Category Archives: fail



  • Phone screen candidates
  • Value your team’s time
  • Keep a high bar for hiring


  • Tell a candidate they’re bad
  • Send them a surprise bill
  • Threaten legal action in Australian civil court

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Recruiting Troll

Someone out there is taking matters into their own hands, for a little vigilante recruiter-trolling justice.


“Pretty Arousing”


Every once in a while, the recruiting fails just speak for themselves:

Subject: these are pretty arousing

Hi Joseph,

Hi. I like you.


Let’s talk,

Ben H*****

Misleading Title Fail

What companies do you think of when you hear the phrase “highly backed start-up in San Francisco”? Maybe well-established companies like Square or Dropbox? Color, after they announced their $28M series B in 2011?  Coursera, with their new $43M round?

You probably wouldn’t have guessed that the “highly backed start-up in San Francisco” was in Mountain View. Or that they IPO’d more than two years ago. Or that their founder & CEO left 4 years ago and is now a venture capitalist. By all accounts, LinkedIn is a great company. But they’re not in San Francisco. And at some point, you have to stop calling a company a startup. I’d wager you pass that point some time before you IPO.

Company Description Fail

Add that to the non-work email address from the 90’s and the many non-capitalized proper nouns, and we’ve got a winner for this week 🙂

Best. Form letter. Ever.

So far today, four people have reported getting this enticing form letter fail in their email this morning. Below are two examples of Samsung rep “B.G.” earning his recruiting fees:






Though in a way, Travis said, ” I kind of appreciate the directness [..] no attempts at weird flattery (you came highly recommended to me through a colleague!)”

It’s all about increasing the top of the funnel and total transparency: We might be looking at the future of recruiting here.

Michael Buffer is a Recruiter Now?

Most recruiting emails don’t make me laugh out loud just from reading the subject. This was not one of those emails.

Offer letter fail

A lot of the fails on this blog come from form letters. They’re so tempting! How else are you supposed to store a company document that needs to be consistent across positions, but will need data filled in each time?

Actually… a “mad-libs” style form letter builder with error checking before print would be a nice weekend project. Patent pending!

Oxford commas aside, you’d think this offer letter would’ve made the cut of documents that get the once-over before sending… but not so. This comes from a friend who recently got a job offer on the east coast. And lest this seem trivial: it did make the candidate laugh at the company for such an obvious mistake, send it around to his friends, and wonder – just a bit – how interested they actually were.

We all make mistakes. But hiring managers, take note: there’s no amount of all caps, colors, etc that will do the reminding for you 100% of the time. Without a double-checking process outside of the document itself, it’s just a ticking time-bomb.

Offer letter fail