Recruiting Stories: 7 Real life tales

Hiring managers usually have intriguing recruiting stories to tell from the interview room or the talent acquisition process as a whole. Here are some true recruiting stories from hiring managers and human resource managers most of whom requested their identities be kept private.

Autocorrect Is Not Your Friend

An applicant came in for an interview, and the interview went well for both parties. After she left, she sent a message saying:

Thank you for meeting with me today. I just wanted to add that I have strong people skills and in my previous job, I copulated with many staff members on a daily basis to ensure targets were met.

What she meant to say  was “cooperated.”

As soon as she sent the message and realized the mistake she had made, she called and explained the situation.

We hired her because we felt she was qualified, and a mistake like that wasn’t enough to discredit all the good we had seen in her.


The one who got away

A few years ago, I had to recruit a Program Manager with full software development lifecycle experience. It was one of those positions which you know is going to be a fight just to find a single qualified candidate, much less get one of them through the process and to an accepted offer.

It took several days and sorting through thousands of CVs to find two candidates who were close enough fits to warrant further consideration.  I liked both candidates after meeting them in person, but after a very close call, one just nudged the other out as the one who would be getting an offer.

The preferred candidate had gone through the complete process and was made an offer, only to finally reveal that he no longer had a desire to work for us – after the interview, he did some due diligence and concluded “it just didn’t feel like the right place to continue his career.”  Needless to say, we ended up hiring the second candidate who performed very well in the role.


A needle in the haystack

I was looking for a key member to join my team. The person needed to have a strong background in customer service. I got literally hundreds of resumes. I picked my top 10 to bring in for interviews. My boss agreed with nine of them, who all had traditional customer service backgrounds, but he could not understand why the 10th one was even being interviewed – because she worked as a chef even though she had previous experience with customer service.

I explained to him that working in successful restaurants (and she had worked at a top one) required a tremendous sense of customer service. Plus I just had a feeling she was going to be a great fit, and after talking to her, I knew I had struck gold. I asked my boss to chat with her as the final stage of the interview, and when he did, he agreed she was perfect for the job. She grew to become the anchor of my team, and my boss marveled at my ability to pick her out of the pile.


Mama’s Boy

A mass recruitment was going on at my company and to expedite the process, we decided to have phone interviews as the first stage. During a phone interview for this particular candidate, I heard the applicant’s mother giving him answers to my questions. So I asked him, “Who’s feeding you the answers to my questions?” He said “no one”. I argued and told him I could hear his mother in the background. The next thing I knew, the applicant got flustered and hung up.


The Name Dropper

I was handling the hiring of a new employee for the company I worked for. The candidate kept talking about who he “knew” in the industry. He mentioned some top names and gave the impression he was close friends with them and even had them on speed dial. Coincidentally, one of the people he mentioned stopped by to have a meeting with the MD/CEO and we thought it was a good idea for both of them to meet.

When the interview session was over and I suggested the candidate meet his “good ol’ friend” he almost passed out, gave some random excuse and ran out of the office as fast as he could.


Up Close and Personal

We were looking to hire a software engineer. Our candidate, whose resume looked quite impressive, was called in for an interview.  We were happy the candidate had the right skills, but there was something rather off about him – Every time he answered our questions, he would add personal and unrelated stories, he seemed constantly distracted and was visibly nervous.


As we brought the interview to a close, he asked if he could review his portfolio with us before leaving. Without waiting for a response, he opened an old file and showed us his birth certificate, all the awards he had won from primary school to university and shared some other unnecessary information with us.





Love at first “job”

I thought I had found a great candidate to fill a vacancy in the company I worked for. The applicant eagerly accepted the offer – and began emailing and calling me every day for two weeks until the first day he was to resume work. There after he started buying me lunch, sending unsolicited messages and just being “over familiar”. I took it up with him and management eventually had to counsel him about appropriate behavior in the workplace.


Have some intriguing recruiting stories to share? Tell your story in the comment box below.


Culled by Genevieve Craig