Lighter side: Hilarious HR hiring stories

by Janie Smith01 Aug 2014
It’s always interesting to hear hiring stories from other recruiters and HR professionals – especially when they involve a high degree of oddness on behalf of the candidates.

This Business 2 Community story lists some great recruiting tales – here are our favourites:
  • “In my 15 years of workforce management and interviewing, I thought I had seen and heard it all, until one day. I get a call from the drug-testing agency we used for pre-employment drug screening. I think it was even a first for them. Apparently, the candidate-for-hire brought in a urine specimen that wasn’t his own. He tried warming the specimen with his lighter so it would be at normal body temperature (since the agency tests that, as well). The problem was it was a plastic cup he tried warming, so it melted. Needless to say, that individual was not hired.” Kandi Mensing, owner and founder, and The Elite HR Business School
  • “My most memorable experience in all my years recruiting was when I received a resume with a passport-sized photo on the front page and underneath the photo the words ‘Not Actual Size’. I still laugh when I remember those three words and wonder what he was thinking. Did he really think I would believe he had a tiny little head and hold it against him?” Henry Goldbeck, president and senior Recruiter, Goldbeck Recruiting Inc
  • “A few moments after saying goodbye to a potential candidate, a woman entered the store and asked for the owners. She then identified herself as the candidate’s mother and told me she was there without her child knowing. She then aggressively told me why I should hire her child to work for our store. As strong as that candidate might have been, all I could think about was if I hired them I would have to deal with the mum, as well. As I recall, the candidate was 21 years old! We chose a different candidate.” John from Stanwood, Washington
What’s your strangest hiring story?



  • by Sara 1/08/2014 11:54:53 AM

    During an interview we had an applicant give us an unusual response when asked how she would solve an issue. She said "Nike" When we asked what that meant, she said i "just do it". She then continued to answer most questions with the Nike response. It was how she would motivate her staff and also her own personal mantra. It was a little odd.

  • by Martha 1/08/2014 2:35:49 PM

    My most memorable resume contained the following text:

    "I work three jobs and still manage to keep my wife satisfied"

    Laughing out loud, I then referred to the referee list at the back of his resume to see if he had listed his wife...

  • by Delia 1/08/2014 3:33:22 PM

    We had a candidate who did extraordinary things at interview.
    1. He asked if he could remove his shoes, as he found he could answer questions better if he was in his socks.
    2. After the CEO asked him a couple of questions about his current employment role, he asked if he could consult his lawyer before answering, in case he was in breach of his contract. (The questions were general in nature).
    3. Asked if he could bring in his wife to look around the offices, so that she could have some input as to whether it was a suitable place for him to work.

    It was all just a little bit odd; and to be frank far too difficult!

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