In the staffing and recruiting industry, it's always a challenge to find the perfect hire.

You've got the candidate who doesn't quite meet the skill level the customer is looking for. Possibly, they're overqualified. Maybe there's a six-month gap in employment that prevents your agency from finding them work.

But some recruiters have seen candidates who make notorious "The Office" temp Ryan Howard look downright innocuous.

They've dealt with situations that would make you want to come to work in a Kevlar vest.

If you work in the staffing industry, you can surely relate to the following stories.

If you are or were one of these candidates, God help you.

(These true stories were all told to me by staffing specialists upon request.)

The Sex Toy Saleswoman

An older woman who appears to be a real, proper Southern Belle comes into a temp agency, with a background in sales. With her is what the recruiter assumes is a resume and portfolio of her past work.

However, when she proudly opens the folder, her past work in “sales” is displayed – sex toy distribution. She then proceeds to go through her catalogs of sex toys, stripper shoes and other entertainment with the staff.

Armed and Dangerous

A man seeks work at a staffing firm, but when the specialist finds him an assignment, he fails to check in. When he finally does call, the staffing specialist tells him that unfortunately, the position has already been filled. The man gets mad and tells the specialist, “I’m going to shoot you.”

The police get called in, and the man is charged with making terroristic threats. He has to be barred from ever working with that firm again.

My best reference? My pimp.

A recruiter interviews a female candidate. Without glancing at her resume, he asks her to describe her previous job.

She replies, “I was a prostitute.”

She had met her pimp while working with him at a collections agency, and even listed his name, email and phone number as a reference. When asked why she left the job, she tells the recruiter "the pay was great, but the hours were bad.”

The Poppy-Seed Predicament

When an employee fails a drug test, he tells the employment agency, “Damnit, I’d just eaten a poppy-seed bagel before I peed into the cup. Can I take a retest?"

Dirty Old Background Checks

♦ And the dirty old man alert of the day – A convicted felon checks the “no” box on the application. You know, the one that everyone’s up in arms about, that asks whether you’ve been convicted of a crime.

Ten days after he gets placed and begins work, the company discovers there's a warrant out for his arrest. He had been released from prison, where he was serving time for violently molesting an 8-year-old girl, but failed to meet with his probation officer.

“He was a creepy one,” the former staffing specialist told me.

They had countless other unique stories – Candidate X couldn’t begin work before 10 a.m. because it was too early; the job assignment was five minutes away from Candidate Y's house but he felt it was too far; Candidate Z couldn’t continue working where he was placed because it was too hot.

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Tags: Industry, True Stories, Staffing Stories, Candidate matching