World’s Biggest Weenie or World’s Smartest Job Seeker?

World’s Biggest Weenie or World’s Smartest Job Seeker?

by Kerry Scott on 14 May 2009

2632651360_d4aa4ee70fPhoto by Mike Johnson —

Unemploymentality has a story today about this guy who really, really wanted this one job.

Apparently he wanted it so badly that he decided to run an ad for a similar job, so that the same people would apply to his bogus ad as the real one.  This was his way of finding out who his competition is, and what was on their resumes.  He asked for salary requirements too.

Once he’d received and reviewed all of the submissions from these candidates, he applied for the job he wanted.

It worked.  He got the job.

Does the ends justify the means?  Is all fair in love, war, and job hunting now?

If you were the employer, and you found out he’d done this, what would you do?

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Kim May 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm

He is brilliant. Underhanded? Yes. Sneaky? Yes. In today’s market it is more important than ever to know your competition. An ingenious way to get an edge.

Robert LaGow May 14, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I’m curious as to how he actually used the information to his advantage. Did he undercut them on salaray expectations? Bad mouth some of the schools the competition went to?

I mean, let’s say you were given the recruiting folder for a job you were applying for, what would you do with it? And how would you do it without making it obvious to the hiring manager that you had inside information?

Robert LaGow’s last blog post..Making Metrics Matter: Tips on Creating Relevant Talent Measurements

Kerry Sandberg Scott May 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Well, certainly, knowing the price point of everyone else in the candidate pool is a big advantage. You can make sure that you are affordable relative to others, but not so low that they wonder what’s wrong with you.

You could also get a sense of what is lacking in the candidate pool. If most of them are corporate types, maybe you emphasize your small company background and its whatever-it-takes approach. If they’ve got people who have strong client relationships coming in, you talk about the clients you’re bringing. You could also find out the scoop on these people from your own network, to find out what their weaknesses are and then prey on them. If one is known for being gossipy, maybe you mention how you’re the most discreet person ever. Or whatever.

That said, I don’t believe it would give you a big enough advantage to make it worth doing something like this.

I think it’s funny that he told someone about this, and that, specifically, he told a guy who write a blog (a pretty good blog, too…check it out). It reminds me of on Law and Order, when the lieutenant says, “He must have told someone.” Because they always have to brag about their crimes, y’know?

Most things can be linked to Law and Order, if you think about them long enough.

abdpbt May 14, 2009 at 6:58 pm

OK. First of all. How smart is that dude?

Would I be concerned about this? It depends. Is it a job working as a lawyer, investment banker, or an agent? Because if so, I would still keep him. I’d figure I’d make back anything he stole.

If he’s working as a cashier or handling money in any real, hands-on capacity, maybe not.

abdpbt’s last blog post..What If You’re Not A Good Mom, But Nobody Wants To Be The One To Tell You?

Carla May 14, 2009 at 8:57 pm

If this is the way it is now, I would probably give up job hunting!

If I was the employer, I know I wouldn’t be able to trust him.

Carla’s last blog post..Green + Chic Baby Gift Sets

Charles May 15, 2009 at 9:53 am

This sounds too much like an urban legend to me.

HRPufnstuf May 15, 2009 at 9:54 am

Genius or evil genius? Most business models reward the innovative and those who grab hold of any competitive advantage they can, but I see where his duplicity may have not been wholly ethical. Very interesting situation! I’m interested to read more opinions on the matter.

kentropic May 15, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Dishonesty = FAIL.

llamaface May 15, 2009 at 6:34 pm

I think this is brilliant! I’m not on the hiring end, so I can’t speak to experience. If he LIED to get the job, then no, I would not be happy. However, if he simply evaluated the competition and strategized appropriately, then I think it is fine. We’re all told to research the company we are applying to, and he just went above and beyond.

Also, “Most things can be linked to Law and Order, if you think about them long enough.” This is made of win, because it is so true.

The Closer May 18, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Sounds like another play out of the 4 hour work week – career advancement by deception…. I mean deception. Speaking of which:

The Closer

The Closer’s last blog post..Jenna Jameson and “The Four Hour Work Week”

Kerry Sandberg Scott May 18, 2009 at 4:09 pm

I’m surprised that more people aren’t pissed off about this. If I were the candidates who sent this guy my info in good faith and had it used to one-up me, I’d be livid. If I were the employer, aside from the obvious dishonesty issue, I’d wonder why this guy thought he couldn’t win the job fair and square. He’d be out the door.

I think the real lesson here is for candidates; be careful who you send your information to. If the application process isn’t linked to the company (i.e. email address that ends in, applying through an obviously official website, etc.) beware. This guy used it to get a job, which is not cool, but identity thieves could use it as well.

But really, this guy is a huge weenie, in my opinion. I wouldn’t want to work for a company that valued “getting ahead” to the extent that it was willing to reward a guy who did this to unsuspecting candidates. If I found out about it, he’d be gone.

HR Minion May 25, 2009 at 8:01 pm

That’s disgusting.

HR Minion’s last blog post..Be a F**cking person

Tim May 26, 2009 at 9:04 am

Hiring this guy seems like a great way to eventually have your business visited by the SEC, IRS, or another three-letter government agency.

@Llamaface: He *did* lie to get the job. He didn’t lie to the company to which he applied, but he lied to other people when he posted the bogus listing. To me, that’s just as bad.

Tim’s last blog post..Specialization is for Insects

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