Ed Hunter: The Seven Funniest Recruitment Stories in my Inbox

So last week, I asked all of my lovely followers on LinkedIn to email in their funniest recruitment stories to [email protected]

The response was amazing, and thanks so much to all of you that took the time to share.

I had over 100 people email me their funniest stories, and believe you me – no stone was left unturned in unearthing the goriest and most explicit recruitment goings on you could imagine.

You can also probably imagine the reasons that some of these are unpublishable, which is unfortunate as I know you would have enjoyed them. Fortunately for you – there’s still some real crackers below.

If you’re still gagging – send me a tweet @__EdHunter (that’s 2 underscores), and I’ll get back to you on private message.

If you haven’t told me yours yet, write it in the comments now!

Here’s the top seven (that I can publish):


Hi Ed,

I used to share a house with two guys, we all liked a party.

We are all out One night, and one of our house mates, we will call bob, got lucky, with a rather drunken, but equally good looking gentleman, who for this we will call Dave.

Bob and Dave left a little early to head home for “cocoa”. Half an hour later Bob is ringing both myself and my other house mate frantically, we head home to find ‘Dave’ had passed out naked in our bathroom, covered in his own vomit and had wet himself!!!

Three days later I have a meeting with a new client, I arrive at said meeting with a colleague, (the whole office knew the story BTW). The new client was Dave who instantly recognised me, meeting was a tad awkward.


Hi Ed,

A few years back I had placed, or thought I had placed, a Service Engineer in a great role.

The MD wanted to meet with him one final time for office drinks, and to formally make him an offer.

In the two days between the interview and the ‘offer meeting’ my candidate had undergone a drastic makeover – turning up to office drinks in a full-on pink mohican, and charmed the rest of the office with various ‘hilarious anecdotes’ of substance abuse.

Needless to say he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and the offer was withdrawn.


Hi Ed,

I sometimes cross over to volume recruitment which involves placing lots of candidates in lots of lower-level roles. 

A few weeks back I was working on said roles and booking candidates in for interview.

As always happens on the morning of these types of interviews, the cancellations came rolling in.

One came via email from a guy in his young twenties explaining how there had been a death in the family and as such he would not be able to make his interview that day. We sent our condolences and carried on.

No more than 3 hours later the phone rang;

‘Hi xxx – I’ve actually changed my mind everything’s fine now. Can I go to that interview?’


Hi Ed,

A fair few years ago as a high street recruiter, I used to place PA’s with a well-known big company.

I had a role on for an EA to the global COO. The candidate went over, had been met, and was spot on perfect.

First stage feedback, excellent, second stage feedback again excellent.

Third stage interview was with the COO, who was flying in from the Far East, mid-morning. It was expected to be a box ticking exercise. More or less an ‘in the bag’ placement.

An hour after the allotted time, the phone rings. expecting it to be the candidate with their feedback.

It was the HR manager. The candidate had turned up to the interview totally bladdered, slid off of the interview chair on to the floor, as she tried to stand up managed to catch the back of her trousers on the chair, and rip them open, exposing her bottom to the COO and HR manager!!!

Needless to say there was no offer, and the candidate never called with feedback!


Hi Ed,

So an interview for a software developer I had organised went well. They got the offer and accepted shortly after. I ring the bell, and start walking around the office like a don.

Next day the client calls to say they are withdrawing the offer.

I ask why and am told they won’t say, but that I should Google the candidate’s name.

I spend the next hour reading the news stories and court papers about how the candidate sexually harassed previous staff – going as far to contact the managers spouse to say they were having an affair.

Twist – the developer was female!


Afternoon Ed,

I was looking for an engineer (in a desperate situation), to do a few weeks work for one of my main clients.

I found someone who seemed to suit the role, so I gave him a call.

He was being very strange especially when it came to sending over his construction cards, passport and references.

I decided I couldn’t afford to send out this character, but I like to be straight with people. I called him and said I wasn’t going to put him forward.

I was going to follow this up with: ‘but I’d like you to come in so we can meet face to face and get you on the next job’

Before I could, he flipped his lid, started screaming down the phone.

After this he was calling all afternoon and evening, leaving crazy voicemails (totalling 15mins over 5 messages) which included skinning me alive, kicking my teeth in and how I’m some little runt working behind a phone who doesn’t know anything.

He would say things that would wind himself up and then he would just scream incoherently for a few minutes.

I had they idea to take the voicemails and put them on YouTube, however about a week later I had another one which was an apology, even that was strange, he began to tell me about a boat that took 15 years to build and that he was going to see it with his dad.

I felt sorry for him, so I left it, thinking he was just having a bad time.

To this day he still emails me to keep me updated, and still I never reply.

7) (Not so much ‘funny’ but a mental story…)

Hi Ed,

I had a candidate, a great candidate, called me back every time, did all his prep, attended all 3 stages of a ridiculous recruitment process, negotiated himself a shorter notice period, excellent references, have me multiple referrals.

This A* candidate for about a month was who I held up to the team as a show of my excellent candidate management skills.

He is due to start Monday so I call him Friday and we have a good chat, he’s excited, he spoke to his new manager earlier on in the day, he was having a wine with his wife to celebrate that night.

He didn’t start on Monday. Air turned blue (or red, or whatever colour it turns when I hurl my phone across the office and I’m swearing like I stubbed my toe on a coffee table and it lost me £2k in commission).

I called his mobile, no answer. I called his home phone, no answer. I sent an email, no reply. I’m getting angry.

Two days later after constantly trying to contact him I start leaving voicemails I probably shouldn’t and sending strongly worded emails I probably shouldn’t.

About a week later my phone rings and it is his home number. I shush the team, declare it is this guy and tell them to listen to me tear him a new on.

It’s his wife. Well when I say his wife, it’s actually his widow. Yes that is right, the guy I have abused by every method, for not starting, except from going to his house and bricking his window has died of a cardiac arrest over the weekend before he was due to start. I have never felt worse.

Bright side, I had invoiced it early and the client paid the fee and never queried it so in essence I made commission off of a dead man.

Until next time folks! Keep ’em coming.

Ed x