I reviewed the candidate’s resume which looked promising. She had 7-years of solid accounts payable experience. She had left the payables job a year ago after a management change. Since her degree had been in marketing, she had decided to try to get into her field by taking a job in retail. After a year of working retail she now thought she had made a mistake and wanted to get back into accounting. I agreed to the working interview.
My current employee had two weeks remaining of her 3-week notice. I wanted her replacement to get as much training with her as possible. When the temp she showed up the next day – five minutes late – I introduced her to my current employee who immediately began the training process.
At the end of the day I met with the temp. We talked about her accounting background. She provided some great ideas to improve the efficiencies of our payable systems. Of course I was impressed. She did say she would have a hard time making our 8:00 start time because she needed to wait until after her daughter was on the bus. We agreed to an 8:15 start time. After working for us 90-days, if all went well I told her we would offer her a permanent position.
She was a great employee for about a month. Then the 8:15 became 8:30. Sometimes it was 9:00 and even 10:00. There was always an excuse and most of the time she called in: she had a tooth ache, she needed emergency dental surgery, her daughter missed the bus, she was sick, her daughter was sick, her car wouldn’t start, her sister needed a ride, her car wouldn’t start again and lastly she had forgotten to take out the garbage. I’d had enough. I gave her a warning. She needed to be at work every day on or before 8:00 for the next 3-weeks, not 8:15, but 8:00 or I was not going to make her a permanent employee. I also gave her work related goals. Forget about all those great ideas she had; she wasn’t coming close to keeping up with the daily work.
The next day she was 5 minutes late. She continued to be 5 – 10 minutes late every day for about two weeks. Then she woke up with a stomach ache and called in saying she would be a couple of hours late. I was done. My boss didn’t even get a vote – he still liked her ideas. I called the agency requesting a new candidate. The agency provided a new temp in two days.
The funny thing is in follow up conversations with the agency they told me there was a note in my previous temp’s file:
She had called 2 weeks earlier (the day I had given her the warning) and asked the agency to reassign her. She didn’t like our processes and didn’t want to work for me.
No one at the agency had bothered to let us know.
We were offered discounts for our new temp. They also performed a background and reference check on our previous temp. Based on their discoveries, which they wouldn’t share, they weren’t going to use her again.
My new temp worked is a gem and after 90 days she became a permanent employee.
One day shortly after my new temp became permanent she shared her experience working with this employment agency. Her job with my company had not been her first temp-to-perm position. She had been with a different company previous to ours. This company offered her a permanent position. She told the agency she didn’t want the job. She didn’t like the work and her office was in the basement. It reminded her of the mailroom in the movie Elf.
The agency wouldn’t take no for an answer telling her to think about it. They called her a few days later and gave her one of the strongest sales pitches she has ever been subjected to, but she stayed firm and said no.
Now I know why the agency never told me us my previous temp had asked to be reassigned:
They were trying to change her mind.
The problem with recruiting agencies (or at least this one) is that they are only concerned with the sale. They don’t seem to care about the companies they are working for or their recruits. They just want to earn a commission. And what is up with not performing background and reference checks prior to a permanent offer? I was told this is standard policy. I can’t help but wonder if our HR manager would have recruited this candidate instead of the agency we would have spotted something and not wasted almost three months of training time.
Have you had a bad experience with a recruiting company?