The Recruiters the Movie – How would you write the Script?

With all of the straight and narrow, by the book, out of the box, sane and insane, crazy and not so crazy personalities that make up the $500 Billion dollar Global Recruitment Industry we call home – I thought where is our Boiler Room, Glengarry Glenn Ross, Wall Street and of course, Jerry Maguire Movies depicting the ins & outs, the deal making, and the unspoken actualities that occur in our Industry.  Things that would make our past, current and potential clients shiver if they knew (some of the) the real deal behind the scenes that perhaps don`t occur as often now as they once did in the past.


I thought hmmm ..., if I were writing the script, what content would I use.  Would I stick with the straight boring and uneventful, non block buster making -7am-8pm recruitment grind cycle and routine ... or ..., would I delve into some of the drama that makes this industry so interesting, smart, insane and scary all at the same time? Would my script start with the headliner and the deep voice over...: “The names, locations and dates have been changed to protect the innocent.  These are their stories ...” Yes, Just like Law and Order the TV crime drama series...


With my entire content ready for my script, what would I include, would I focus my story around different characters or one central character?  Perhaps, multiple stories, multiple characters...


 ... My movie could start with a bull pen Manager throwing down a computer on the floor from the desk of a rookie shouting “this is not the phone ....” and picking up the Rookie’s phone to test it ...  “This phone still works ... use it” or ...,  a rookie working Monday thru Friday till 1am in the morning, posting all the Job  requirements in the office on job boards and tech bulletin forums - when Job boards were free – with the end result of having candidates waiting in the reception area, from 9am -5pm – the normal 1 hour interviewing session being cut back to 20- 30 minute back to back sessions.... and,  Client guys announcing their new Job Requirements in Job order meetings to the recruitment team - to get that response we love to hear “I got the guy” from a member of your recruitment team.   No one quite understanding why the rookie always had “the” guy or “a “ guy ...


... the super smooth Client Engagement guy on the phone to his client talking about the great weekend he had playing golf and the pool party afterwards and more bla bla blah...., everything else, except about the Job Order and the candidates he submitted - but not hanging up the phone through all the jokes and laughter before his client lets him know he has open times all week “let’s get those five candidates in for interviews.”


... Perhaps..., a flash back to the days when the phrases “Client and Candidate control” actually meant something, the Client guy like in Boiler Room,  shouting to his recruitment team “I got start times ready folks”  - not for interviews – but instead start dates when proposed, qualified and closed candidates actually start work.    Clients making hiring decisions on a resume submission – but more importantly on the trust they put on that Client guy to make the hire on behalf of the Client.  “Jane,  your guy can start on Tuesday, tell him to ask for Jim Jones he is the Manager for that department; he can get in for 10am on the first day.  Jim’s gonna show him around...”


I miss those days ... Recruiters scrambling over their desks to get over to the super smooth Client guy’s desk ... You did your job - qualifying and closing your candidate, you know he's done his - your candidate is getting hired no questions asked.


Or..., the really scary stories that make you say out loud “Nooo, No Way...” A candidate calls a  recruiter “ I have an offer through another recruiter,  and he wants me to sign and start next week, not sure  I can hold off the other recruiter  any more he wants me to sign the offer now, but I really want to work for your client- that job is really in-line with my next career move..”   Instead of getting the normal reply of “John you really need to make the decision that in the end, will be good for your future and your family, this is your life and I want you to be happy ...”   The actual response is “We can still do this ... John I want you to accept the offer – when my offer comes in you are going to give that employer 2 weeks resign and accept mine ... In the end I know you will be happy with this decision this is what you really want, I  know it is ...”


Perhaps we take it back to the early 90’s when recruiters would have competitions on who would have the fastest delivery time to: pick up a new client, recruit, close and place a candidate all in space of 2- 4 weeks.


What about, that call the President of a Recruitment Agency sometimes gets, from a VP of IT saying “Can you please ask your hounds to stop recruiting my staff, I can`t get any of our projects completed” and ..., in the same call “Do you have any opportunities for me  ...”   Did that company change technology direction you bet and in a hurry...  The scary question really is, did they become a client...? Yes recruiters can wheel that kind of power...


Or the Recruiters who only targeted receptionists just to get a company’s corporate employee list faxed or emailed over ... I will leave out the, the 2 hour super deal closes before the Steak is ordered ...  the after the deal is made late Friday night parties till the wee hours... 


Perhaps I`d have to leave out so much more ... Re-write my script... Would you...? Would you be brave enough to include all the stuff I am not brave enough to include?


If given the job, how would you write the Script for the movie ...., The Recruiters?

