Top 9 Most Recent “C’Mon Man!” Moments In Civil Engineering Recruiting

January 12, 2011 at 11:21 am 12 comments

 Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc
Managing Partner,

View Matt’s profile & connect with him on LinkedIn

For those of you football fans who watch ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown, you are likely familiar with their “C’Mon Man!” segment.  For those of you who don’t have the slightest clue as to what I am talking about, in a nutshell, the Monday Night Countdown crew members compile moments from the past weekend’s games that leave you scratching your head and saying to yourself (or out loud in their case) “C’Mon, Man!”

Here is segment to give you the gist of what I am talking about:

Now that you catch my drift, after speaking with a number of my recruiting colleagues across the country, I have compiled my Top 9  “C’Mon, Man!” moments from the world of civil engineering recruiting over the past year:

  1. A  candidate who has been out of work for 6 months goes through three stages of the interview process, she is on the cusp of receiving an offer contingent upon references checking out and she provides a poor reference that sells her down the river…C’MON MAN!
  2. A candidate tells us all the motivations for him to consider a change, we provide an opportunity that meets all those needs and gives him a $25K/20%  increase in his base salary.  He verbally accepts to the hiring manager on Friday and then on Monday decides to stay where he is…C’MON MAN!
  3. We successfully recruit a C-Level candidate for an extremely confidential CEO search.  The candidate is aware that this position must be treated with the highest level of confidentiality and agrees to abide by the “rules” of confidentiality.  After being shortlisted by the existing CEO as a candidate, said candidate decides to call a friend AT THAT COMPANY in attempt to get some inside information on the company and ultimately spilled the beans…needless to say he knocked himself out of contention…C’MON MAN!
  4. A client asks us to conduct a search and bring candidates to the table for a Regional Manager position…a great candidate with a solid reputation is presented and interviewed, but the client is unable to provide ANY feedback until four weeks later, only to say “not interested.”  That’s it?   C’MON MAN!
  5. A client company has two candidates they are considering interviewing …one is unemployed and has some of the skills they are looking for…the other is gainfully employed and fits most of what they are looking for.  The client company would rather interview the unemployed candidate first and make a decision because they are worried that the employed candidate may take a counteroffer…C’MON MAN!
  6. A candidate has been so brainwashed as an employee that he tells us he will never leave his current employer because it is the “best company to work for in the history of all companies ever.”  Really?  The best company to work for in the history of all companies… ever?    C’MON MAN!
  7. A company wants a” rainmaker” who will significantly increase top line revenues for their office or company, but they are not willing to pay market value…COME ON MAN!
  8. We spoke with an engineer who diminishes the value of obtaining her PE because she says that she knows PE’s that she has worked with and she already knows WAY more than they do…C’MON MAN!
  9. A candidate was referred to us by someone we respect in the industry, yet they respond to our contacting them by making a completely egotistical and arrogant statements about how great they are….C’MON MAN!

These are just a handful of “C’MON MAN” moments that have happened in our industry over the past year.   I know I am dishin’ it out here, but I will be the first to confess that we have had a few “C’MON MAN” moments on our end over the  years as well that we have learned from.  I guess it’s all a part of what makes our careers…and life  interesting! 

If you have any “C’MON MAN” moments from the world of recruiting or civil engineering that you would like to share, please feel free to do so!

One more thought…”Top 10″ lists, yes.   But who the heck ever heard of a “Top 9” list?   C’MON MAN!!!!!

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion


Entry filed under: Career Development, Civil Engineering, civil engineering blog, Civil Engineering Issues, Civil Engineering Jobs, Fun Stuff, Headhunters, Human Resources, Interviewing, Networking, Recruiting, Resignation, The Workplace, Uncategorized.

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Top 10 Blog Posts of 2011 from «  |  December 27, 2011 at 10:11 am

    […] 4.      Top 9 Most Recent “C’mon Man” Moments in Civil Engineering Recruiting […]

  • 2. mark  |  February 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Not to be Johnny Raincloud but this post is an HR/recruiters circle jerk and comes across as a bit condescending.

    – If someone is happy where they’re at and doesn’t want to waste anyone’s time….C’mon Man!
    – If a candidate engages but then finds a better counter-offer…C’mon Man!
    – If a candidate engages but then gets a better offer from a third party…C’mon Man!
    – If a candidate re-evaluates their situation and decides this isn’t in their best interest…C’mon Man!

    It seems that everyone applauding this article sees a successful recruitment as the only non-“C’mon Man” result. Well, not every candidate, position, and employer are ideal matches. Not every flirtation is going to end in marriage.

    Or, how about these:

    – A recruiter calls you up. They say that they have a great position for you and to send a resume and references to get moving on it. You never hear from them again….C’mon Man!
    – A recruiter calls you up. Offers a great opportunity for you, only it’s temporary, short-term, has no benefits, and pays less than you’re currently earning….C’mon Man!
    – A recruiter calls you up to offer a great opportunity where you can earn a great salary. The opportunity is in a war zone, half-way around the world, and you’ll be expected to work 7-days per week, 18 hours per day.
    – You engage with an employer. You send resumes to a dozen people, interview multiple day & times with multiple people, fill out a pile of paper work, your references all get called. The employer hires internally….C’mon Man.

    • 3. aepcentral  |  February 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      Hey Johnny Raincloud 🙂

      Thanks for sharing with us; much appreciated. Sorry if it came across as condescending, that was not the intent. There are MANY situations from all perspectives (candidate, employer, recruiter) that can leave one scratching their head and wondering to themselves, “really?”. These were some of my thoughts as an experienced search consultant that left me scratching my head. That said, I would have to agree with your final comments that there are indeed many recruiters out there that leave employers and candidates scratching their heads. Lots of head scratching going on apparently, but none-the-less I appreciate you taking the time to not only read my blog, but share your thoughts as well.

      All the best!


  • 4. Nicki Pozos  |  January 22, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Some yeras ago when I was interviewing for an engineering position at a consulting company, the person who was interviewing me (and would have been my manager) noted “I tried to quit my job a few months ago, but everybody ignored me, so I just stayed.” Huh?

  • 5. Ataur  |  January 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Good one. I would love to hear more personal stories from you. cheers:-)

  • 6. Bill Miller  |  January 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    But, I really do work for the best company to work for in the history of companies … ever. Really I do. You can ask them.

  • 7. Anthony Fasano  |  January 16, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Great article Matt, it goes to show you, people say they want something and when it comes down to the wire and it’s time to actually go through with it, some people stay the course and some people don’t!

  • 8. Josie Summa  |  January 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    This is really great. I lost my breath on a few….you know, like being punched in the gut?

    • 9. aepcentral  |  January 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm

      Yes Josie, “punched in the gut” is about right 🙂 No matter how long we’ve been doing this these things still happen…of course we are much better prepared for them as a result of our experiences…live and learn!

  • 10. Babette Ten Haken  |  January 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    What a great blog post, Matt! It’s amazing how even the most “seasoned” candidates just can’t manage to put the puzzle pieces together correctly. It’s that “human nature” thing that tempts us to play with fire. And it derails us all the time.

    • 11. aepcentral  |  January 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks Babette – psychology is a very strong element of recruiting…and just when the candidate, the recruiter, or the employer thinks they have everything figured out, they are still susceptible to derailment.

  • 12. aepcentral  |  January 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Add this one: Candidate interviews, negotiates for a really good fit position. One main reason to turn down is that if he stays with his current company for another 20 years, his retirement plan will be potentially worth a lot of money! Really? No way this is the real reason. C’Mon Man!


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