Please….No weekend interviews!!

timtolan Candidate Pool, Interviewing, Recruiting, Tim Tolan

Weekends. The final frontier of a long and brutal week in the search business. This is one of the many voyages of the Tolan search starship. Its 5-day mission: to research, source and search for the best candidates possible and finally have a chance to relax on two (2) non-working days we earthlings know as weekends. During the week, it’s all about seeking out new candidates and new assignments to boldly go where no search firm has gone before. Weekends are for relaxing – right? This particular weekend morning would be different.

OK…It’s my fault. Let’s get that confession out of the way right now! I (like a knucklehead) agreed to do aBig_breakfast  candidate screen last month on a Saturday. I sent the candidate my cell phone number and we agreed to connect at 10am. So..I roll out of bed at 8:30 or so and take off for Biggby – my new coffee spot here in Charleston, for a Grande Americana – I needed the caffeine fix and needed to kill some time. We were meeting some friends at Shem Creek for a late morning breakfast on the deck outside. I left Biggby and drove out to Breach Inlet on the Isle of Palms to see the ocean and kill a few minutes before my call. At 9:45am it’s off to Shem Creek so I could take the call in the car. 10am arrives with silence. No call. Our friends arrive a few minutes late and we get seated about 10:40am. Now that the phone screen is apparently not happening, it’s time to order. Shrimp and grits and… a Bloody Mary. Why not? It’s the weekend!

We start chatting with our friends, the deck actually started to warm up to a balmy 70 degrees. Not bad for October. Our waiter needed help to get our order delivered to our table and it looked delicious! I was starving! Off goes the Blackberry and it was David, my candidate, ready to chat. Albeit he was nearly an hour late..he was ready to chat and was not available the following week and he knew I wanted to talk to him as he had all of the right credentials on paper. He apologized, said he had sent me an e-mail (I got it later:-) to let me know he would be late. I was torn between doing the screen or sacrificing my shrimp and grits. Tough call. I did the screen and after 30 minutes i just had to cut it off. I’d heard enough to want to take this to the next step. He was good. Very good, but he was late for the call. very late!

Where do you draw the line? Sometimes I have to ask myself. Should I have passed and waited a full week to screen this guy? In the end, I hope things work out. We do sometimes have to make choices that don’t fit with our schedules or lifestyle. But… we must make sure we are talking to enough qualified candidates in order to vet 3-4 that fit the position profile – and are in the sweet spot.

Good news – he turned out to be a solid candidate. Bad news was my (very) cold breakfast.

Cold shrimp and grits anyone?