Ed Hunter: The Recruiter’s Phonetic Alphabet

I was minding my own business the other day changing a CV from PDF to Word when I overheard my colleague on the phone. They were spelling an address out to a frenetic candidate who’d lost their way.

“It’s G, as in gnome.”

“A for aisle”

“P as in pneumatic”

… he continued.

I raised an eye from my terribly important busy work to see him fully expecting the reaction. A knowing smile plastered on his mug.

“How many of these have you got?” I enquired.

“Not enough, but I’ve got a list of any I can use. T for Tsunami’s my fave.” 

And so, despite the dizzying, unadulterated joy of trying to delete text boxes on a Word CV, we set about creating a phonetic alphabet for recruiters.

Relatable by people in the industry. To be used everywhere and pinned on the walls of offices worldwide. If you hear ‘P for Papa’ from a colleague ever again, reprimand them.

Here’s what you use instead:


Aa is for Alpha Male

As in, me. You. Anyone in recruitment. Male or female.

Bb is for Bravado

As in, I’ve got more of this than talent. But by god do I know how to weald it.

Cc is for Competitor

As in, Phil, Godfather to my first born, Best Man at my wedding, goes by what other name in the office?

Dd is for Deltoids

As in, look at the size of my massive deltoids. Yeah, I’m massive. Thanks for noticing.

Ee is for Egos 

As in, what are there more of in this room than phones? 

Ff is for Funnel

As in, what cooking utensil would I like to force feed my Director with, until he couldn’t mention the word ‘funnel’ any more?

Gg is for Gatekeeper

As in, which person has the power to crush your hopes and dreams in one sentence, every day?

Hh is for Hope you’re well

As in, the phrase I write daily and NEVER mean

Ii is for Irrelevant

As in, the fact you’ve worked with my colleague before is irrelevant, they’re on holiday

Jj is for Judas

As in, what’s the name given by Management for anyone who’s ever left this business?

Kk is for Knackered

As in, what’s my standard response to ‘Hi Ed, how are you?’

Ll is for LinkedIn

As in, where can I see the best and worst examples of the human race?

Mm is for Mailshot

As in, I’ll publicly slate Recruiters who do these, then make my Resourcer do one out of sheer desperation

Nn is for No show

As in, if you do this for your interview, guess what your middle name becomes on our system?

Oo is for Out of Office

As in, where am I when ‘the candidate who applies for everything’ calls in?

Pp is for Public Liability

As in, after 2 large wines, what is Gill in Accounts?

Qq is for Quit

As in, what does Sophie on contract threaten to do every Christmas party, yet never follows through

Rr is for Rank

As in, what my ‘rank’ Director tries to pull at the Christmas party to dance with women

Ss is for Sacrifice

As in, what would I happily do to my Resourcer on the Director’s alter desk for just one more deal?

Tt is for Traitor

As in, what I consider anyone who walks back into the office with a cup of tea for themselves

Uu is for Unattainable

As in, what does Rhianna in Admin, my yearly financial target and leaving the office before 7pm all have in common?

Vv is for Vasectomy

As in, what I wish my boss had about 13 years ago, after his ‘adorable’ kid came in and told me to f**k off

Ww is for Watch

As in guess how much my watch’s worth? No, higher. Nope. Higher. Nope. Still no. No you’re miles away.

Xx is for Xanax

As in, what am I pushing to be included on our new benefits package?

Yy is for You f***ing idiot

As in, what I call everyone after hanging up. Everyone. 

Zz is for Zero

As in, from zero to one hundred, rate the chances of all the new Grads making it to Christmas


Now, the fun part, time to test these out. Know how we do that? Yep, you’ve guessed it, by GETTING ON THE PHONE.

Stay classy.

Ed Hunter Wolf Head Google Glass