But there are plenty of people who aren’t cut out for it. This morning an ex-staffing pro sent me a story I thought you all would be interested in reading: a staffing FAIL story. You all know that for every great story that worked out perfectly, there’s a story of a frustrating candidate who talked the talk, but didn’t walk the walk.
She asked to remain anonymous. Check out her story below.
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I worked in a medium sized staffing branch located in the skyway in downtown St. Paul, Minneapolis. We staffed mostly clerical positions, but had one light industrial client that had an opening we had a tough time keeping filled.
This was an international industrial adhesive company and the job was wearing a rain suit, and washing out giant plastic containers that contained essentially glue with a pressure washer all day.
I had a candidate stop into the office looking for an industrial position. This was the only opening I had for his limited skill set. During the interview, he shared his hard luck life story with me and said that he was currently living in the Dorothy Day Center for the Homeless.
He just needed a break, for someone to give him a job so that he could get back on his feet. I explained the position to him and informed him that even though this wasn’t the most glamorous job, that it would allow him to get his foot in the door, and open up the possibilities to a full time position with benefits, paid holidays/vacation, etc. He was very excited.
The only requirement for the position was that he had steel toed boots to wear. His face dropped as he said he didn’t have them. I told him that once he worked 100 hours, we would reimburse him up to $50.00 for the boots.
He then thought of another plan. He said that if I gave him documentation of the position, he could take it to the Catholic Charity, and maybe they would help him with securing the boots.
“No problem, sit right down,” I said as I typed up a letter to the charity. I detailed out how this was going to change his life. This new opportunity came with a $9.00 (in 1999) pay rate, with the ability to work overtime. I listed the potential for this to become a full time position, etc.
He took the letter and left the office. I then called my client, telling them about what a great fit I think this person would be. They were excited for him to start work the next morning.
Later that day, I ran into my candidate and told him that the client was excited for him to start work the next day.
He responded: “Oh, I don’t want that job. It sounds like it will really suck! I am not going there tomorrow.”
It was difficult for me to keep my jaw off of the floor. I was trying to hide my disappointment and anger toward him as I felt as if I put myself on the line for him. I then asked him for my letter back.
He asked, “What letter?”
I responded, “You know, the letter I wrote for you to get steel toed boots?”
Then he said “I am wearing the boots!”
Naively astonished, I replied, “Don’t you think that if you are not taking the job, you should return the boots?”
His next statement shocked me: “What do you care, you didn’t pay for them!”
He then walked away. It was this point when I decided that I wasn’t cut out for staffing!
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Not what you’d call a success story, right? But this is what we have to deal with in staffing. Just because someone says they’ll take the position doesn’t mean they’ll show up the next day. But that’s the great thing about committed staffers — they don’t give up! They get right back on the phone and keep trying!