…..the sad side of our profession

We are in the people business. And when you’re in the people business, objectively, you know that you’re going to see people at their best and you’re going to see people at their worst. It used to bug me when people did things that I didn’t think was right. But maybe there are lots of things that people perceive me to do, that they don’t think is right.

This week, I got a call from a vice president of the company that I placed three people with in January. It turns out that over the last two or three weeks, they discovered that one of the candidates was working two jobs. Yeah, you read it right it.  He was working TWO software sales jobs simultaneously. Of course, the VP started the conversation by asking, “How well do you know this guy?” Interestingly enough, I’ve known the guy for about 20 years and based on his references and documentable track record, he was a performer. But, how in the world with technology like it is, could you work for two companies at the same time? According to the VP, the guy actually had two LinkedIn profiles. How in the world could anybody expect not to get caught?

We gave them the fee they had paid back immediately. It was $24,000. The VP had actually called the other company that the candidate was working for and, according to the VP, it appeared that the other company might keep the guy. I can’t believe it and neither could the VP. Obviously, this is outright fraud… stealing.  Based on the guy’s performance in the past, I couldn’t imagine any reason for him doing this. I’m confident the candidate will not call me, but I can’t understand why anybody would do such a thing. It’s really sad. The CEO, who I’ve known for 25 years, was furious. I can’t blame him. It’s really sad. My sense is that if the guy had worked as hard for our client as he would have to work to try to juggle two jobs at the same time, he’d be successful at just one of them.

We had a candidate a few years ago who accepted three jobs on the same day. Two of these opportunities are ones that we presented her. On one Friday, she got an offer from one of our clients and she accepted. The client called us and was elated. A couple of hours later another one of our clients called, said that they had offered her the job and she had accepted it. Wondering what was going on, I said nothing but called the candidate.

“What are you doing?”  I said. “Both of these people think that you accepted their job!  What are you doing?” She told me to, “Cool my jets.” She said, “I’ve actually accepted three jobs today. I’m going to think about it over the weekend and show up at the one that I think is going to be best for me. I just wanted to get everybody to offer me the best they could.” Monday morning came and she showed up at one of the opportunities that we had presented her. She called our other client and, I’m assuming, the other company she had accepted a job from and told them that she decided not to pursue their opportunity. Yes, rather unbelievable.

A week or so ago, one of our candidates whom we did not place, was in the process of hiring two of our candidates to work for him, and the day he was supposed to hire them, he called and said he had been summarily fired by the CEO. He was a VP at a technology service provider. He’d been there for just a few days more than 90 days. The CEO got him on the phone, turned the call over to the interim human resources director who told him that he was being let go. No explanation, no reason…nada! The HR director mumbled something about it being a work-at-will state and that he was being terminated.

The ex-VP, turned candidate again, had absolutely no idea why. The CEO would not answer his calls or his emails. The whole thing was a mystery to him. I’ve known this guy for 15 years and he’s about as straight a shooter as you’ll ever find. He’s just good folks.

Truth is always stranger than fiction. In my first book, I had a whole chapter about crazy things that I’ve seen happen in the years I’ve been in this business. My publisher said that they would be printed because nobody would believe the things I wrote. She said that people will think you just made it up. Who could make this stuff up?


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