Views: 744

Comment by Ken Forrester on April 16, 2011 at 3:25pm

What vivid imagination!  Sounds like an interesting movie.  How about adding a character, about a rookie recruiter, who within six weeks made three huge placements using Twitter, Facebook, and Rss feeds.  The veteran recruiters become jealous of his success as the rookie starts to exude a level of confidence never seen before. One that said recruiting is easy and everyone else is doing it all wrong.  Now management is thinking that they should invest in a new recruiting model; one that will be built on using all the latest technologies.  The suspense builds as veteran recruiters are left wondering if these placements were just a fluke or is it the new normal?   Will they jump on the band wagon or sabotage all efforts to change?


Comment by Valentino Martinez on April 17, 2011 at 12:37am

Paul, may have struck gold in the actuality of inspiring such a movie to be made, and in a way, may have just given some Hollywood opportunist the GREEN LIGHT for pitching "The Recruiters" the Movie to those in the movie business.

Your detailed, multi-directional spin on how truly unique, interesting, and dynamic such a movie could and would be if real life Recruiters contribute to the writing of scripts representing the best and worst--and everything in between of the Recruiter's Story.  I say, who better than real recruiters, not to be confused with fake recruiters, to tell the story of stories of the world of recruitment?

I also like Ken's option for a storyline for a movie based on a rookie's entrance and journey through the twists and turns in the life of a Recruiter.  The ramifications here are much broader than just a movie.  A series of movies is more like it, or an HBO Mini-Series may actually do it justice.  There will be:  Greek Tragedy; Inspiration; Love Story; Horror, Espionage; Westerns; Comedy—in any workplace; any geography; and in any job.  I see EPIC potential here, Paul.  Like the film, Up in the Air starring George Clooney in 2009 about people getting fired and the people doing the firing—“The Recruiters” will be about people getting hired and the people doing the hiring—and the people facilitating the people getting hired by the people doing the hiring—THE RECRUITERS!

My script would examine several vignettes that somewhat overlap but showcase a unique hero/antagonist in the mix.  Included would be: 

Comedy—wherein the interview process exposes human frailty on both the interviewer & interviewee side of the equation, highlighted by funny & embarrassing recruiter faux pas, bloopers and crash and burns.

Inspiration—wherein the recruiter is in very disadvantaged situation, works hard, studies hard and accomplishes much as a team and individual contributor.

Tragedy—wherein an outstanding high achiever has a great climb up the career ladder but falls from grace.

Evil Empire—wherein recruiters battle bureaucracy, unfair traditions and shortsighted decision makers.

Feel Good Storyline—wherein our hero, the recruiter, battles the evil protagonists; inspires youth; wins the girl or boy, and saves the day.

Every Recruiter with scar tissue earned in the trenches can contribute in some way to getting ideas for this script writing exercise going.  

Comment by Thomas Patrick Chuna on April 17, 2011 at 8:39am
Whatever the script, I want Will Farrell to play me, LOL.
Comment by Paul Alfred on April 17, 2011 at 8:50am
Thanks for the response Ken ... These are true stories nothing made up ...  But I love your Character.
Comment by Paul Alfred on April 17, 2011 at 8:55am
Hi  Valentino  .. You want to write an Epic ... :)  I'd love to get the script of real world situations from different recruiters... Can you Imagine the cast of Glengarry Glen Ross for this movie ... Throw in a Jerry Seinfeld for the comedy pieces ...
Comment by Paul Alfred on April 17, 2011 at 8:59am
@ Thomas - I can see a Will Farrell in there somewhere ... We need a Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds from The Proposal thrown in too ..
Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 17, 2011 at 1:07pm
Paul this is hilarious. I want a scene where the recruiters are all working for a week to find four c level executives. Having accomplished the impossible in record time they present the candidates to the CEO. The CEO is impressed and tells the recruiters the candidates will need to be processed through HR. The next shot is C level candidates phone interviewing with blond bimbos asking them how much money they are looking for and why they left their first job out of college and why they want to work for the company. The bimbo having completed her "in depth" phone screen, reports that these candidates do not seem compelling and engaging and seem somewhat arrogant but she has several resumes that she found on monster who really look better, don't want as much money and are in her opinion are s better cultural fit. Most importantly the company will not have to pay a fee.

The CEO says ok, bring your candidates in first. She does. They turn out to be a mess. The recruiters in the meantime are being told by the bimbo that the company is interviewing more compelling candidates. The recruiters get the picture, look at each other and start recruiting every person in the company with success.

