This is a true story. This actually occurred quite recently. Although this type of major debacle is something I haven’t seen in before in my 30-year career, it was an eye-opener for sure. Not your typical week for me with this unique beauty.

An organization HR recruiter is told by their boss to data-mine active candidates in business development. They were told to find candidates with experience working in technology companies in both the U.S. and Canadian markets.

A Canadian candidate gets an invite to connect to discuss a role. The candidate answers a note sent via social media connection from this HR recruiter. It turns out the HR recruiter who was new to the organization, was following instructions from his boss. May I also add that the HR recruiter resides and works at an International European head office and the candidate lives in the Toronto area. The candidate was invited to attend and did attend, a Skype interview with the HR recruiter. The interview lasted an hour.  A role was discussed within the Canadian operation for a Director of Business Development. The recruiter went into detail about the role as per the job description. The candidate was told this position will be based out of the Ontario office. The interview was completed.

The candidate then received a follow-up note from the recruiter letting him know that their interview went well and the interviewer would be moving the candidate forward to the next interview step. It was explained that the second interview will be with the head of HR and the business unit leader.  This communication occurred through email.

The candidate, being a sharp type of candidate, goes into all contacts within Linkedin to see who he/she/they know that may be connected to anyone in the Canadian operation. It turns out that connection was me. This candidate then linked through with a note to me asking for permission to invite the Director of Sales for Canada to connect. Permission granted, connection occurred and then they ended up speaking directly on a telephone. The candidate described the role he had been interviewing for. Out of the Director of Sales mouth came: “hmmm the only position with that title in our company is my position. Maybe this is a replacement hire?”  Needless to say, the candidate felt sick as there was never any mention of a confidential replacement. There was also no mention that it was confidential at all. The candidate told the Director the circumstances of how it all happened. The call ended with the candidate apologizing, and the Director apologizing for any confusion.