evil pumpkin

Recounting Recruiting Horror Stories

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By Alan Kruzicki

Senior Recruitment Specialist

Throughout my 10+ years of recruiting for Acara Solutions, I’ve seen it all when dealing with candidates and clients alike. From painfully awkward conversations to moments when I was left utterly speechless, I’ve tucked many of these recruiting horror stories away in my memory bank.

As Halloween is just around the corner, I thought I’d recount some of my favorite talent acquisition tales to highlight some of the things that candidates and clients shouldn’t do when interacting with a recruiter. You’ll find that all of these memories definitely deserve their own *insert facepalm emoji* reaction. And believe me when I say that I’m not making any of these horror stories up—they’re all 100% authentic!

Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting

Seeking a barista… at an unconventional location

One day, I received an email from a client asking for my help in finding a temporary coffee barista. The company was looking for an experienced barista to work at their onsite location from 6:00am to 2:30pm at a starting pay rate of $14.00 per hour. The interesting part about this story? The client wanted this individual to work at its aerospace manufacturing facility!

Does “remote” mean remote?

I was chatting with a candidate about working in a fully remote position. Our conversation went well, but this person asked me a question at the end of the interview that I’ll never forget. “So is the ‘Remote Recruiter’ role you sent me a remote position?”

Receiving a candidate’s resume… a little late

After chatting with a candidate about a potential opportunity, I asked the individual to send me a copy of their updated resume. The person complied with my request by emailing me a copy of their resume. The only problem? They sent the email *three years* after our interview!

Problems with the lunch line

I placed a candidate at a client that operated out of an onsite facility. The company offered each employee the chance to eat lunch at its cafeteria. Not long after the person started their assignment, I received word that they had quit. I followed up with the individual via phone call and asked why they had suddenly left. Their response? “The lunch line was too long.”

Checking with my mentor

I was talking with a candidate who had applied for an entry-level role with one of our clients. The individual was impressive during the interview, so I told them that I’d like to offer them the job at $17.50 per hour. The person responded by saying that they’d have to check with their mentor first before giving me a final answer.

A not-so-nice candidate interaction

My colleague, Shawn Lutz, also has an interesting story about a previous candidate interaction. At the time, he was working out of Acara’s office in Seattle, and one of the recruiters on his team was talking to a candidate who threatened to kill him and his family. The recruiter came into Shawn’s office in panic mode with sweat pouring from his forehead. A scary scene, for sure!


My recruiting career has been filled with plenty of awesome memories—those that are incredibly rewarding, and those that do nothing but make me shake my head. While talking with candidates can sometimes cause some head-scratching moments, I’m honored to play matchmaker between hardworking job seekers and reputable companies. My advice to recruiters? Don’t let these horror stories scare you. Recruiting offers you an exceptional career—one that will always keep you on your toes!

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