Ed Hunter: The Deal Vinci Code (Part One)

There’s a hidden code in recruitment, a code that transcends every conversation.

It’s evident at all stages and between all people involved in the recruitment process.

If you’re new to recruitment, or simply haven’t managed to crack it yet, read on…

Manager to Consultant

1) What they say: “How are you getting on today?”

What they mean: “I noticed you on Facebook about 20 minutes ago and now you’re looking at the Daily Mail website… GET ON THE PHONE”

2) (Over SMS) What they say:  “Hi can you give me a call when you’re on your way in, will meet you for a coffee”

What they mean: “I’m going to fire you and judging by your less than calm character normally, I think you might create a scene. Let’s do it somewhere with public witnesses, CCTV and two points of exit.”

Alan Sugar

Consultant to Manager:

1) What they say: “How am I getting on?! Yeah great thanks, I’ve just found a super niche candidate on Facebook, and now taking two minutes to myself to help me focus.”

What they mean: “GET OFF MY BACK!” I don’t need you over my shoulder first thing in the morning. It’s 08:35 and I’m far too hungover for small talk.”

2) What they say: “Those two deals are looking good, and pipeline for next month is already great. Record month awaits”

What they mean: “Everything’s fallen out. There’s every chance if I don’t turn into ‘Dynamo’ and miraculously conjure up at least one deal out of nowhere I’ll be on the market in the next two weeks. I’ll also be job hunting in my lunch break.”

Shrek Pinocchio

Consultant to Candidate:

1) What they say: “Can you get your timesheet in latest Tuesday”

What they mean: “The deadline’s actually Thursday but you’re as reliable as the UK train system so do us both a favour and get it in early.”

2) What they say: “And of course remember to wear full business attire…Suit and tie etc.”

What they mean: “For the love of god make an effort. When you came in to see me you looked like Jeremy Corbyn on his day off – so sort yourself out ‘cause you’re pretty good and could get this job if you just put on a tie”

3) What they say: “Oh, nice to hear from you”

What they mean: “I thought you’d buggered off to Tibet because your landline, mobile, email, text, whatsapp, LinkedIn, Facebook and doorbell all seem to be broken. I assume your other offer fell through?”

Carrier Pigeon

Consultant to Client

1) What they say: “Ed’s not around at the moment, can I help..?”

What they mean: “Hi, I’m the office shark and will work any job that comes my way. I’ll then deny any knowledge… until I’m caught out when I’ll just point out it’s my client now and therefore my deal.”

2) What they say: “I’m just waiting for a couple of candidates to come back to me before I can send their profiles… bear with me.”

What they mean: I’ve got nothing! Seriously I’ve looked everywhere! I’ve spoken to everyone! I’ve even started calling people that don’t like me just to see if they know anyone! I need this deal to get on the company holiday, so PLEASE don’t offer someone else.

Shark office

Candidate to Consultant

(Yep we’ve deciphered your code too candidates!)

1) What they say: “That’s a great offer but I’m going to have to run it past my spouse first”

What they mean: “Wow that’s a few grand more than I asked for – I’m just gonna tell my boss I’ve got this offer then see what he offers me in return.”

2) What they say: “I’m not gonna be able to work today as my washing machine has broken down and I have to wait for someone to fix it”

What they mean: “I went out last night and can’t remember getting in – the fact I have had to set an alarm to call in sick has inconvenienced me massively. Please call my manager, because I’m going back to sleep”


Honourable mentions (Manager to Consultant)

– “Have you spoken to …  recently” = “Get back on the phone”

– “Are you busy?” = “Get back on the phone”

– “Do you have any more placements going through this month?” = “Get back on the phone”

– “Can I borrow you for 2 seconds” = “You clearly aren’t taking my casual hints, so I’m going to take you in to a meeting room, to tell you to … GET BACK ON THE PHONE!”