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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Good questions...Crazy candidates are tough ones...  I would send resume, and tell the client upfront you had some reservations, but I wanted to "let you make final decision", that way you are off the hook...

 

We have to remember as recruiters, your EGO will lie to you, and what matters to you does not matter to someone else (hiring manager).  What does matters most? (You or the Client/$)

 

Best to ALL,

so true Sandra, much of it depends on the culture of the company/client....over the last 10 years or so I've turned my efforts towards the legal field and they are usually focused on personality/presentation as well as talent.  Prior to this, I focused on all types of client companies and I found what you are saying to be perfectly true.

 

However, there are some candidates that just "don't have it" - whether its intuition, savvy, personality, knowing how to dress, negativity ....I stopped trying to counsel these people a long time ago...if they don't have it by now, they're not going to take it from me - it's just a lost cause.
Sandra McCartt said:


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.

I had to laugh at your comment Darryl.  When i submit those IT types my presentation always is, "Jim, you think you have the most talented developers in the world right?  Well, i have one who thinks he is better than anything you could ever find and probably you too."  "How about you interview this guy and let me know if he is as good as he tells me he is."  Very seldom does my IT hiring manager decline the opportunity to smack a hot shot upside the head.  If the guy really is good even half as good as he thinks he is he gets the job.  I normally get a call back with my client telling me that no he does not walk on water but the HM thinks he can put him on the top team and make something out of him.  Works for me.

 

I dont' want to drink a beer with either one of them but they sure come in handy when my systems blow up and i can call one of them and say , help me, help me.  they know that much past the start button on the computer i am a recruiter and not a techie.  It gets to be a point of honor that they can say, "My recruiter just blew up her system again, she probably deleted the operating system, i'll see you guys in an hour, gotta go bail her out."

Sometimes being incompetant saves a lot of computer repair bills.

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.

Me too CB.  I don't much like my dentist but i still have my teeth and at my age that is somewhat of an accomplishment.

C. B. Stalling!! said:
Why not I have several clients that I diskliked over the years.

Only once a month :)?  I have what my close friends call my "plastic cocktail party smile".  It's achieved by gritting my back teeth so i don't open my mouth and ask somebody if they were just born an asshole or did lightening hit a tree and they stepped out full grown?

 

Try is indeed a keyword.  In Texas we have an expression, "try is all a steer can do".  Doesn't mean they don't think they can just means that the results seldom come to fruition if you will.

Tami Brittain said:

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...

Well Morgan, that's an interesting take.  My reponse to that one is that i can make a professional recommendation based on a lot more than my personal like or dislike of a candidate.  If i had never submitted a candidate i didn't like i would probably not be a recruiter.  My take is that a professional will take a candidate where they stand as they stand.  If they have a redeeming feature my professional judgement is to take that positive and find someplace where my own personal feelings are not the criteria for someone to use what they can do well and they will be an asset to the extent that they can be.

 

I hate, repeat hate baseball caps worn in restaurants, in the house and anyplace else other than a baseball field or on a tractor.  Anybody who wears one in my office and doesn't take it off when they come in immediately goes into my mental file as an ignorant clod who is too lazy to comb their hair.  Have i placed them oh hell yes, i live in the land of John Deere Green where formal attaire is a new Suregro Cap.  Do a lot of my clients give a damn if somebody wears a baseball cap?  At the Cargill plants they pass them out during orientation, i think.
Morgan Hoogvelt said:

No - how can you truly make a professional recommendation and believe in the candidate - while you dislike them.  I think it would be doing the client a disservice.  Recruiters are talent and people evaluators.  When we don't like someone, it is for a reason.

 

Right on Dan, It's called knowing your client and knowing your niche.  I place a lot of accountants.  The profession has dedicated itself in the past ten years to developing people who can do business development but generally speaking there are a lot of accounting types who are not exactly sales personalities.  The profession attracts people who like numbers and can be pretty anal retentitve which makes them good at what they do.  Back when IT was referred to as Data Processing those cats wore plaid pants and print shirts, funny shoes with rubber soles and interviewed with their eyes closed.  Nobody expected them to talk or group integrate.  Then it got to be sexy to be in IT.  Now they run commerce but i still see some pretty interesting costumes.  So be it.  Maybe nobody but a recruiter expects or cares how people dress.  I wouldn't take the trash out looking like some of my IT candidates.  Maybe that is why i like accountants.  Even the ones who have had a personalityectomy wear ties when they interview, even at a feedlot. 

Dan Contreras said:
By all means I would let my client know they aren't exactly Mr. Rogers, but if they are qualified and interested in pursuing the career opportunity I will send them over. I would agree with the others that you need to be up front and tell your hiring team that they lack  personality or self awareness. Surprisingly, some hiring managers dig that, especially in IT!

