Scary Stories from the Dark Side of Recruiting

Abbie Martin

From Michael Myers to Freddy Kruger, there are a lot of scary fictional characters that pop up this time of year. However, in the world of recruiting, sometimes you’ll find characters that you just can’t make up. Read below for three very scary stories from the dark side of recruiting.

The Demon Receptionist
Many years ago, in a land far away, it took quite some time to fill an important position at a company. The recruiter and hiring manager were very excited when they finally found the right fit! This candidate, Jane, was everything they were hoping for to take the position.

One day, before she had officially started, Jane called the front desk with a question. The receptionist was busy, tired, and unhelpful. When Jane asked again, the receptionist became irate. She said some very rude things before hanging up the phone.

Jane called the recruiter in tears. “I can’t work at a company like that!” she cried.

“It’s okay,” said the recruiter calmly, “We’ll get this figured out.”

In a panic, afraid to lose this important candidate, the recruiter called the hiring manager and told him what had happened. The receptionist was disciplined, apologies were made, but Jane was never heard or seen from again.

After that, the recruiter was unable to get past the front desk to the people she needed to speak with at the company. The receptionist was cold and unhelpful, knowing the recruiter was involved in her disciplinary action. It was a full year until the recruiter could get past the receptionist again.

Revenge of the Interviewee
Carolanne, a seasoned recruiter, shared a candidate’s resume with one of her clients and the hiring managers were thoroughly impressed. They were ready to start the interview process. Carolanne called the candidate, Nikki, for a phone interview. During the interview, Nikki showcased some personality traits that raised some immediate red flags. Carolanne shared her reservations with the hiring managers and they agreed.

They removed Nikki from the hiring process.

The next day, Carolanne and the two hiring mangers logged into their email to find that Nikki had exacted her revenge. The three of them found themselves subscribed to every catalog and pornography site mailing list on the internet. After the horror and shock subsided, they all had a good laugh. Nikki had just proven that they made the right decision by passing on her.

Buried in the Dirt
Jason loved cultivating his tomato garden. He took great pride in it. After years of mishaps with undersized tomatoes and shooing away squirrels, he had finally perfected his garden. However, filling a stand at the local Farmer’s Market a handful of times over the summer was not paying the bills.

So, Jason began to apply for corporate jobs—he wanted a corporate job. He purchased a nice navy suit and red tie and placed it in his closet next to his holey overalls and dirt stained t-shirts.

At long last he was able to secure an interview for Tuesday morning and, although he was sad to leave his tomatoes behind, he knew it was the right thing to do. The night before the interview, Jason tossed and turned in bed, nervous about what to expect.

He woke up in a fit around 6AM. The sun was just starting to creep over the horizon, and he knew the one thing that would help him relax before his 9AM interview. He put on his dirt-encrusted shirt and cargo shorts and put his feet in his work boots without any socks. He planned to shower after.

As he massaged the dirt with his gloveless hands and carefully examined each tomato on the vine, he found himself relaxing and ready to take on the day. He calmly stepped back into the house and saw that it was 8:30AM. The interview was thirty minutes away and he didn’t want to make a bad first impression by being late. He grabbed his key, didn’t pause to wash his hands or face, and sped away in his car.

When he arrived at the interview in his gardening clothes and unclean hands, he was immediately dismissed as a possible candidate. That day, Jason learned that in this new corporate world, appearances matter, and rescheduling is sometimes the right thing to do.

As recruiters, part of our job is to help our candidates prepare for a successful interview by helping them avoid the horror of situations like the ones described above. While we can’t help the “Nikki’s” of the world, we can help most of you! If you’re looking to hire or are looking to make a move in your career, contact us and avoid becoming part of a real-life recruiting horror story.

You Might Also Like
A note from the CEO on HireBetter's Acquisition of Diverse Recruiting Experts

Shaping the Future of Talent in the Workplace Together

HireBetter acquires Diverse Recruiting Experts to Drive Service Offering Expansion

HireBetter Acquires Diverse Recruiting Experts to Drive Service Offering Expansion

Diversity doesn't have a finish line - Let's Go! Ep. 19 Pt. II with Kurt Wilkin & JeVon McCormick

Diversity doesn’t have a finish line

How the “stay interview” can prevent employee turnover

Modern Leadership & Conscious Culture with JeVon McCormick

Abstract art depicting The Great Resignation of 2021 and 2022

Why “The Great Resignation” is a myth