After a brutal day putting out fires and being chased by job seekers, at home my partner asked me to help update her resume after I cooked dinner. Out the kitchen window I caught a glimpse of the rooftop radio site close to our place. There’s always something to remind me of work! How have I not gone crazy from working as a telecommunications recruiter for eleven years now?

A year ago I reached my ten years in telco recruitment. It’s been another busy year so I haven’t got around to writing about it until now, and after two drafts I noticed the interesting stories were mostly negative. Helping people with careers is not a sexy story either.

Eleven years of offers dropping out, candidates not showing up for interviews, clients pulling roles, being threatened, being constantly lied to, working with unethical recruiters, dealing with racist bogans, and some psychotic candidates stealing work vehicles. Recruitment is a tough gig. I often turn to ridiculous memes and sarcasm to get me through the day.

I might be just bumping gums here and all this post might do is put people off taking on a recruitment career or give the impression that the job is all stress! So here are just five memorable moments from my recruitment career which you can take as you like.

What shocked me the most: There are too many stories on this topic unfortunately, but one that comes to mind involves ethics and greed. A colleague had two job offers for his candidate but only told the candidate about the offer with the higher fee even though the other role was a better opportunity. That was how the owner of the company wanted it. They were all about the money, boozy lunches and hoovering coke under the desk.

The moment I’m most proud of: Being a small agency and beating some large well established firms on a tender for the supplier list of a global telecommunications company.

I’m least proud of: Early on in my career I sometimes lost patience with candidates. It would happen especially when I caught candidates lying about their experience while interviewing them. There was a “CS Core Engineer/Project Manager/RF Engineer/David Copperfield” candidate who was on a 457 visa and I threatened to report him to immigration for lying about his skills/roles on his CV. He was a bit stressed out after that interview. Now I keep in mind, people just want to work and they get desperate, so it’s better to have compassion than getting angry.

The most important lesson learned: From owning my business it really hit me that I’m the only person responsible for my own livelihood. When things aren’t going right for me, no matter what’s going on in the telco market, if the technology cycle is on the downturn, or if a client pulled jobs on me, there’s only one person responsible for being in that situation, and only one person who can sort it out.

The most memorable quote/message from a candidate: “Don’t thik Im like one of those curry munchers you employ. Ill walk al over you and in the end youl feel like a dumbass” (sic)

Its comments like those that keep me entertained.

Recruitment is never a dry shite and it seems I get my satisfaction from overcoming its daily challenges. Despite the roller coaster, there are plenty of aspects I love about it and the opportunities it has led to, so I’ll probably keep going another eleven years. Thanks to my candidates and clients who have made it a memorable time.

Would you stay long in a role like this?

Leo Clifford leo@digitallifetechnologies.com.au 0402 738 750