The One That Got Away

To my fellow salespeople, recruiters, and HR professionals: This short anecdote might sound familiar. My candidate has been submitted to our client and they’ve accepted the company’s offer. The client’s happy and so am I. Reference checks are completed and the only thing pending is the results of the background check. My candidate has been stellar and has come up squeaky clean thus far. If you suspect a turn of events, you’re absolutely right. Boom. I receive a call from my client explaining my candidate has a warrant out for their arrest. WHAT? How could this happen? As I was blind-sided, feeling like I just received a pie to the face; I immediately called my candidate who explained he was clueless for the reasoning behind all of this. As I dug deeper, a story arose about an arrest a few years back which he happened to omit from our earlier conversations. A recruiter is a candidate’s confidant, your gatekeeper to ensure things go smoothly throughout your interview process. Not informing us of potentially harmful information is like being a defendant on trial or at a discovery session and the prosecutor presents a crime you committed that you lawyer was clueless about! So here I am. Three weeks after the initial offer was accepted waiting for my candidate to inform the client and myself with any other updates so we can move forward with a new start-date. A week goes by and neither one of us have heard from the candidate. Offer rescinded. ATTENTION: Candidates everywhere. I hope you see the light. Omitting pertinent personal details during the interview process will ensure your demise. No matter how trivial or severe your encounters may seem…YOU MUST DISCLOSE EVERYTHING. This is especially the case when you’re working with a recruiter. And just like that, weeks and weeks of sourcing, interviewing and scheduling were squandered all because someone was not upfront and honest about crucial details that proved to be their Achilles’. What’s the lesson here? 

  • Candidates: Be upfront. Be honest. When you put all your cards on the table, you allow yourself to explain things before blindsiding a company when interviewing and essentially throwing yourself out of the mix.
  • Recruiters/HR Professionals: Dig. Dig deeper. Do your due diligence. Challenge potential candidates to get down to their story and truly understand whom you’re talking with.

I want to say thank you to the candidate this post is centred around. You taught me a valuable lesson. That being said, just when you think you’ve done all your homework, don’t hesitate to dig that much deeper. If you liked this post I’d greatly appreciate you if you gave it some social love: Check out the original post here, Thanks!! Max Laughlin, Senior Biz Dev & Account Manager (@asalesguymax)


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.