash.....the stress and the probable " fall-off" just isn't worth it.  The means doesn't justify the end.

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