I was having one of those fun discussions with another recruiter last night.  You know the kind where one of you says, "you are not going to believe what my candidate or my client did today".  They tell you , you laugh and say, "My friend, the first story always suffers."  After about 30 minutes of that we reached a learned consensus that the world is doing "weird shit" right now.  Maybe we are too, but of course we didn't seem to think so, or at least i didn't think he was doing a lot of "weird shit", maybe a little of it but not really a lot, but not me, i never do weirds.  Ha!

To be explicit.  He sent a sales candidate on an interview.  The first fifteen minutes went well but it seems his candidate suddenly started jamming out playing his air guitar.  Scared the young lady who was interviewing him right out of her professional control mode and had her screaming for security.  They hauled him out with his jam still going on.  Did it end there.  Oh, no.  That is not near weird enough to be considered "weird shit", but here is what is.  HR rapidly sent him a thank you but no thank you letter.  Declined, no interest, blah, and blah.  He picked up the phone and called the young lady who interviewed him and screamed for security.  Told her he had received the rejection letter and could not understand why in the world he would be rejected, said it was "sad, just sad" that they could not see what an asset he would be and he knew several of the other sales reps and they thought it was "sad".  Now that is some "weird shit".

Most of the time i can come up with some kind of explanation as to why a candidate or a company did something and have a pretty good idea of what they were thinking.  In the past two weeks, i have become convinced that there is something in the water supply or the ozone that is causing otherwise sane people to do "WS" they cannot be thinking.


I had an engineering candidate, great background, phone interviews went well, she was invited into the companies office in another city for two days of interviews, dinner with the executive team, the whole dog and pony show.  When i followed up i was told that they would not be moving forward with her candidacy.  Good skills but not a fit for what they were doing.

 PC answer so i pressed.  Seems that she was late for the first round of interviews, late meeting the team for dinner and late the next morning for the second day of interviews.  She gave no explanation just late like 30 minutes three times.  Additionally after being told in three phone interviews that time/motion studies were to be a big part of this position she made it very clear that time studies were not high on her list of things she liked or wanted to do.

What in the World was she thinking? "Weird Shit", just WS.  At that point i didn't much care sent a decline email mentioning the time studies and the concern about her being late to all three appointed times to meet.  No response, no explanation, nada.  WS is the only explanation.

Next:  Candidate goes into interview with a startup division for a key position as a business analyst.  I spent hours on the phone with this fellow, good candidate in all respects.  Follow up after the interview.  Interview went well but one exec. mentions he is a little concerned about his work ethic..How so?  Another exec. says he is a contender but a little concerned about his commitment..How so?  Weird.  So i press, seems my candidate went into an interview in a startup with 350 employees, none of whom know each other , have not worked together, new clients that they have not supported in the past and within 10 minutes of the each interview asked if there would be an opportunity for him to do this job from home because he really didn't like to travel to work and back each day.  What, pray tell were you thinking?  Maybe a year from now after everybody gets to know everybody, you know the job,you know the clients.

He never mentioned a word about working from home.  Should i have asked , do you?  I think people are just doing "Weird Shit"  Maybe it's me.  But it's sure weird.


Views: 1402

Comment by Dyll Davies on June 20, 2012 at 11:13am

@Julia you are sooooo right.  There are some really sh*t recruiters out there which is great because it makes us good ones look fantastic!

Comment by Sandra McCartt on June 20, 2012 at 11:32am
@robye if your candidate shows up for the rescheduled interviews I suspect you will start hearing from him but who knows. I have never in all my years in this people circus we call recruiting, had candidates go dark, not return calls, until the past three months. I was about to decide it was only happening in one area in the Midwest. The client I am working with made multiple offers to candidates who currently work for a company that is closing their distribution facility due to my client taking over as a 3pl. Client was making an effort to offer as many jobs to those affected as possible. Half of them turned down offers because they want the severance package but told the client they old call the Clint softer they got the severance. Client is now fully staffed and will not offer again to those who turned them down. Do we suppose that there is another comet on the way due to hit a month after severance is paid so nobody has to worry about next year.

