Are You Turning Down Top Talent?

September 4, 2015

Are You Turning Down Top Talent?While reading a selection of funny and inspiring recruitment stories recently, I was reminded of one of my favourites – The Boy with No Email Address.

Although this isn’t necessarily a true story, I think that many recruitment managers fall into the same trap as the business owner in this story – read it, and tell me what you think in the comments section below.

The Story of the Boy with No Email Address

Once upon a time, a young man was looking for a job. He was almost completely broke. He had £5 to his name, his family were struggling to make ends meet, and he was getting desperate.

After spending almost a week visiting different businesses and asking for work, the owner of a large corporation kindly explained that there was a part-time cleaning position open, and invited the young man in to see how well he worked.

Eager to impress, the young man spent the whole day cleaning the office block from top to bottom, until it sparkled and shone. At the end of the day, the owner of the large corporation exclaimed “Wow! You are possibly the best cleaner I have ever seen! Please give me your email address so I can send you a job offer.”

The young man frowned, and said “I don’t have an email address…”.

“Unfortunately” explained the owner of the company “we won’t be able to offer you a position – if you don’t have an email address, we can’t give you a job.”

Feeling low, the young man went to his local shop, where he suddenly had a great idea. With his last £5, he bought a box of tomatoes, and then spent the rest of the evening knocking on houses and trying to sell them. After just 2 hours, he had sold all of his tomatoes and earned £10 profit. He went to bed with a smile.

The next day, he went back to the same shop and bought £15 worth of tomatoes, and spent the next few hours doing the same thing. At the end of the day, he had £45 in his pocket.

This went on for several weeks, and each day the young man bought even more tomatoes, and worked even longer hours, until eventually, he had enough money to buy his own fruit and vegetable cart from which he could sell even more products.

After a year, he had managed to build a small business with a handful of employees. After five years, he had built his business into one of the most successful fruit and vegetable retail chains in the country.

After 10 years, the man was very rich indeed, and decided to spend some of his hard-earned money on a big new house for his family. After a chat with the real estate agent, she asked him for his email address.

“I don’t have an email address” he explained. The woman was very surprised.

“You are a very successful businessman” she said. “Just imagine what you could have been with an email address!”

The man thought for a while, and replied, with a smile “I could have been a cleaner”.

Are You Turning Down Top Talent?

Sometimes, in the recruitment industry, we stumble on something really special – a really talented individual, for example.

How often have you judged a person based on their position in life, their material assets, or their on-paper qualifications, despite knowing in your heart that they would be a big credit to anybody who employed them?

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