In case you haven’t seen the first part of this story, click here.
As you’ll remember, I’m leading an assessment day. This is my first time leading one, and I can’t help thinking as I watch these young whippersnappers go at each other I really hope it’s my last. I’m also wishing I’d bought a faster watch, as Steve hits the question of ‘what makes a good recruitment consultant’ from the most analytical angle I’ve ever seen.
“I think to a large degree that depends on the business really Ed” he says out the corner of his mouth, narrowing his eyes and crossing his legs like he’s being interviewed by Paxman.
“Yeah fair point Steve, so let’s say this business eh?” I painfully exhale.
“Someone who’s at the top of the leaderboard?” squeaks Nina.
“Well, yeah. That’s fair Nina, but how would one get there?” God she’s thick.
Luckily Jamal chips in before I contemplate jabbing a biro in my own hand for light relief. He answers with a smorgasbord of personality cliches, but he’s hit the nail on the head.
“Tenacity, resilience, financial motivation and hard work.” Jamal’s better than me I think.
I look over at Jack’s pad and he’s writing furiously. He’s changed his ways, I think. He wants to learn. I knew it. I knew I’d be a natural at this. I’m finally someone younger consultants look up to. A man who can turn even the biggest reprobate into a successful Consultant. I’ll probably get an award for this or something.
Oh no wait, it’s his number. He’s written down his number for Nina. And… yep, she’s lapping it up.
She’s writing down hers next to the ‘notes’ from the first part of the assessment, which simply has a scribbled, poorly drawn giraffe/horse along with ‘listen to Jamal’ underlined. Not that thick after all. In a way.
Next on the agenda is the ‘partner up and sell the other as a candidate’ task. Charmaine’s out of the traps quicker than Tom could down a yard of ale and classically misinterprets the challenge, erring on the side of virtually slagging off Steph to highlight her own potential.
“Ed, I’ve closed more deals than anyone on my team and have never had a drop out. If I’m sending this candidate over, you NEED to hire her. Or someone else will.”
Steph, who’s now visibly annoyed, follows suit.
Jack the lad, takes a different stance with his partner Nina, and effectively writes her dating profile.
“Ed, look at her, this candidate’s clearly a ten out of ten. She’s such a hot candidate you’ll need gloves for her CV.”
Not quite what I was after, but at least he’s sold her I guess.
Steve’s taken the liberty of fabricating metrics in order to highlight why Jamal is a perfect fit for the business. Ironically, if this was real life Jamal now seems like a boring choice.
I’m Tom’s partner and his attempt to suck up to me has me on the verge of nausea, but at least it’s favourable. Otherwise I would have had to get heavy handed with the big oaf, I think quietly to myself.
It’s at this point of the assessment I lose whatever fervour I initially harboured and honestly think about just leaving the room via the nearest window. I then get an email which confirms a candidate offer, and this reinforces my urgency to leave the room. Before doing so I quickly Google ‘Hot Air Balloon Task’ and ask everyone to write down a celeb they know well and remind everyone (Jack) there’s a glass wall.
He winks at me in a way that makes me want to take a shower and I underline the word ‘NOPE’ on my pad another three times just to make sure I remember he’s a buffoon.
Deal closed, I walk back into the room and everyone’s managed not to kill one another or fornicate, which pleases me mildly. Even more pleasingly they’ve chosen a celebrity each for the Hot Air Balloon task which essentially sees them defending their choice, to stay in a sinking ship.
The list is:
Tom: James Haskell (tough choice)
Jack: David Beckham (standard)
Nina: Beyonce (could have written that down for her)
Steve: Bill Gates (yawn)
Charmaine: Karen Brady (interesting)
Steph: David Attenborough (solid)
Jamal: Elon Musk (Jamal’s won this round too by the looks)
I make a point of asking Jamal to go first as it becomes clear I should be offering him on the spot, and his argument’s as iron clad as Tom’s ego. The room then descends into chaos as everyone assumes the loudest person in the room is getting a job.
Tom defends James Haskell because of his strength and fighting spirit and also argues no one’s strong enough to throw him out the balloon. Well played Tom. Haskell’s staying.
Steph points out Attenborough could probably navigate and offer a lot if they land in a foreign country. I also point out we’re talking about David Attenborough and nobody’s throwing out a national treasure on my watch. He’s in.
Steve bores everyone with a critical analysis of Bill Gates’ intelligence and through desire to shut him up, Gates is staying put.
Charmaine overly criticises Steph’s choice and does herself no favours by alienating the room. I say Karen Brady could be close to the chop before Nina pitches in with a staunch defence of Beyonce. Startlingly she highlights some good stuff.
“Her singing could keep everyone chipper and she’s lighter than Brady and Becks.”
Touché Nina. Didn’t mention the twins she’s carrying but didn’t need to I guess.
I’m pretty much dead behind the eyes by this point and say we’ve run out of time before Jack has a chance to derail the exercise with more poorly hidden innuendo.
“Thanks for coming in and being a great group everyone” I lie, making eye contact with Jamal and Steph. “I’ll make sure everyone finds out next steps as soon as possible.”
There’s a sigh of relief as I get back to my desk and I quickly say a prayer to the Recruitment Gods to thank them I’m a Recruiter and don’t have to do this sh*t all the time. My ‘debrief’ is tomorrow where I’ll report Jamal should be employed, Steph’s definitely in for interview and the rest we should wish the best of luck.
Before I do that I send the CV of Jack over to my mate who works at a letting agents. The pints will be on him this Saturday and I’ve done my good deed for the day.
“Now, back to the phone” I sigh to myself.
“Hello old friend!”
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