A recruitment tale

Got an interesting story for you today, based around recruitment and my interactions with a recruitment agency.
After much searching for my “unicorn” physio ( a female musc and womens health physio who lives within 20 mins of my clinic) I decided to try my hand and the dark side and contact a recruiter.
I sent the same email to about 10 recruiters who had been email spamming me, 3 replied, 2 replied with an info pack for me to fill out. I didn’t contact them back, as they didn’t answer the question I asked in my email.
So one recruiter left. She was actually quite pleasant to deal with. Had to call her office on 5 separate occasions to reach her though. Sometimes I feel these people don’t actually want our business, or don’t know how to do good business either.
Get this – she had my unicorn applicant – an experienced, musc and WC physio who was moving to my region in a month’s time. It seemed too good to be true. You know what happens when stuff is too good to be true.
This physio’s CV read so good I started to think “could this be real? What’s the catch? Why does this physio need a recruiter to get a job?”. I mean with this resume 99 out of 100 of you would have hired her on the spot, offered her whatever she wanted.
I started to read deeper. She had lived in quite a few different places. The recruiter tried to justify this in a number of ways, the final of which was saying her partner had been offered a job in Brisbane and they were buying a house.
And then I decided to take the next step. Recruiters make somewhat of an error when they list other clinics the applicant has previously worked. They don’t list the applicant’s name (as they are fearful of you finding a way to contact the prospective employee outside the terms of your agreement) but they do list the person’s previous places of work. Mistake number 1.
My strategy when I get a resume is to either: call places they have worked but haven’t listed that clinic owner as a referee, or
call the place they worked before the place they are currently working (out of respect and courtesy in case their current clinic owner doesn’t know they are applying for positions elsewhere).
So I made the call to the owner of the clinic she worked at before she was where she is now.
I won’t mention any of the details of this conversation, but needless to say it was honest, and eye opening. It saved me from making a decision that would have significantly impacted not only my clinic, but our culture and everything we have been trying to build.
Next step was deciding to contact the recruiter to ask more questions about the applicant. I led the recruiter through a conversation in which she effectively agreed with me that this applicant was unsuitable for me clinic. Pity she didn’t tell me that when she first sent me that resume.
At the minute I have 3 potential physios going through my recruitment process. None of them fulfil my “unicorn” dream, but all of them are local and fit culturally within our organisation. The process isn’t happening quickly with any of them due to each of their circumstances, and when I got a bit impatient I decided to call the recruiter, and it almost cost me.
Morals of the story:
1. Don’t hire anyone who could potentially compromise your culture and your existing team, regardless of what they have to offer
2. When you read a resume you must look past all of the impressive courses the person has done, to:
3. The places they have previously worked. This is the best info you can possibly get that could go as far as stopping your business from the potential oblivion of a toxic team member. Don’t just call the referees – be prepared to call any place they have ever worked and dig for the info you need to make the right decision.
Happy recruiting!
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