The Practitioner: Recruitment woes

Having spent much of the last week sat through interviews I think I have mastered the following arts:

1. Looking interested when I’m bored stupid.
2. Asking questions sounding interested.
3. Pretending that the interviewee has a genuine chance of getting the job when I knew from the moment I saw them that they would definitely NOT be getting the job.

We are currently recruiting for a new receptionist after the last one we had left after only two months. I can honestly say that I wasn’t responsible for hiring her and I can also honestly say that we won’t be using a certain staff agency ever again.

I volunteered to be the one to conduct the interviews as well as sift through the thirty or so CV’s, the quality of which was 90% trash. I thought I had selected the cream of the crop for interview but to be honest most of them were still not that great.

Whilst the qualifications and experience on the CV appeared ok, meeting the people in person was a totally different thing. To be a receptionist, front of house, on the phones, the face of the Company, a couple of qualities are expected:

1. A tidy appearance
2. A good telephone manner

Seeing a couple of the candidates for the first time I wanted to throw them out there and then saying; ‘Brush your hair, and put a suit on!’

One candidate was so miserable and down-trodden that I actually felt sorry for her and the interview ended up more of a counselling session after she told me her husband had left her 2 years ago and she lost her job three months later.

If she was able to do accounts I would have given her a job in the back office and only let her out at lunchtimes as long as she promised to never speak to or see clients.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not a snob I just think that if you are going to make the effort to turn up for an interview you should at least make yourself presentable and show a bit of enthusiasm.

I am thinking of wearing my scruffs for the second interview stage and see what happens…

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from the coalface of a regional firm in the heart of England


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