Just a quick post this week and it is a true story – a real underdog tale of how a shy young French guy joined the business I work for and shortly became the best pound for pound recruiter in the world.
It was a rainy day in July a few years ago (I don’t remember the real weather that day but it was summer in London so let’s go with rain).
My boss has an interview set up first thing for a resourcer to work with me, on my obviously piping HOT desk!
5 minutes past the arranged time and there’s no sign. Naturally I dislike the guy before I’ve met him.
10 minutes later, he finally shows, nonchalantly strolling through to the boardroom. Perplexed by the decision to take up the offer of coffee, even stipulating “thanks an espresso” with no “sorry I’m late” in sight, my first impressions were confirmed.
I can’t remember what he looked like exactly but let’s just assume he had a stripy shirt, baguette under his arm, a glass of red and fag hanging out his mouth.
As always my MD goes in first, he always grills people from a competency side of things where as I go in to judge the cultural fit. As you’ll all be very aware every recruitment offices’ dynamic is completely different. For me the right culture is basically grown up, a couple of people who like a gamble, a boxing fan or two would be great and after work drinks that get way too messy but only once a month or so.
So our potential newbie, (let’s call him Frenchie) has nailed the first part of his interview apparently. I’m shocked but I go in for my part and quickly establish that he’s left his personality at home. He doesn’t like sports…. doesn’t drink… is vegan (sorry if you’re vegan but I just don’t get it)… never gambled and his idea of of a good time is watching gardening programmes with his wife – NOT going to add to the Monday morning office banter.
So needless to say I come out and I can’t be more adamant that this guy won’t last two seconds at our business.
During our de-brief I can tell my MD has latched on to the previous experience and the fact he speaks French – which is very good in the market I work in. However, I protest and say working with this guy will suck every ounce of energy/fun/life from me – So given my protests and the fact I’m a highly influential person in the business obviously the MD hires him!
Day 1: Frenchie comes in just as French as he was when I last saw him. I’m civil and get him started on our very simple (prehistoric) CRM system. He reckons he’s a whiz on LinkedIn so I give him a tough director role to work on. End of the day comes and he’s found one CV. I’d hoped for more, but it is day 1 and he was doing other induction bits. I’ll deal with this guy tomorrow.
8:35: Frenchie’s late
8:40: Email from Frenchie, he’s quit as he doesn’t think he fits with the team and he’s giving up recruitment.
Yeah no shit mate we all enjoy normal things like meat… drinking…. and doing things other than going through Titchmarsh’s back catalogue on a Saturday night.
Now here comes the good bit – 6 weeks PF (Post Frenchie) and I close Director role with HIS candidate!
Not only did I place him, but that candidate then went on to bring in around 500,000GBP worth of business to us over the next 2 years.
It’s now 6 years PF and the account he opened is by far our best. He is still for me the best pound for pound recruiter in the world and given the chance to turn back time I’d probably go vegan and put up a bird table in the garden to have him back…. I miss you Frenchie… I owe you a tofu burger and a wheatgrass juice next time you’re in town.
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