If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur!
Some years ago I was hiring a backfill into my team. Budgets were tight so the role wasn’t put out to an agency. I was concerned about this decision as our internal resourcing team did not have financial recruitment experience and were sourcing direct candidates, without really knowing what they were looking for. Sure enough, the quality of CVs was poor but time was ticking away so in the end I interviewed the 6 ‘best’ candidates and then invited 2 back for second interview.
I made an offer to the ‘best’ candidate, let’s call him Joe, who gratefully accepted the role. This was in spite of my instincts telling me it was a mistake as Joe was only the best candidate by virtue of the poor quality of the candidates I had seen.
I invested a significant amount of time in Joe during his first 6 weeks, bringing him up to speed but it was clear that he was struggling. The following week we had a big monthly meeting with the CEO where Joe was due to present some figures but he didn’t turn up for the meeting. I went to look for him but he was nowhere to be found, so I ended up presenting the figures myself, feeling somewhat embarrassed at his absence!
After the meeting Joe was still missing in action so I tried to call his mobile but couldn’t get through. Some four hours and several attempts later I got a text from Joe resigning from the role. It turns out that he couldn’t face the meeting, panicked and did a runner, spending the entire afternoon in the pub.
This experience set me and my team back a huge amount, but it made me realise that I should have listened to my instincts and not settled for a candidate who was average at best, just because I wanted to fill a void.
The following day, checking through Joe’s desk I discovered that he had left his shoes behind which did make us wonder if he had scurried out wearing just his socks! He never did come back for them so eventually a colleague took them home.
The moral of the story is that it is always worth investing in specialist recruiters to find the best candidates, and be prepared to wait that little bit longer for the right candidate, that is unless you are in the market for a new pair of shoes………….
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