Over the years I have interviewed many types of candidates; the super qualified, the humble ones, the over confident, the loud and abrasive kind but to this day the one candidate I fear the most is the Bamboozler.
The Bamboozler is the candidate that comes in with all the right credentials, the right answers and is usually quite accommodating through the early stages of recruitment. But to the experienced recruiter your alarm bells are going off; something about the candidate’s attitude is off, something about him or her tells you to be careful and to advise your clients about the possibility.
You dig and you research and try to ensure the candidate is committed before you bring them in to meet the hiring managers. The Bamboozler assures you they really want to leave their current employer and your opportunity is exactly what they want. Your spidy sense is tingling and you’re on high alert but you succumb because they are at the top of the recruiting class.
During the interviews, your managers are captivated by this excellent candidate who is well versed, innovative and almost cocky; pushing the envelope and their answers with your managers. The Bamboozlers are on the edge of acceptance but reeling in everyone with their gutsy take on everything.
References come out great, and you’re behind the scenes digging reveals nothing new, so you start negotiating an offer. Here is where it starts to get tough; the candidate digs in and demands an aggressive package. You’re again on high alert, wondering if the candidate truly wants the job or is highly overestimating their value. Finally you reach an offer that the candidate looks comfortable in accepting. They tell you they will discuss it with their family and get back to you the next day. You’re feeling fairly confident but that feeling of doom is still hanging around your head; but you push it off.
The next morning as you are going through your email pile you get suckered right between the eyes. The candidate has emailed you and regretfully informs you that after careful consideration they have decided to stay put with their current employer. As you stare bewilderedly at the email you know you have been duped; you were used as bait for the Bamboozler to negotiate a better offer with their current employer.
You sit there wondering after all these years of recruiting and identifying bad fits how you were fooled and you realize the warning signs were there all along. You’re disappointed by all the hard work that has been wasted and by the thought of having to tell the hiring managers the search is back on. But inwardly you smile.
Why you ask? Well it’s well known that candidates that use this tactic are usually not long with their current company anyway. They may have gotten a raise and feel like a peacock for the ruse they have pulled over our eyes, but they have not fooled their current employer who has already identified a potential issue with this employee who leveraged a tactic which does not show sincerity or longevity with a company. In a few months or at most a year, this candidate will be back on the market looking to truly leave their current company.
My advice: If your spider sense is tingling heed it and don’t waste your time with this type of candidate and if you can deduce from their career path or from your network that this candidate has used this tactic in the past, stay away. Buyer beware, Bamboozlers are the plague of recruiters, hiring managers and HR managers everywhere.