5 Recruiting Stories We Only Wish Were April Fools’ Jokes

In honor of April Fools’ Day, I decided to take a break from posting motivational quotes, jobs we are working on, and career advice articles to highlight something a little more humorous from the world of recruiting. Have you ever been in a situation where you asked yourself, “Is someone playing a joke on me?!” Well, as you will see, we have our fair share of funny stories from our experiences in recruiting and what better time than April Fools’ Day to share them. Although none of these stories happened anywhere near April, or at least to my recollection, they did have me wishing they were April Fools’ jokes.

For those who do not know me, I have been recruiting for 14 years. As a recruiter, my job is to work with people, understand their needs, and create good professional matches! As people, it is safe to say we are an unpredictable bunch and there is no better person to validate that viewpoint than the professional recruiter. Ask any long-term recruiter or hiring manager and they will no doubt have some amazing stories to share about the human race!

That being said, in light of the holiday, I figured I would share some of my most memorable stories as a recruiter where I was literally left hoping to myself, “Please let this be an April Fools’ prank.” Please note, we understand everyone makes mistakes and things happen…here are just a few stories I think we can all laugh at.

With that being said, here are my 5 craziest recruitment stories.

  1. Motorcycle Helmet Guy – I had a large project to staff for desktop support individuals and was lining up about 20 interviews a day at my office. When each person arrived they would be escorted to one of our interview rooms and I would come up front to meet them. When I walked in to meet this guy, I was surprised he still had his motorcycle helmet on. I asked if he would like to take it off and begin our discussion. In response, he said he wanted to keep it on but then flipped open the visor. I spent the next 30 minutes interviewing him this way. Sadly, he didn’t get the job.
  2. Bring Your Daughter to Work Guy – We’ve all heard about bring your kids to work day. However, I don’t recommend bringing your teenager on your first day unannounced. Early in my career I worked with a man that was great throughout the entire hiring process, impressed my client and landed the job. I went to meet him for his first day of work and introduce him to everyone he was going to be working with. As I meet him in the parking lot, he casually mentions that his 16-year-old daughter is with him. Confused, I ask “what’s she going to do all day?”. He replies, “She’s staying with me and we’re running my car to the repair shop later this afternoon. The mechanic said I need to be there while they work on it.”. This not really making sense, the client and I suggest he take care of his personal obligations and we can adjust his start date. Neither of us heard from him again after that morning, strange!
  3. Ex-Wife Hiring Manager Guy. Well this is awkward. – I went to meet this guy to introduce him to my client for his first face-to-face interview. As we walk over to meet the individuals involved in the panel discussion, the candidate starts to act a little funny. At this moment he realizes his ex-wife (who he hasn’t seen or talked to in years due to a bad break-up) is not only working at this company, but also involved in the selection process. There is an awkward meet and greet where both parties are very uncomfortable. He ultimately decides to just walk out. When I asked for an explanation of what happened later on, all this was revealed to me. Awkward!
  4. Flat Tire (but not actually) Lady – So I’ve heard the “car broke down” excuse more times than I can remember. I became so jaded that I actually thought about partnering with a tow company just to see if people were serious or not. (Never actually followed through on that one.) However, this lady tells me she has a flat tire and can’t make the interview. I ask where she is and she gives me a location. I was actually driving through that area at that moment, so I tell her I can help change the tire and explain to my client why she is going to be late. Confronted at that moment with no way out, she comes clean that she’s really no longer interested in the job. Moral here: even if the truth isn’t what the other person wants to hear, it’s always better to be honest. And fun fact, I’ve actually changed two flat tires to help people get to their job and interview.
  5. Walking Billboard Guy – Look, I’m all about hustle and drive. You have to do what you have to do to earn a living. But when you arrive at a professional (suit and tie) environment, you don’t show up to the interview wearing a billboard. This gentleman was promoting a tobacco store prior to arriving but had no place to leave the front and back billboard that was made of wood he was wearing. So, what do you do?…You just keep it on apparently. Keep grinding my friend!

So these were the most PG stories I can share. Honorable Mentions and shout-outs also to the Man Flees Country Guy, Magnified Eyeballs Guy, Wasabi Lady and Hot Sauce Frisbee Guy. And last but not least, Sweaty See Your Skin Through Your White-Shirt Guy (me on my first interview post-college!). Yes, these are all real stories.  

There are actually quite a few more that I can only tell you over a drink!

Happy April Fools’ Day, everyone!