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Oh, those zany candidates.

They have the skills, they have the experience, they have the expertise . . . they have everything you successfully place them at your client.

Until they do something unusual.

All recruiters have stories of unusual candidate behavior. However, there’s a sliding scale when it comes to such behavior, stretching from “mildly unusual” to “more than a bit disturbing.”

Of course, all such behavior usually means that the company is NOT going to make an offer of employee, which means that you are NOT going to make the placement. Not with this candidate, anyway.

Earlier this year, online job board released a survey, and part of that survey dealt with unusual candidate behavior. The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,192 hiring managers and human resource managers from November to December 2014.

CareerBuilder listed 10 true-life tales of unusual candidate behavior, more than likely the “best of the best” from all of the tales they collected through the survey. However, rather than just list them in the same order that CareerBuilder, we’re going to list them in order—from “least unusual” to “most unusual.”

What’s the criteria we’re using? The likelihood that a candidate would engage in such behavior.  The less likely, the more unusual.

So, without further adieu, below is our ranking of the Top 10 Most Unusual Candidate Behaviors of 2014, from the home office in Canton, Ohio:

#10—The candidate tried to Google the answer to a question.

#9—In answer to a question about diversity, the candidate used the term “off the boat.”

#8—The candidate asked how much money everyone else makes.

#7—The candidate asked if he could offer religious advice to the employees.

#6—The candidate gave the reason for leaving the previous position as “Kicking someone’s butt that really needed it.”

#5—The candidate asked if his wife, who worked at the company for which he was interviewing, was cheating on him.

#4—The candidate sat in a yoga pose during the interview.

#3—The candidate kept fidgeting and repositioning his duffel bag, which turned out to have a dog inside.

#2—The candidate brought about 50 ink pens to the interview and proceeded to spread them out on the table.

#1—After introducing himself by name, the candidate said, “But you can call me Tigger! That is the nickname I gave myself.”

Now . . . doesn’t that make you feel better about the candidates you have out on interviews right now?  I thought it might.

If you have a story of unusual candidate behavior, whether it’s “mildly unusual” or “more than a bit disturbing,” feel free to post it below!

We recently conducted a poll of Top Echelon Network recruiters by posting a question in the Members’ Area.

That question was as follows:

How often do you exchange text messages with candidates?


The choice of answers that we provided is listed below, along with the percentage of recruiters that selected each one:

  • All the time — 23.0%
  • Sometimes — 33.6%
  • Rarely — 23.8%
  • Never — 19.7%


Surprisingly, the results of this poll were all over the place. The most popular answer was “rarely” at 33.6%, while “rarely” was second at 23.8% and “all the time” was a close third at 23.0%

However, a fair amount of poll participants (19.7%) indicated that they “never” exchange text messages with candidates.

In this technologically driven age of the Internet, and more specifically smartphones, one would think that recruiters would text with candidates more than these results would indicate. However, that’s clearly not the case, at least as far as Top Echelon Network recruiters are concerned.


As with many poll questions of this nature, personal preference plays a large role.  There are many different ways to stay in contact with a candidate throughout the hiring and onboarding process.  What one recruiter prefers to do another recruiter might shun.

However, how much of a role does age play in these poll results?  In other words, are younger recruiters more likely to exchange text messages with candidates on a regular basis than older recruiters?

Unfortunately, this poll did not track the age of the recruiters participating it, nor the amount of time they’ve been working in the industry, so than information is not readily discernable.  However, it can be debated.

What do you think? Does both personal preference and age play a role in determining whether or not a recruiter exchanges text messages with candidates?  What’s been your experience?

Post your comments below!

At Top Echelon, we like to recognize recruiters for their production in the Network, especially those recruiters who “fly below the radar.”

This week’s recruiter has been a Preferred Member since 1997.  He hasn’t “set the world on fire” in the Network since then, making a total of 35 placements.

However, he has still receive a tremendous return on his Top Echelon investment, mainly because he very well would NOT have made those 35 placements without the help and resources in TE.

That recruiter is Robert Briones, CPC of R.A. Briones & Company in El Paso, Texas.

There are five main reasons why Briones is the Recruiter of the Week in Top Echelon Network, and we’ve listed those reasons below for your convenience:

#1—He’s split-minded.

Many (if not all) of the most successful recruiters in Top Echelon Network are split-minded.  This means they view split placements as a first option IF it means filling the job order quickly the best candidate available.  As salesmen, including recruiters, know, “Time kills all deals!”  The faster you can produce the best candidates and present them to your clients, the faster you can make placements and get return business.

#2—He values his Trading Partner relationships.

As you can see by the comments listed below, Briones does not take his TE Trading Partners for granted.  In fact, he goes out of his way to praise them for their help in closing deals and making placements.  Just look at the results of his relationship with Sean Napoles, CPC of Career Brokers, Inc.  They’ve made seven split placements so far, and the likelihood of future splits is quite good.  Briones’s attitude toward the Trading Partner relationship is one reason for this.

#3—He attends TE events.

Does Briones attend every TE event?  No, he does not.  But he has attended enough of them to realize how valuable they are and the role they play in his Membership.  Only when recruiters meet each other face-to-face can they take their Trading Partner relationships to the next level.

#4—He’s a CPC.

Although being a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) is NOT a prerequisite for being the Recruiter of the Week in TE, we place a high premium on continuous training within the recruiting industry.  We encourage all Top Echelon Network recruiters to pursue this certification, as well as the Certified Temporary Specialist (CTS) and the Certified Employment Retention Specialist.  After all, what can it hurt?

#5—He believes 100% in the Network’s value.

Briones has embraced Top Echelon’s philosophy regarding networking and making split placements, and that is the number-one reason he’s been successful.  He knows the system works (based on first-hand experience), and he believes in the system.  This allows him to operate with no doubt in his mind about the value that he will receive for his investment of time, energy, and money.  And when you can work with no doubt and no hesitation, you maximize your productivity.

So congratulations to Robert Briones from everybody here at Top Echelon!  We’d like to thank him for his hard work and commitment as a Preferred Member recruiter in the Network.

— — —

Sean Napoles, CPC of Career Brokers, Inc.

Sean Napoles, CPC

Robert Briones, CPC of R.A. Briones & Company

Robert Briones, CPC

“This is going to be the fifth placement for Sean and I.  We have another one that accepted and an offer working on a third.  Sean has gone out of his way and come through for us each time.  I can’t say enough about how well we have been able to work together.  I tell him what we need, Sean recruits and qualifies, and I present and follow through with the client.  What else can you say?”

Submitted by Robert Briones, CPC of R.A. Briones & Company regarding his Network split placement with Sean Napoles, CPC of Career Brokers, Inc.


Fee Percentage—30%

(Editor’s note: This is the seventh Network split placement that Briones and Napoles have made together in Top Echelon.)