Believe it or not, I’m getting ready to celebrate my 11thyear as an executive recruiter. I joined Michael Shirley Associates in October 2006 and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my professional career.
Now it hasn’t come without its ups and downs! With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the crazy things that have happened over the years. Trust me…anytime you put people under pressure with money and careers on the line, weird things happen.
So, without further adieu, enjoy my top 10 craziest moments in search!
1. After an exhaustive search on their own, I was hired by a new client to conduct a VERY specific search for a Director of Internal Audit. It was a national search and, in the end, we found their top choice candidate working for another company two floors below them in the same office building! The interviews were pretty easy… the candidate just walked up the stairs!
2. Had a client extend an offer to their 1st choice candidate and after some back and forth the offer was accepted verbally. When the letter was signed and returned to the hiring manager, who happened to be the President of the company, the candidate, on his own and with no consultation with me or the company, crossed out the two weeks of vacation that were offered and put in 4 weeks. Did NOT go over well, but, in the end, it all worked out.
3. Conducted a very important CEO search early in my tenure and, after an exhaustive national search and several interviews, a selection was made and an offer extended. The candidate was from the Midwest and was relocating back to KC to be closer to family. He had a company car with his current position and this wasn’t offered in his new position. And, despite a bump in pay and almost everything else met, he kept pushing for the car and, ultimately, over-negotiated and the offer was retracted. We went with the #2 candidate!
4. Had a candidate get the job offer for a VP of Finance search. During the background check it was discovered there was a discrepancy in his name and social security number. We engaged Validity Screening to do a deeper dive. Within 24 hours we learned that the candidate had given us his wife’s SSN and when they tracked down his SSN he had been found guilty of 11 felony charges. Keep in mind, he GOT the job in a competitive search. He also gave us fake references who lied through their teeth for this guy. WOW!!
5. Had another candidate get the job and when the background check was done, again by Validity Screening, we discovered he had falsified his academic credentials by providing us with fake transcripts and stating he had a Bachelor’s degree and MBA from a local university on his resume. Needless to say, the offer was retracted and we found a much better candidate in the end.
6. Have had SEVERAL potential candidates try and go around us by going directly to the client who hired us to represent them. Never goes well for those candidates. Would NOT recommend doing this!
7. Had a client NOT interview a female candidate because she wore a red dress to the interview.
8. Client interviewed a candidate over lunch and the candidate ordered a $50 steak and glass of wine!
9. Had a candidate use several expletives during an interview… needless to say, that went over like a lead balloon as the hiring manager was a VERY devout Christian.
10. Had a candidate fly from Florida to Texas for an interview with a CEO and, after 30 minutes in the reception area, was told the CEO didn’t have time to meet!!
There you have it! Some unbelievable stuff that will live forever in the Cornerstone Kansas City book of memories. The lesson learned from all of this has been to never let my guard down, to always OVER communicate, and to NEVER make assumptions!
Thanks for reading and for your support over the years. I’m looking forward to many more years of CRAZY stories!
Hope you’re having a WONDERFUL summer!