Ed Hunter: The Recruitment Olympics

Have you ever been on a holiday abroad with your recruitment company? It’s a little like the Olympic village. 450,000 condoms are needed. Different teams clash while vying for the world’s attention. There’s a pool. It’s normally somewhere exotic. It costs a shit load to organise. And by and large the place is completely trashed by the time it’s all over.

Why any city would want to host the Olympics is beyond me.

Other than the $5bn revenue generated and Beach Volleyball I suppose.

This is no ordinary Olympics however…

This is the Recruitment Olympics.

1. Rhythmic Silent Celebrations

This is one of my favourites and from my experience we are the best at it – guaranteed a gold medal! If you’re not sure what this is… It’s the moment during a phone call a Consultant does a deal.

The only rule in this sport?

The person on the other end of the line can’t know you’re celebrating. From what I’ve seen most Consultants have their own signature moves.

Me? I have a couple of ‘go to’ silent celebrations.

Either the invisible basketball 3 pointer or the hole in one golf swing!

World Record: A perfect 10 for a standing pirouette on a swivel chair and not getting tangled in your headset cable!

Swivel Chair Phone

2. 110 Seconds Hurdles – (BD call answered by Gatekeeper)

Hurdle One: Have you spoken to them before?

Hurdle Two: What’s the call regarding

Hurdle Three: He doesn’t deal with recruitment

Hurdle Four: All recruitment calls are supposed to go to our HR dept.

Hurdle Five: He’s asked if you can email him

Hurdle Six: You’re not on our PSL

Hurdle Seven: We’re not updating the PSL this year

Hurdle Eight: We’re not recruiting at the moment

Hurdle Nine: We don’t accept cold calls

Hurdle Ten: Your agency is blacklisted

Finish Line: Hangs up on you

World Record: You get the CEO’s home number at the first time of asking. You told them it was a cold call about recruitment and that you’ve not spoken to them before.


3. Rowing – Coxless Four

It’s Friday afternoon. Your overly aggressive and micro-management, 5ft nothing boss has left to take YOUR client out for lunch. Even though it’s blindingly obvious what you’re supposed to do, you can’t tell him to keep his oar out.

Today however, he won’t be back. And the wind is in the sails for the team of four hopefuls.

All you have to do is keep the boat afloat with no condescending Manager with small man syndrome shouting at your face.

Regardless of whether you win or lose you’re ending up in the drink at the finish line.

World Record: One of the team pulls a deal out the bag, you all make at least one phone call and sneak out at 16:30 asking Keith on reception to give you ‘eyes’ should the cox return.

Rowing Office


4. Canoe slalom

Downstream: There are four candidates in the process. You know yours is the best. You have to dodge some gates but do so with fluidity and grace. You reach the halfway point (offer) in pole position.

Upstream: Your candidate is the most expensive by £100 a day. You’ve already said it’s the lowest you can go, but your margin is still £200 per day. Now you need to paddle upstream and renegotiate the same hurdles whilst trying not to drown in your own lies.

World Record: 

You: “£700 a day is the absolute lowest we can go!”

Manager: “I can’t do anything above £600 so we might have to go with someone else.”

You: “OK, I’ve spoken to the candidate, we might be able to do £625”

Manager: “That’s not £600 and still doesn’t cut it I’m afraid”

You: “OK, £600 it is.”

You to manager: “I’ve just done a deal at £100 per day margin.”

Canoe Fail


5. Synchronised Diving with Tom Daley

You’re a Researcher to a Consultant. You do, quite literally, the exact same thing as a Consultant. You’re even now speaking to the client. You’ve practiced your routine so much you’re in unison with every Consultant in the office.

You’re good.

You’re medal worthy good.

You do a deal, and Tom (the recognised Consultant) struts up to write it on the board. He gets the press, the accolades, the commission and the adoring fans. You say you don’t mind, but go home and cry into a pillow.

Your manager defends you in the morning meeting, but you’re just left embarrassed in front of the office.

World Record: There’s only one winner here. That’s Tom. Yes you’ve done the work. You’ve created minimal splash in the candidate pool and the judges are impressed. But you’re not Tom. Tom’s the best. Back to work with you.



6. Beach Volleyball

Your Director has a ball announcing he’s got a great candidate that’s a sure fire winner. The top biller gets the CV first.

Upon realising it’s the Directors wife’s CV and not actually very good, he spikes it over to the Senior Consultant.

The Senior Consultant punts it over to the Consultant.

The Consultant lobs it up to the Resourcer who takes an acrobatic dive to pitch it into his first pulled job. He hits the net, writhes in agony on the floor and his team ‘accidentally’ kick sand into his face as they walk past, promising to serve him better quality next time.

World Record: You actually manage to get the ball (CV) from Top Biller to Resourcer and in to the client creating a winning point (offer). Everyone’s happy including the Top Biller who’s now taking credit for starting off the process, and definitely taking 100% of the commission.

Beaach Volleyball


7. 100M Sprint Against Usain Bolt (Top Biller)

You’ve spent 4 years training for this event. You’re good. You’re really good. January rolls around and you’ve already got £156k on the board from last year’s invoices and runners rolling over. If you’re ever going to get gold this will be the time.

Then you look next to you. You’re up against the Usain Bolt of the recruitment world. He’s handsome. A media darling. He’s got on the PSL with Virgin Media and even met Richard Branson. He’s out the blocks before you’ve even had breakfast.

Anyone can technically win this race. It just won’t be you. It’ll be Usain.

World Record: Forget about it. You’re not top biller. You never will be. Not here anyway. Maybe switch events to Dressage.

Usain Bolt

8. Equestrian Dressage

She was undoubtedly hired for her aesthetic beauty rather than recruitment ability. She prances around on her heels with a distinctive trot that’s now almost an art form. Looking down her nose at the rest of the staff, her figure and coat are pristine and glisten in the sunlight.

This show pony has been honing this parade for years. It provides a stable income and is her mane breadwinner. Your Director dresses her up for adoring crowds at client meetings. The other horses (staff) are jealous of her high protein (steak and wine) diet, but she always brings home the gold.

World Record: If you’re EXCEPTIONALLY lucky, your Dressage horse will also be able to bill. If by some miracle they can talk to clients you’ll win at a canter and probably rank high in the medals table (recruitment awards).



Until next time

Swimming Phelps