@Dyll, thank you for humoring me re recruiting. For me this is becoming the new normal. The old normal I could weed out most of weirdos. I spend an incredible amount of time on the phone with candidates before I submit them. Like three different phone conversations over a period of several days as I prepare the presentation to my client. I go over all the stuff and ask them to think about then call them back the next day do a rerun etc. etc. if I pick up anything, hesitation, any sidebar comments, weird questions. At this point I may start phone interviews by saying, "ok, Charlie, here's the deal, if you are going to do any weird shit during this process could you give me an example of hat it might be so I am not surprised when you do it.

@aurelio, I love it. What a great title for a book. WSHOS - a must read for job seekers. We do not seem to be ble to coach you as to what functioning adults do to have a successful interview so maybe if you read this five volume series of all the ways candidates commit interview suicide you might eliminate enough mistakes to get an offer. I guess we need to add a question in our interview process, "do you have any superstitions that would prevent you from working above the 13th floor,working in an office with cracks in the floor you might step on, any strange fear of ladders or need to wear wolf bane around your neck after five o'clock.

@erin, that is not only WS it is either cause for alarm or ultimate in f'ing rude. Send the police to see if she is alive. If she is in distress she needs help. If she is f'ing rude she can explain it to a Nice young man with a badge and a gun.
Comment by Theresa Hunter on June 20, 2012 at 11:46am

The no answer to any type of communication is the new normal.  This does not have anything to do with recruiting but just a point about people.  Was having a new wood fence installed.  I had to have dirt put in and than concrete before the fence people could install the post.  I get a referral from the dirt guy he says I have known this person since he was a little kid has great work ethic and so on.  I call the guy is johnny on the spot he comes over tells me about how he will do the dirt and I mention to him that I need to have concrete done, could he do it?  Yes he says and he would charge me X to do it.  Great I say let's schedule it for Monday after the dirt has been in a few days. He arrives at the scheduled day to do the dirt does a great job I am very pleased with his work.  Monday comes I am waiting for him to arrive to do the concrete as I can't start the fence until the concrete is done.  He never shows up.  I call and I call again, can't leave a message as he does not have voice mail and than I text still no response.  He realized that he could not do the concrete job for the quoted price so he just did not show at all.  People are weird and inconsiderate.

Comment by Dyll Davies on June 20, 2012 at 12:02pm

@Sandra. Not 'humouring' just being polite - when in Rome and all that! ;-)

@Theresa "He realized that he could not do the concrete job for the quoted price so he just did not show at all."

Theresa do know that for certain?  Maybe the dirt guy got run over by a truck - carrying a load of dirt or worse still the concrete to complete your job!!?   I do hope not.  Better to be weird and inconsiderate than dead - or is it?

Sorry sometimes my 'weird' (Brit) sense of humour just can't help itself . . . I actually agree with you silence is the new 'no'; which is why I take care to always try to get back to everyone - even the weirdos!

Comment by Theresa Hunter on June 20, 2012 at 12:08pm

No I know for certain that was the reason.  I spoke to the dirt guy and he was very sorry about what had happened I told him it was not his fault up until he did not show for the concrete I was super pleased with the work that he did.  By the way the dirt guy was the one that supplied the dirt to the guy who was to also do the concrete.  Yes these days of social media when it is easier to say all the rude and crude things that you want because you are sitting at your computer makes it harder for people to communicate in the real world with real people.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on June 20, 2012 at 12:29pm
@Julia, you are correct. As Amy says people have just gone batshit crazy. It is certainly not restricted to candidates for jobs. My question is all encompassing. I have been in business for 50 years, 35 in recruiting. I have seen bad economies, booms, and long periods of business as usual. Never have I seen a period of time where people have done the weird shit across the board they are doing now. Here is an off topic example.

A week ago I was driving down the freeway, I ran over something that split a tire, put a dent in my right front door panel and a piece of it flew up and hit my windshield so hard it cracked the windshield. Never saw anything but must have been metal of some sort to do the damage it did and blow a new tire to the point that it was flat by the time I could get off th freeway. I file an insurance claim get a call fron the customer service claims person. It goes like this.

