We’ve all heard of candidates ‘ghosting’ on their recruiter, one moment they’re excited about a new opportunity and keen to get to interview, next minute they’ve vanished from the face of the earth! But is this the scariest scenario that recruiters face?

Seeing as the spookiest time of year is just around the corner, we thought we’d share our hiring horror stories and recruitment nightmares:

Leaving drinks disaster

My candidate was offered their dream role with a company and had handed their notice in. It was their last day at the company and they were out enjoying leaving drinks when I had to call the candidate to tell them that the company had withdrawn the offer due to poor test results…I best add that we no longer work with the company in question!”

Frankenstein’s Bride

“I turned up to work having not washed my hair and with barely any make up as I didn’t have any meetings scheduled, then suddenly, a spontaneous BroadCAST video interview was booked in! I looked like Frankenstein’s bride while talking to a candidate and had to blame it on a bad connection! Moral of the story – as a recruiter always be prepared and have dry shampoo and some concealer in your bag!”

Stinky encounter

“We had a chap go for an interview who stood in dog muck before going in. His interview was in a room that had no windows (or air con) and was within a warehouse on a very hot day in the height of summer. The candidate did not realise that he trodden in dog muck however, the smell was so strong that the HR lady had to walk out of the interview as she kept retching! Unfortunately, he didn’t get the job and was left very embarrassed!”

Stolen candidate

“Worst one I’ve had is a candidate I placed got in touch with his old boss to give them the heads up we would chase them for a reference. The same referee contact then offered him a job pretty much on the spot, my candidate accepted the counter offer and backed out 5 days before start date with our role!”

Mummy’s boy

I had a brilliant candidate who was offered a role which was a salary increase for him and a great next career step, he accepted the offer and was excited to start until he spoke to his mum and dad and changed his mind, declining the role the following day…the candidate was in his 30’s…”

You can never be too early…?

“Over the years I’ve had so many candidates with interviews lined up and having read the time or the date wrong showing up 24 hours early, or even worse, 24 hours late! Read carefully people!”

Line manager mix up

“I met with a senior level candidate recently who had been working with one of the larger recruitment businesses and his consultant there had sent his CV over to his current line manager… as you can imagine the candidate and his manager weren’t best pleased!

Bad reference

“I spent 2 months recruiting a Transport Manager for client located in the middle of nowhere. I found a guy willing to relocate; he went through a 3-stage process, batting away numerous competitors and my client loved him, finally offering him the job.

Fast forward 3 weeks; he’s packed up, left his job, ready to move into his new abode and start his new career...only for the client to call and inform me they had obtained a bad reference for him and were pulling the offer! Despite getting multiple good references from previous jobs, I couldn’t talk them round and I had to ring the candidate 4 days before he was due to start and 2 days before he was due to move and tell him the offer had been pulled…nightmare!”

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