Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Crazy Recruiting Story: Candidate Gets Kidnapped

Crazy Recruiting Story: My Candidate Was Kidnapped!

by | Jan 15, 2016 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

Recruiting, in a word, is crazy.

Well, it CAN be crazy, at the very least. It’s basically a sale with people at both ends of the process. After all, if you sell vacuum cleaners for a living, a sale never falls through because the vacuum cleaner decides at the last minute that it doesn’t want to be sold.

Crazy stories happen every day in this profession, and I’m sure you’ve got a great story for at least one contact in your recruiting software. In fact, a recruiter somewhere is going through one right now, as you read this. And who knows what happened? We can’t even fathom a guess, and if we knew, we might not even believe that it actually happened.

Crazy Recruiting Story “Hall of Fame”

Such is the case with the crazy recruiting story that we’re highlighting in this blog post. While it happened nearly seven years ago, it’s just as crazy now as it was then.

Joe Noto of Regency Search Group is a veteran recruiter who specializes in senior staff, managerial, and executive positions within the Manufacturing, Business Services, and Finance & Accounting industries. He’s also an accomplished businessman and firm owner who has seen quite a lot during his career. However, what he witnessed back in 2009 is difficult to top.

Joe’s story is as follows, in his own words:

Joe Noto of Regency Search Group

Joe Noto

“In doing a search for a plant general manager for the Juarez, Mexico operation of an Indiana company, I recruited and placed a candidate who was living in Monterrey, Mexico. The Saturday before his start date, I called him to see if everything was okay, and he was prepared to start the following Monday. He assured me all was well and said he would be driving from Monterrey to Juarez on Sunday and would be at the plant Monday morning to start his new job.

“Late Monday afternoon. I received a call from the client asking if I had heard from my candidate since he had not shown up for work. My efforts to contact the candidate over the next several days were unsuccessful. He finally called me and said that he had driven to Juarez on Sunday, as he had said he was going to do. Upon his arrival, though, he was abducted by a gang and held overnight. He said they told him that if he did not cooperate, their people in Monterrey would kill his family.

“The next morning, they accompanied him to a local bank and cleaned out his accounts. Once that was finished, they released him unharmed. He said that he immediately called his family, who were all okay, and then he called a security firm, who told him to get rid of his cell phone. This is why I could not reach him. He then got some money wired to him from friends, rented a car, and drove home to Monterrey to be with his family. He told me he was glad that he was NOT abducted by drug cartel people, but rather by a local gang emboldened by the success of cartel kidnappings.

“Despite all of this, he still took the job, starting two weeks later.

“About six months later, he resigned when his wife refused to move the family to Juarez. The client called me, and I was fortunate enough to have another similar candidate, who I placed into the position for another full fee.”

How crazy is this story?! Let us count the ways:

  1. The candidate didn’t show up for work because he was kidnapped by an armed gang.
  2. The gang threatened to kill the candidate’s family.
  3. Despite ALL of this, the candidate still took the job.
  4. Soooo . . . the recruiter still collected their fee!
  5. The candidate eventually quit his job six months later, not because of gang threats, but because of his wife.
  6. The recruiter placed another candidate in the position and earned a second fee.

If you’ve been a recruiter for any length of time, you certainly have at least one crazy recruiting story, and we absolutely want to hear it. You can submit your crazy recruiting story by commenting on this blog post, or you can send it to

Don’t keep all that crazy to yourself. Share with us!

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