Claims rep: "what happened?
Me: I go through the bove drill.
Claims rep: we're you hurt?
Me: no, just the car,
Claims: any dizziness or headache?
Me: the tire may have been dizzy and the windshield could have a headache but not me.
Claims: what did you run over?
Me: I don't know it must have been something heavy and sharp to do the damage it did, but I didn't see it or I would have avoided it.
Claims: we're you in a rural area?
Me: Amarillo, Texas is pretty rural but as I told you, I was on the freeway, that would be I40 inside the city limits.
Claims: did you suffer any bruises or neck or back injuries?
Me: no lady, as I have told you three times or four. I ran over something. I was inside the car, not hanging out the window looking for stuff on the freeway.
Claims: could it have been those metal vehicle stops used by police?
Me: no dear, I was not evading arrest, I was in the middle lane on a Sunday afternoon, on my way to the mall.
Claims : could it have been those things on the side of the highway?
Me: no, not unless they have stared putting "drunk bumps" in the middle lane inside the city limits.
Claims: we're you drunk or drinking?
Me: no, the last time I went shopping drunk was last Christmas. I bought a horse so I never shop drunk anymore.
Claims: could you have run over n animal?
Me: lady I think I would have noticed an animal on I40 in the middle lane on Sunday afternoon inside the city limits. I also can not imagine any animal that could cut a truck tire, put a dent the size of softball in the door and a piece of it hit the windshield hard enough to chip the corner and cause a crack to go half way across. If there is such an animal one would think I might have seen, fur, feathers or fins flying after impact.
Claims: how much damage is on the front bumper?
Me: none, I ran over something, I didn't hit anything.
Claims: do you need a rent car.
Me: no I still have the horse I bought last Christmas.
Claims: so the horse was not hurt?
Me: no but thank you for asking?
Claims: is there anything else we can do for you?
Me: No, just tell me where the appraiser is located?
Claims: oh sure, has the horse been taken to the vet?
Me: lady, the horse is fine, I'm fine, the truck is not fine.
Claims: what is the make and model of the vehicle?
Me: Cadillac EXT, 2008.
Claims: is that an SUV?
Me: no, it's an EXT.
Claims , is that an SUV?
Me: no, it looks like a chèvre avalanche.
Claims: I thought you said it was a Cadillac.

Me: Click, dial my agent, " hey Matt where do you get these weird people who work in your claims center.

It is everywhere, somebody tell me is it. Terrorist Attack?
Comment by Mark on June 20, 2012 at 12:50pm

Sandra, great post. 

Dyll, Great definition of recruiting.

Comment by Dyll Davies on June 20, 2012 at 1:12pm

@Sandra That made me laugh out loud!  Beware baseball-bat-toting racoons* in the middle lane of freeways in future is all I can say!  * Do you have racoons in Texas btw?

@mark Thanks and 'tis true - sadly

Comment by Sandra McCartt on June 20, 2012 at 1:34pm
Thanks Mark, obviously just blowing off some steam here. If we can't laugh about some of the WS that seems to be coming in waves right now we will be as weird as "they"are.

@Dyll you may have just uttered a great truth. Silence means no. Or does it. Even no doesn't seem to mean no. I just got an email from a client. They are calling one of my candidates back for a third interview. They turned him down after the first one, called him back, turned him down after the second one, now calling him back for the third interview. I just sent an email that said, ". Delighted you are calling him back, I hope it will work this time, or are you in a bad mood and just want to torture somebody?"

Fortunately, my hiring manger thinks I'm funny. More WS. No only means no today but it could mean yes tomorrow. I am getting "recruiting whiplash".
Comment by Erin Passmore on June 20, 2012 at 1:57pm

WS is sometimes what makes this job interesting  I remember a guy coming in for an interview and when asked what appealed to him about the job he answered "well I guess I can get used the the fact that is will be a boring job doing the same thing everyday".  It was a job in heathcare working on multiple clinical trial projects so i don't know what job he was interviewing for but he didn't get either one...


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