The CEO,watching things becoming worse instead of better, calls the recruiters and says, get those candidates in here fast. The recruiters graciously tell the CEO that those candidates have accepted other positions because it has been six weeks since they were phone screened by Bambi in HR.

The scene ends with a heated exchange between the CEO and the VP of HR. Bambi is moved back to the call center where she is phone interviewing hourly employees asking the same questions. The recruiters are discussing whether they want to sign a retained contract for 7 c level searches or whether they want to continue working for a competing company where the candidate experience does not include the "Bambi"experience or if they can do both. The C level candidates who were screened by Bambi are all at other companies making sure that there are no Bambi types interviewing any candidate asking for more than minimum wage or filling out online applications.
Comment by Valentino Martinez on April 17, 2011 at 2:40pm

Sandra--your scenario is actually reality made to sound hilariously fictional...and it would probably fly over the heads of many HR Staffing "Talent Acquisition" groups who wouldn't see it as funny at all.  To you, me, and so many of us working in recruitment in an external capacity--it is Deja Vu over and over again.

Don't even start me on how many truly outstanding candidates I saw left waiting for "HR" to bless them before they could be considered for a key opportunity (c level or not).  What was/is most insulting to us External Recruiters is the placid reaction we get from HR Talent Acquisition BIMBOs &, I include, MIMBOs (their male counterparts)  when they suddenly want to pursue our highly recommended candidate(s) from weeks ago.  Our response almost always is, "That candidate(s) is no longer available" (thanks to YOU the HR OUTSTANDING TALENT ACQUISITION PREVENTION TEAM! - TRUTH BE TOLD).  Their response, "Oh well, can you go and find some more...we really want to move on this..."

Sandra--I recommend a possible title for your great idea for a script..."The HR Talent Acquisition BIMBO/MIMBO FACTOR: Dedicated to Lose Access to Outstanding External Talent by Not Even Trying".

Comment by Paul Alfred on April 17, 2011 at 5:05pm

LOL Sandra u are too funny ... Who would play the Bimbo ... We need atleast one :) LOL..  U kill me ... This could be the Recruiters 2 the Sequel ....  


@Valentino ... You make a good point and the reality is pretty sad what TPRs go through with Corporate Recruiters / HR ... 

Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 17, 2011 at 6:18pm

I am a work with HR advocate but i am burned out trying to train Bambi, Misty, Muffy, Buffy and Fluffy on the simple concept that all we ask is for resumes and candidates to get in front of the hiring manager.  The objective is to get the best candidate not protect their little territory.  None of this that anyone has written is fictional.  If you need someone to play the Bimbo i know about 40 of them who would love to play recruiter, they play one everyday.  I almost decided last week to hire them all and let them talk to the hundreds of unqualified candidates so all of them could have a great experience and i could get them out of my way.  But i can't afford to rent the civic center to accomadate the numbers. 


 We could always include a scene where good internal recruiters are stalked by Bimbo and Mimbo cold calling  TPR idiots until they move recruiting to a secret location and give them unlisted phone numbers.  It rolls both directions.  the internal recruiters could give the idiot TPRs a time and location to send all their "perfect candidates" for interview that turned out to be a store front with a sign that says, "Candidate Experience Center".  The perfect, unperfect candidates would interview with a collection of Bimbos with a T-shirt that says, "Talent Acquisition Professional".  There would be a place for everybody.

 But here's a scene you can include.


While all the slick recruiters are rapping their shit, trying to incorporate the most sophisticated technology and social media, blogging, tweeting and engaging, the scene flashes to a neato house on a mountain top on the island of Maui.  There sits an old boy in a Hawain shirt, shorts and sandals with a drink in his hand with an umbrella in it.  No computer, no smart phone just a desk and a landline.   He gets a fax, reads it, sips his drink for a minute, picks up the phone, makes a quick call, reads a job description to somebody, says "Ok".  He reaches over thumbs through a stack of paper resumes, drops one in the fax and takes another swallow of his drink.  A fax comes in.  He writes a quick note and drops it back in the fax machine.  The calendar flips three days.  The phone rings, the only thing that has changed is the color of the flowers on the shirt.  He listens a minute and says, "Good, just do a direct deposit".  He hangs up makes another call and says, "i am going to have a tax problem Bob, see what you can do."


If you think this is fiction.  This guy is one of the most successful recruiters of Petroleum Engineers on the planet.  He lives on the island of Maui.  He runs an ad in a trade journal now and then but because he has been placing petroleum engineers for 30 years everybody just faxes a resume or a job rec.  He faxes the resume, the company calls the candidate and they direct deposit the fee.  I always wanted to be just like him but i bought a damn computer instead.




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