One of the advantages of using a recruiter is that most of the time they can get you feedback faster than you can get it yourself. One of the toughest things to do is to tell candidates that they did not get a job. Occasionally when this happens, candidates ask if there is anything they can do. The answer is always no; a nice thank you note acknowledging the rejection and telling the company that you hope there will be another opportunity is a classy and smart thing to do. Once a company’s (or hiring manager's) mind is made up, they rarely, if ever, change their minds.
On this subject, I heard an amusing story which I wanted to share. It did not happen to me or to one of my candidates. But this is a true story; I have changed some of the details to protect the guilty.
A candidate was told "no" after having met human resources and the CEO. The CEO did not feel he was right for the job or for the agency. The candidate believed that he was perfect for the job and couldn't accept his rejection. He decided to try to get another interview. He called his recruiter and asked for another meeting.. The recruiter called the human resources director, asked for the second meeting and was told, "No."
I have had many of these conversations over the years. The candidate gives all the reasons why he or she thinks he is right for the job. If I was given specific reasons why the candidate is wrong, I tell him or her. Generally that is enough. However, in this case the candidate insisted. He was so convinced he was right for the job that he went “rogue”, bypassing the recruiter. He started calling the CEO. The CEO’s admin politely told the candidate that there would be no additional meeting. So the candidate developed his own plan in order to force an interview.
A few days later, he sent some sort of singing telegram. The person delivering it was dressed up as a car (no kidding). He arrived at reception, asked for the CEO (Imagine the call from the receptionist: “Sir, there is a car here to see you.”). The executive came to the reception area whereupon the car played a music track on a boom box and started singing a popular song, lyrics changed, requesting a second meeting. The lyrics, of course, told why this candidate was wonderful for the job and that the CEO had misjudged the candidate. By the time the car stopped singing, a crowd of employees had formed in the reception area. When the song was over, the car person presented the CEO with a letter demanding another interview. The CEO was flabbergasted and very embarrassed. (Imagine if the employees had not known the job was open). It didn’t happen in the privacy of the CEO's office, but right out in the open so that everyone could see and hear. The CEO had to stand there listening to lyrics saying, essentially, you made a mistake by bypassing me.
It made the CEO furious.
It made the CEO furious.
I am sure this scheme cost a lot of money, not to mention time and energy. It backfired. The agency will never see the candidate again. Not for any job. The recruiter will now never deal with the candidate either. It was a total embarrassment to everyone involved.
It was a case of just going too far. This was not a junior candidate. He is mature and experienced enough to know that no one likes to have their decisions questioned. Nor do they like to be made to look like a fool. The irony is that the incident proved that the CEO’s initial judgment about the candidate was correct.