Recruiters - What if the one that got away came back?


Most of us have memories of the Good, Bad, and Ugly recruiting experiences related to great candidates who got away.  The painful memory of those great candidates that got away related to:  a predicted outcome; deception on their part; slow to move hiring managers; our (recruiter) missteps…and what else?  Maybe an Act of God would also fit.

How many of you have experienced the return of one that got away?  Does your blood boil are do you welcome them with open arms?


Anything you’d like to share?

Views: 2047

Comment by Roseanne Stockton on October 31, 2011 at 6:25am

This particularly resonates with me when it's the HR Manager  / Office Manager who has been rude to you for months (if not years) when you used to make the occasional sales call that phones up wanting to be put forward for a role. In my previous life as an Area Manager in a big high street recruiters, I used to find it really hard to try & get the consultants (the ones that did the legwork on the sales) to forget all about the rudeness shown & just take the higher moral ground & think 'what goes around comes around'. It's tough though when some of these people have been your nemesis for years on end.   

Comment by Suzanne Levison on October 31, 2011 at 11:20am

Timing is everything. It's just the nature of the biz~

Comment by Sandra McCartt on October 31, 2011 at 11:56am
I love it when the one who got away comes back around. How many jobs are there where anyone has a chance for a do-over when it didn't work out right the first time.
Comment by Valentino Martinez on October 31, 2011 at 1:17pm

True, Sandra---

Re-introducing a candidate who left a job offer on the table and wants to return to the negotiations is a lot like trying to re-enter a door with a key that once worked--only to discover the lock has been changed.

Reinserting a candidate lost to you and then returns, after a significant effort to recruit that person failed, is close to asking for a punch in the neck. 

Doesn't the term "reinsertion" in such cases already sound DOA for most hiring managers?

It reminds me of your post, Sandra and my response to:  You Want What?


Comment by Valentino Martinez on October 31, 2011 at 1:20pm

@Suzanne--True, "Timing is everything", but bad timing is something else.

Comment by Valentino Martinez on October 31, 2011 at 1:40pm

@Roseanne- also true, "It's tough though when some of these people have been your nemesis for years on end.", but when they return with hat-in-hand...isn't it worth it to see that finally happen?  It sucks when what goes around doesn't come around to the most deserving.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on October 31, 2011 at 1:46pm

I am not talking about a redo on the same job.  I am talking about a redo with a candidate who for some reason turned down or took something else due to timing or not enough money.  A redo with the same candidate and same company is rare but it can happen if it was the company moving too slowly or the error was on the company side and they regret losing the candidate.  My "You wnat What" candidate would work if the company has a more robust relo package or the position was local to his area.  He was after all a strong enough candidate that they wanted to hire him.  Somebody else will and i bet he won't shoot himself in the foot again if he really likes the job.  I think he learned something.

Comment by Amber on October 31, 2011 at 2:48pm

I posted a comment earlier this month "Out of the Blue" and we should be getting a check in a wekk or so from the client. The candidate went back to the compnay directly, not real happy about that, but now it's done so just going to get paid and let it go!

He originally declined the offer (the 3rd that the company made trying to accomodate him) because he would lose 4 days off the 1st year. Still don't know what the real reason was....


Comment by Valentino Martinez on November 1, 2011 at 3:34am

@Sandra--my redo relates to the company I was with, at the time, who experienced losing a really impressive minority Ph.D candidate that got away but finally came back after we patiently, oh so patiently, stayed in-touch with and finally reeled him in…two years later. 

And that wasn’t a lock.  During our well laid plans to finally land him—he stopped us in mid-presentation and confronted us with an unexpected concern.  Apparently one of his college buddies recently shared a crash & burn experience with our company that caused him to quit under duress.  It seems one of our field sales training managers gave his friend such a hard time during field sales training that he quit. To which our prime candidate said, “I’m not sure I want to work for a company that would treat my friend, whom I have a high regard for, in such a manner.”

Long story short, the hiring manager (a Product Development Director) and I apologized for the happenstance, particularly if it was not justifed—promised to look into the matter with the intention to get right back to him to discuss both the unfortunate situation and our overriding mutual interest.

Longer story short, the Field Sales Training Manager was discovered to be using a heavy, in fact, hostile hand with newly hired women and minorities—and with the particular minority sales rep in question causing him to quit.  That training manager was summarily fired and our revisit with our prime candidate, sharing that news went a long way in mending our damaged reputation. Our prime was hired and is going on his 17th year with the company he initially declined so many years ago.

Comment by Valentino Martinez on November 1, 2011 at 3:40am


There's a great feeling that comes with such a scenario that starts with what was lost is now found resulting in a hire and a placement fee for that hire.


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