Ed Hunter: The Inner Turmoil of a Recruiter

The inner voice.

We all have one. Most Recruiters probably think theirs is hilarious. I know I do.

I know I’m not alone in staging an eternal battle on my shoulders between an Angel and a Devil. Most days it’s a ruckus that makes McGregor Vs Mayweather look like child’s play.

The thing is, the Angel always wins.

If she didn’t (mine’s a she) frankly I’d have been sacked years ago.

I often write down the things I’d like to have said in certain situations. They, of course, bear no relation to the things I end up saying. But for a brief time, it’s pleasant to play out the likely sh*tshow that would ensue if I let the Devil win (he’s a he. I don’t know a why, he just is).

Here are some scenarios that have happened, what I wished I’d said, and what I actually said after taking five minutes out.

Scenario One

*A candidate’s other offer falls through and they come crawling back…*


Hi Bob,

Nice to hear from you. I don’t know how much you check your phone, but as you’re not a ‘millennial’ I’ll stab at only 55 times a day. Which means you’ll have seen my repeated calls, emails and texts.

I was thinking about sending an actual letter so you knew I was serious but then remembered it was 2017.

Anyway, look I’m not going to jump to attention now you’ve decided you’re interested again all of a sudden. I know your other offer fell through and it’s likely it was because of the terrible reference I got when I checked myself.

I hope you have some luck with the next place, but just a tip: answer your phone every now and then. I’ve seen moles less short-sighted than you. I know you’ve lied. You know, I know you’ve lied. Frankly, I’d rather take up morris dancing than go through the tedious rigmarole of getting you another offer while you wait to see whether the other application can be resurrected.

Do keep in touch. Just not with me.



Hi Bob,

Let me see what I can do.

What’s the situation with your other contract out of interest?



Scenario Two

*A client pulls a role you’ve spent ages working on*


Hi Dan,

Please don’t worry. This is all my fault. I do some work retained, and it’s always a pleasure knowing I’m not going to be strung along for two months, working my arse off, keeping my Manager at bay, trying to keep candidates interested when the budget you said had been signed off, now isn’t.

I did push for a retainer, I now understand why you didn’t go for it.

This reminds me of another situation with my ex. You see, she promised when we met she wasn’t criminally insane. And I believed her. Again, all my fault. I’m too trusting.

I’ve now got to go back to three people, who’ve been waiting for ‘news’ which you said was forthcoming and let them down. They’ll blame me. And rightfully so. Much in the same way a Doctor’s to blame for notifying patients of crippling disease. Or the, perfectly reasonable action of shooting a messenger. Which, despite the phrase to the contrary, is the correct course of action.

Ironically in this case, you control the budget, and therefore have almost certainly been lying to me at either one stage, or the entire process. Anyway, as you’re not the messenger, luckily, you’re not to blame.

I am.

I’ll ask one of the lads to finish me off with a shovel out back, so I don’t cause any more upset in the world.

So long, for now.



Hi Dan,

Thanks for getting back to me.

I’ll inform the candidates, who’ll be disappointed not to receive an offer to work with such a great company.


Scenario Three

*A colleague labels their sandwich in the fridge*


Dear Sophie,

I think you know I’ve wanted you since I first laid eyes on you. Don’t pretend you haven’t seen me ogling you.

Sitting there like a temptress, glancing in my direction. Seductively, suggestively showing just enough to make my mind wander. The salivating I’m experiencing was set up by you, and I feel no remorse in taking you firmly in my hands.

We both knew this was coming. We knew it from day one. Every time you brushed my hand as I reached for the milk I could feel the pure electricity between us. The unbridled and raw reaction of the static made the hairs on my hand stand up. The goosebumps on my arm were all you. Not the cool of the fridge. As I peel back your risque, racy see-through attire I know it’s right.

You’ve got curves in all the right places. It’s important no one sees us. This should be our thing. Our little secret.

There’s so much power and passion in a secret.

You taste delicious. And I’ve wanted nothing else but to savour every second of our ultimate and final encounter.

I’ll never forget you.



Hi Soph,

No sorry, I’ve not seen your sandwich.


Scenario Four

*Manager requests a meeting for no reason*


Hi Angela,

Yep. I’d love to come to this meeting. I hope it’s as beneficial and life-changing as the one last week.

In fact, chances are, this will be as valuable to me as that time I got the keys to the Seventh Wonder of the World, the Lighthouse at Alexandria. God, that was a day I’ll not forget in a hurry. I must take you some time. Maybe we should go for next year’s incentive?

I’ve noticed you’ve labelled the diary invitation as ‘catch up’.

I assume that’s the content of the meeting and not something you’re hoping you’ll be able to do personally. If the latter, we’ll probably need more than the completely ridiculous hour-long duration you’ve set.

I did send you everything I currently know about every deal I’m working on, on Wednesday afternoon. It’s now Thursday morning.

Nothing’s changed. Because, it’s been 12 hours, overnight. Shall I just send you email saying that and we can file this episode in the ‘an email would be overkill’ folder?

No? You’re insisting are you? Brilliant. I’ll see you in five minutes. I’ll just stop doing things that could positively affect both of our situations and we can have a lovely chin wag.




Diary Request Accepted

Scenario Five

*Candidate leaves during the rebate period*


Dear Theo,

Here enclosed you’ll find my left kidney.

It’s a funny old story actually, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. You see, a lot of people don’t realise, you don’t need two kidneys. You need one. You can get by for a pretty long time with one kidney. It’s not the full-flowing, vociferous life you might have with two organs, but what with global warming and over-population the way it is, how long’s anyone really got?

I had put quite a lot of effort into keeping this kidney quite healthy. It’s in full working order, and I’ve kept myself in fairly decent knick. Apart from the odd Thirsty Thursday here and there. What can I say… Recruitment huh?!

Anyway, it’s a pleasure to hand it over to you. I was planning on keeping hold of Keith (oh that’s its name, did I mention?) for a bit longer. And I know you explicitly stated you don’t need any extra organs. But you also said you wouldn’t take the piss if I negotiated you a salary above and beyond what was advertised or in fairness your actual worth.

You also said you loved the company and it was well worth my time asking the client to bend over backwards. The fact you called me every day to chase the role only confounded any initial impressions I had.

Anyway, given your outright lies to this point, I can only assume your comment on organs was also utter bullsh*t. So here’s my kidney to allow you to take the piss for another 3 months, any time you fancy.

Look after him, he’s a real keeper.

I may write from time to time if that’s OK. Just to check in y’know.

All my love,



Hi Theo,

I have to say I’m disappointed given how much effort we put in to gaining this employment opportunity for you.

All the best in the next role.



Keep fighting the good fight