This case study relates to a recruitment campaign for a graduate program and it is about ‘dealing with the unexpected’. Again, this actually happened but confidentiality protected for all involved.
This was an organisation who employ highly specialised and skilled people. Often it was (and still is) very hard to find the right skills so we designed a new graduate training programme to source and train the skilled people we needed. These people were from all different nationalities and many of the applicants did not speak ‘English’ as their first language.
We had received applications from over 600 candidates and we needed to ‘shortlist’ from this ‘pool’ to a manageable number of good quality candidates so we could run our Assessment Centre.
The 600 were sifted down to approximately 200 and invited to Assessment Centres running in four parts of the UK (Scotland, North, Midlands and South).
The Assessments were pretty tough so many were ‘sifted out’ in the early stages, leaving us with 20 people from which to choose for 5 vacancies.
Due to the nature of the roles we were recruiting for, the majority of the applicants were male (just the way it goes sometimes) but there were a few female applicants and one of our female applicants had made it through to the final 20.
Well, to cut a very long story short, our female applicant was a ‘star’. She had a great sense of humour and clearly excellent knowledge and skills for the role. She was not a young (just out of university) graduate but she had gained her experience from a previous role so she was offered one of our vacancies.
Now .. our offers of employment were ‘subject to passing a medical assessment’ at the time (this was necessary for the job as certain conditions would prevent somebody from doing this particular job).
We made offers to one female and four male applicants (three of whom had or needed visas to work for us). All successfully got through the final process and started work. They were placed in their respective locations and all was fine.
Until I got a call from a senior manager … “so you have given me this new person … what toilet is she supposed to use and why didn’t you tell me?”
You’ve guessed it … this wonderful person who we had just recruited had not started life as a female but was one now. She turned out to be one of the best recruits we have ever had and as far as I know, is still with the company. The manager who made the call isn’t though but that was not because of this situation. Lots of people learnt lots of things through this process.
The morale … expect the unexpected and do not judge …. We never told the manager because it was irrelevant (not sure he agreed though). She was the right and perfect candidate for the job.