Ed Hunter: It’s All About Timing

To be good at recruitment you need to gauge probability.

You have to be comfortable pissing in the wind, knowing the direction’s probably gonna change.

It’s this thinking which leads you to label your clients. Some clients are A clients.

Some are Z.

In a lot agencies it goes A,B,C, Z.

I know what you’re thinking… why not D? No one knows.

Clients don’t know this system exists. But it does. And if not formally on the database, merely in your own mind.

‘A clients’ are your exclusives.

Your old friends from Uni who now work internal and give you the nod before the PSL.

‘B clients’ are your steady hirers.

They don’t mess about and your competition is just one other. Probably the same person you swashbuckle on the regs.

‘C clients’ are the ones you punt.

Sure, you’ll work a live job. But you’re qualifying it yourself and only sending one candidate. And only after everything else is done. Including the daily mobile gaming sesh on the sh*tter.

‘Z clients’ are your database fodder.

The sort of client a resourcer gets lucky with on their first day fumbling client calls. Ones you dutifully ‘manage’ on their behalf.

With these clients you throw over a taster. An amuse-bouche of the sort of work you could offer, if you actually bothered. The kind of client who asks for an interview, three months after ghosting you.

The kind of client who thinks they have a divine right to recruiters’ and candidates’ interest.

The kind of client who has no sense of humour.

It’s an email chain with one of these clients I’d like to share with you today.

From: Paul, H
Date: Friday 12 Oct 2018 09:13
To: Ed Hunter
Subject: Interview Request

Dear Ed,

We’d like to interview your candidate Tim ****** for the position of Project Manager, submitted to me on 03/06/18

Please let me know their availability.


From: Ed Hunter
Date: Friday 12 Oct 2018 09:17
To: Paul H
Subject: Re: Interview Request

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your swift response.

I’m so pleased you’re OK.

Remember our initial call? When you said this was urgent and you’d need minimum two hires? Followed by you guaranteeing me exclusive representation?

After you didn’t answer my multiple calls or emails I thought something terrible had happened. Especially when I saw the role still being advertised online – not through me.

I can call Tim and ask for forgiveness, but would be great to chat on the phone about why the role’s back on. Are you free now?

Also, as explained on the submission email, Tim would only be interested with two days of remote working a week. Assume this is OK.



From: Paul, H
Date: Friday 12 Oct 2018 09:27
To: Ed Hunter
Subject: RE: Re: Interview Request

Are you trying to be funny?!! The role was put on hold until recently, hence why I didn’t call you back.

Please let me know Tim’s availability. I haven’t got time to speak with you about the role again.

1x day a week remote is possible, but it needs to be signed off by a Manager and be for a very good reason.


From: Ed Hunter
Date: Friday 12 Oct 2018 09:48
To: Paul H
Subject: Re: RE: Re: Interview Request


I’m really sorry but unless we speak about the role I’m not willing to mess Tim around again. He was very interested when I spoke to him about this, then you fell off the side of the earth for four months.

He currently works from home two days a week so that needs to be matched to pique his interest in a discussion. But just for my own curiosity… what constitutes “a very good reason?”


From: Paul, H
Date: Friday12 Oct 2018 11:32
To: Ed Hunter
Subject: RE: Re: RE: Re: Interview Request

A good reason would be something like a family bereavement or illness obviously. How is that not obvious?!

Either he wants to work for us or he doesn’t. I haven’t got time for time wasters!!

I’m free on Monday afternoon for a telephone interview. Please let me know when Tim has time then.


From: Ed Hunter
Date: Friday 12 Oct 2018 11:54
To: Paul H
Subject: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Interview Request

FAO: The Right Honourable Paul (II) in Human Resources,

Just for my records here… what you’re saying is…

“As long as a member of Tim’s family dies, every week, he’ll be allowed to work from home. But only for one day”…?

How many points days, does a grandparent get? Or if he somehow loses a limb? Are there other less demanding managers he could work for?

My Nan had an operation on her toe recently. It was quite a minor operation but she was off work for two weeks. After that her pimp Manager got a bit fed up and threatened to ‘sack her’, so I get it.

If you’re free Monday, how about I call then and we can arrange Tim once I’ve qualified the role. Again.

Humbly yours,


From: Paul, H
Date: Friday 12 Oct 2018 13:43
To: Ed Hunter
Subject: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Interview Request

Why are you telling me that about your Nan’s toe?

Our home-working policy is non-negotiable and no arm of this business will tolerate nonsense.

I either speak to Tim on Monday or you can forget it. And I’d forget working with us again too.

Let me know what time works best or I’ll just approach Tim on LinkedIn and get all this myself.

From: Ed Hunter
Date: Friday 12 Oct 2018 14:24
To: Paul H
Subject: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Interview Request

Pol (Pot),

For someone in HR you seem fascinated with body parts. I’ll give you this, you’re determined. Thing is, I hate mixed signals. Do you like me? Do you hate me? Do you just wanna grab a drink and see where things go?

I don’t like the thought of you and Tim getting close without me. How many limbs must I forgo to join the party? Name your price.

Yes, it seems odd harvesting my own organs just to make this go smoothly, but I judge each case on its merits.

And as me old Nan always says “three, it’s the magic number.” 

NB. If you do approach Tim and somehow convince him you’re not a graveyard for his budding Project Management career I’ll send over an invoice. Good luck.

Love Ed

From: Paul, H
Date: Friday 12 Oct 2018 14:27
To: Ed Hunter
Subject: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Interview Request

I literally can’t think of anything worse than meeting you for a drink. I’d rather recruiters didn’t exist full stop.

I’m sure I’m much more persuasive than you. And I’d really rather you stopped talking about your Nan.

From: Ed Hunter
Date: Friday 12 Oct 2018 14:44
To: Paul H
Subject: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Interview Request

Literally?! You literally can’t think of anything worse than a drink with me?

Like, that’s totes my kind of humour lol.

That said, I got my funny bone from my Nan. Not literally mind, fairly sure her funny bone’s still in use.

I’ll let you know in three months whether Tim’s available for Monday.


From: Paul, H
Date: Friday 12 Oct 2018 15:17
To: Ed Hunter
Subject: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Interview Request

Forget it, don’t email me again.

You’ve been scrapped from our PSL. I’ve sent an email internally stating we’re not to engage you in any search from here on in.


From: Ed Hunter
Date: Thursday 17 Jan 2019 09:23
To: Paul H
Subject: Interview Confirmation

Dear HR,

Just a quick note to confirm Tim is booked in for interview with you on Monday 22nd October 2018 at 14:00.

Kind regards,

Ed Hunter

From: Paul H
Date: Thursday 17 Jan 2019 09:31
To: Ed Hunter
Subject: Re: Interview Confirmation


From: Ed Hunter
Date: Thursday 17 Jan 2019 09:37
To: Paul H
Subject: RE: Re: Interview Confirmation

Thank God, our client banding only goes down to Z.

It’s all about the timing sometimes isn’t it?

Whether performing a joke, performing at work, or performing… elsewhere.

Until next time.