Ed Hunter: The Funniest Reasons For Candidates Being Let Go

Typically this blog is a chance for me to point fun at the recruitment industry, and of course Recruitment Consultants. If there’s one thing we’re good at, as an industry, it’s laughing at ourselves. You could never say a Recruiter takes themselves too seriously.

Today, thanks to you and your amazing contribution over email, I’m switching up the focus.

It’s the candidates’ turn to get some flak. Don’t worry though, these candidates 100% deserve it. And obviously, for the sake of everyone’s career, I’m including the stories anonymously.

I was overwhelmed by the response to this, and had hundreds of emails detailing why your candidates had been ‘let go’.

Some of them, are too bad to publish. The rest are below.


 The Slumber Section

The amount of emails telling me candidates had fallen asleep on the job was unfathomable. So instead of detailing every single story, here are the places your candidates have been caught sleeping, and subsequently fired…

–  Behind the wheels of a class 4 sucker truck

– Covered in cardboard and bubble-wrap in a warehouse (shoes neatly placed below with socks inside).

– In the basement of a large office block, caught having a siesta on CCTV (along with cross dressing and smoking?!).

– Caught asleep (twice) in between Pokemon GO games.

– Physically on (not in), the toilet, trousers down, mid ‘job’, door ajar.

– Whilst on a conference call to the CEO. Only caught after loudly snoring and was asleep until someone went round to wake them up.

– On top of a group of lockers for employees.

– On the balcony in the sun next to the owner’s desk (who only realised when they came back and sought an introduction).

– Under a tree, in a school, below the window of a lesson they were due to be taking. Caught by his own pupils.


The Amorously Inappropriate Sexion

An email I received from one Recruiter started with this line:

“Sexual assault is never funny”

And, fairly obviously it’s not. Only the email did then go on to claim how a candidate got fired for shouting “GO ON, TOUCH IT” at a colleague, while dressed to ‘half mast’. Now, after that ‘event’ you’d think the company in question could probably let the candidate go themselves.

After all, that’s arguably an arrestable defence.

Nope. Not in this case apparently. It was the Recruiter’s job. Bloody Recruiters eh?


Staying with sexual exploits, another candidate apparently left site at midday and called his Recruiter to explain.

Though on the phone, no explanation could be heard due to the wailing, sobbing and distressed whinnying cries. Think Streetcar Named Desire. Think on his knees, hands in the air. Think, he didn’t need to use a phone, as everyone in a five mile radius could hear.

Anyway, after some coaching on breathing techniques the story was eventually heard. It turned out the candidate’s girlfriend had taken part in a threesome, forgetting to invite or indeed notify the poor guy.

So, he found out while tucking into a Muller fruit corner on what he thought was turning out to be a pretty good week.

Unfortunately his story of woe fell on deaf ears and he was fired the same day for leaving site unannounced.

Not quite such a good week after all pal.


Another candidate turned out to be a budding artist. You know one of those people that are amazing at capturing objects. They leave cute little sketches in places for you find. It could be a sketch of you. It could be of your Manager. Maybe the team, at the bar, on a Friday.

Or maybe, it’s a large, contoured, detailed sketch of male genitalia, on a parcel that gets delivered to a client. Not so cute, probably.


Similarly, if you have candidates that cycle for their commute, a polite word in their ear about spandex might save you a few quid.

Because, no matter how long you’ve been in your job, walking round the office with a see-through bulge emanating from your shorts will apparently get you walked off site in most major banks.


As a few Recruiters will hold testament to, the office environment often reveals amorous intentions at times. It happens.

Normally best to make sure the person you go after is single however. Otherwise you’re really asking for trouble.

But not as much trouble as when you get caught ‘at it’ with the MD’s wife at his summer BBQ.


Or, as another Recruiter emailed me to detail, “putting in some extra business development” with the wife of one of their best clients. Who subsequently cancelled an enormous contract and told the business exactly why.

On asking how he knew, it turned out the candidate had dropped his business card down the chair of the bedroom and the wife folded under questioning.


I’ll stay on the same theme for just two more anecdotes. These ones are a little more individual in nature…

– One candidate was let go for being caught ‘red handed’ having a rather pleasurable lunch, in his car. In full view of the rest of the staff.

– And another candidate was ‘caught’ on a shared NHS owned, pharmacy computer viewing explicit websites and ordering ‘toys’. No, it wasn’t Kerplunk.


The ‘Hygiene’ Section

So, it turns out, in my time as a Recruiter, I’ve been lucky.

I meet candidates all the time, and while I never purposely sniff them, apparently this is impossible not to do with some.

Here are the candidates that have been sacked for reasons related to ‘hygiene’…

– Two fellow employees rush to the toilet to be physically sick from merely brushing past the new candidate in the office.

– A new candidate pushed over a portaloo because the current incumbent was taking too long.

– A candidate sliding a bottle of mouthwash into their Manager’s drawer, on their first day, because their breath was so bad.

– ‘Caught’ using the bathroom sink as a urinal, because “there were people already in the kitchen”.

– Being caught on the toilet reading the paper when an estate agent took a family to look round a new build.


The ‘Best of the Rest’ Section

Here’s a selection of the best reasons that don’t quite fit into the sections above.

– A candidate failing to declare, for a hard day’s graft on site, that they were, unfortunately, only in possession of one of their hands.

– ‘Abusing’ school canteen privileges, three times a day, and then only caught after boasting about it.

– “Getting caught playing tennis” on a neighbour’s tennis court.

– Propositioning a female colleague to make a ‘home made movie’ with his wife.

– Stealing a company car for an international drug smuggling ring.

– Living two lives, with two families, in two different locations and only being caught out, by of all people, a Recruiter.

– “The client’s dog didn’t like him”.

– Pulling a gun on someone for questioning their work. “It’s OK,” the Recruiter writes, “it was just a replica” – remind me not to have beers with you mate!


There we have it, looks like Recruiters aren’t the worst people in the world.

If you can believe it, there were about twice as many as I’ve included here. Some of them would get me in trouble for publishing however.

I’ll get some Ed Hunter swag to anyone that made the cut. Thanks to each and every one of you. I owe you all a pint – apart from the Recruiter who thinks a replica gun is fine to take to work. You’re on your own pal.

Here’s some more gold.