On the same page, Jerry.  If everybody got along with me personally life would be either really boring or we would all be living on island where we couldn't inflict our own personal brand (god i hate that expression for what it has come to mean) let me rephrase that....our own personal type or style of what is right, wrong or acceptable and appropriate.

 

One of my best friends and i are polar opposites when we make a judgement call about another person.  We have glorious fights about other people.  I wouldn't be caught dead in public with some of the guys she dates.  She thinks i am a surface son of a bitch.  She has more dates than i do and i think that is just dandy and so does she.  I kind of like arrogant jerks if they are funny.  She misses half the humor and doesn't know what we are talking about half the time.  She can't help it, she's a lawyer.

Jerry Albright said:

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.

Brian, I think that is a great and very honest comment.  I beat the drum constantly about recruiters not having their own EGO in order.  Knowing the difference between our own ego and knowing what our own personal prejudices are or can be, is in my opinion what enables us to be objective and effective with all kinds of different people and clients.  There are certainly times that i know my own ego gets in the way.  If i can't get that green eyed monster under control then i have to do the best thing for my client and/or the candidate as well as what i can live with and recuse myself.  I can and have referred a client and a candidate to another recruiter when i know that because of my own ego or personal feelings i can't do any of us a good job. 

 

I know that i can't do crazy.  I've tried but i know crazy when i see it.  Can't deal with it, won't deal with it.  Weirdos, people who look like hell, have bizarre personalities or think that babies come from the stork or are found under cabbage leaves or aliens took the meat off their sandwich are sort of interesting and amusing.

Real crazies make me angry because they damage other people.  They lie and disrupt life in general for the people they are around.   I want them locked up sent to the island with others just like them where they can only go at each other.  I don't work with crazies or abusive people.  Some recruiters can i am delighted that they can and do.  I have been sucked in by some crazy, crooked clients in my time.  It didn't take long before my "crazy radar" was screaming.  I have to listen to it or i don't sleep.  I know how to make myself disappear from those situations.

Brian K. Johnston said:

Good questions...Crazy candidates are tough ones...  I would send resume, and tell the client upfront you had some reservations, but I wanted to "let you make final decision", that way you are off the hook...

 

We have to remember as recruiters, your EGO will lie to you, and what matters to you does not matter to someone else (hiring manager).  What does matters most? (You or the Client/$)

 

Best to ALL,

The legal profession is an image focused profession as well as needing smart people who can think on their feet.  They work within structured guidelines (the law) and at the same time with upset people who don't understand the law is not based on right or wrong or common sense in many cases so you are absolutely right from what i have seen in legal.

 

I once sent a supersharp paralegal to a litigator.  He loved her but got pissed off because she started to negotiate salary with him.  I asked him to think about it.  He called me back the next day laughing.  Said he thought about it and realized that what he did for a living was negotiate so he knew now why people got so damn mad at attorneys.  His final take was what better kind of paralegal to have than one who would dare negotiate with a lawyer.  He loves telling the story.  She worked for him for 15 years until she got sick of lawyers and went to work for the government.  Go figure.

Katherine Anne Farrell said:

so true Sandra, much of it depends on the culture of the company/client....over the last 10 years or so I've turned my efforts towards the legal field and they are usually focused on personality/presentation as well as talent.  Prior to this, I focused on all types of client companies and I found what you are saying to be perfectly true.

 

However, there are some candidates that just "don't have it" - whether its intuition, savvy, personality, knowing how to dress, negativity ....I stopped trying to counsel these people a long time ago...if they don't have it by now, they're not going to take it from me - it's just a lost cause.
Sandra McCartt said:


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.

LOL, John calls it like it is.  Place the jerk and be done with it.

 

Maybe John could fashion us all t-shirts that say, " I can place jerkweeds"  Dormant trouble may be the real key with those "different kind of folks".  Did the references reflect that they may not have won the Miss/Mr. congeniality award but they did their job?  Did the reference reflect that they did a good a job but nobody in hell wanted to work with them.  Two different things to consider and maybe the way to present this kind of candidate.

 

He will never win the congenial, warm puppy award but his refs indicate that he does a good job and doesn't bother anybody unless they bother him first.  May be a real selling point to hiring managers who are tired of their reports spending all their time visiting with each other.

 

Somehow i would guess that the jerkweeds don't spend a lot of time visiting with their friends on social media or even care if they have "Facebook privileges" at work.

Unfortunately for us and the business world, there are some work environments that these type of people fit into very well. We would be doing ourselves and our clients an extreme disservice if we give them "Strawbery Shortcake" to work in a group of "Big Bad Wolves", especially if they want another wolf in there.

Morgan Hoogvelt said:

No - how can you truly make a professional recommendation and believe in the candidate - while you dislike them.  I think it would be doing the client a disservice.  Recruiters are talent and people evaluators.  When we don't like someone, it is for a reason.

 

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