Capitalist Note: This story is a Christmas Eve tradition at the HR Capitalist. Merry Christmas…
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Time for anticipation. Time for reflection.
Time for an outrageous demand towards a candidate that could only occur from the bowels of corporate America.
Gather ’round the tree kids, because it’s story time, HR Capitalist style. Bring me a Diet Mountain Dew while you’re at it, because this eggnog sucks.
Everyone here? Good.
The year is 2002 and it’s Christmas Eve. The Capitalist has just become a VP of HR in corporate America, and just got a new boss, who let’s say – is a little INTENSE. The Capitalist finds himself at home on Christmas Eve, piddling with some work, etc. His cell phone rings. The Capitalist flexes his bicep (remember, phones were much bigger then), picks up the phone and answers the call. It’s the boss of the Capitalist:
Capitalist: Don, what’s up?
Bossman/EVP (1B Line of business): Kris, glad I got you. I’m ready to make an offer to the Director of Finance candidate we like.
Capitalist: Sweet. I’ll call her today and let her know. Nice Christmas present.
Bossman: Great. Just one little catch. I need to know today that she accepts.
Capitalist: You need an answer today? You know it’s Christmas Eve and it’s 12:30pm right now, correct?
Bossman: Yeah, I know. But I just got word from a friend that corporate is thinking about making me take Sparkman from Atlanta as part of a succession plan, and you know what I think about him. So rather than wait on that, we’re going to move on Carol, and we need her to accept today so I can go into the next week and tell them that it’s already filled when they call me.
Capitalist: Why don’t we just say we have an offer out if that happens and give her a couple of days to think about it?
Bossman: Not good enough. Corporate will make us retract the offer. Get it done today. Gotta go! We’re opening some presents! <Click>
After the call, the Capitalist gathered himself on the reality of making a demand like a three hour window to accept an offer on Christmas Eve, and you know what he did? He made the freaking call, boys and girls. It went a little something like this:
Capitalist: Carol! How are you? Kris Dunn from <company name retracted>. Got a couple of minutes to talk? I’ve got good news…
Carol: Kris, can you repeat that? I’m at Church with my three kids. They always get so excited around Christmas… (Church bells ringing in the background)
Capitalist: You bet Carol, got great news for you going into the holiday. We want you to join the team, and here’s some details for you… (Capitalist outlines broad specs of the deal, selling as hard as he can.)
Carol: Well Kris, that is great news. Send me the offer package and I’ll look it over on Christmas Day and call you back the day after Christmas.
Capitalist: Well Carol, it’s funny you say that. Because I’m in a little bit of a pinch here (long, apologetic intro into the issue), and well, I need you to decide by close of business today to accept the offer or not.
Carol: Kris, you know it’s Christmas, right? That I’m with my kids? I’m currently in church?
Capitalist: I know. Still, you’re the one we want and we have to close it today to ensure we can bring you aboard.
Carol: <Silence for 10 seconds> Send the package. I’ll look at it. Goodbye. (Capitalist trying to apologize again but unable to before hearing <Click>)
And that, boys and girls, is how you know you’ve arrived in the show. Cost of a Monster posting? $200-$400 depending on volume. Cost of a third party recruiter placement? 10-15K.
The realization you’ve just crossed a line on Christmas Eve that only Gordon Gekko and Ari Gold could appreciate? Priceless…
PS – Carol accepted and rocked the house at our company. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays….
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.