Recruiting Frankenstein

A short story by Jeff Wach

Once upon a time, not so long ago, in a land not very far away, there lived an HR manager who was searching for THE perfect candidate. She read dozens of resumes, made numerous phone calls and conducted plenty of interviews. But no matter how hard she tried (in her limited time allotted for recruiting) she never found perfection. She came across bits of it here and there – a perfect degree, a perfect prior job, a perfect title – but never a complete perfect candidate.

Then one day she had a brilliant idea. She could make her own! The degree from candidate A, the experience of candidate B, and the title of candidate C! She could do this! It would work! She took the pieces & parts she wanted from all her candidates and began to mold them into her perfect candidate. She was excited! It was working! She found the knowledge, skills, and abilities she was looking for! In all her excitement, however, she overlooked the “ugly” parts. Blinded by a deadline, she ignored the scars. Personality traits were “good enough”, cultural fit “could be learned”. Performance proof could wait. References? Why bother? She had achieved PERFECTION! A quick offer letter later and EUREKA!! IT LIVES!! The perfect candidate has now become AN EMPLOYEE!! She was a genius!

And they lived happily ever after.

Well, almost.

For the next 3 weeks, life was good. The HR manager was able to get back to work. No more crazy recruiting stuff taking up her time. Back to all her other duties she had to set aside while building her beautiful creation.

Then it happened. In hind sight she shouldn’t have been so surprised to pull into her parking lot and see her entire staff with pitchforks and torches! “GIVE US THE MONSTER!” they cried. She was heartbroken. All that work for nothing. So after she convinced everyone to put down their pitchforks and get back to work, and she allowed Frankenstein to move on and terrorize someone else’s company, she had to face reality. Ideal candidates are not created, they are discovered. And they are discovered (and monsters avoided) only through a solid, in-depth, performance-based hiring process.



Jeff Wach is President of EGW Associates, Inc., a family owned recruiting firm in Buffalo, NY.

Hired any Frankensteins in your past? Need to improve your hiring process? EGW can help. Contact us to see how we can create a strategic hiring solution to fit your needs, your culture, and your budget.