Lessons in the Karma of Recruiting

Feb 20, 2015

Buckland TweetToday’s Roundup (you do remember Roundup, don’t you?)  is about recruiting karma.

Not yet another reprise of those stories about great people who were rejected by some frenzied recruiter working 39 reqs. No siree, this Roundup is all about that “what goes around comes around” thing.

First up is a lawsuit against Apple, accusing it of poaching the cream of battery maker A123 Systems’ engineers.

“Apple is currently developing a large-scale battery division to compete in the very same field as A123,” says the Michigan headquartered company in the suit, which is now in federal court in Massachusetts. A123 claims Apple began wooing its PhDs and battery engineers almost a year ago, hiring at least five and crippling the company’s development program.

You might recall that Apple was the ringleader in an antipoaching agreement that resulted in a Justice Department suit, and a class-action suit involving thousands of workers who stand to collect $415 million if a proposed settlement is approved.

The expression “delicious irony” comes to mind.

For our second karmic lesson, I bring out the tale of the rude Tube rider.

A few days ago, Recruiter Matt Buckland was on his way to work commuting on London’s subway. Exiting at his station, the head of talent acquisition at VC firm, Forward Partners, Buckland paused to allow a passenger to board. The young man behind him pushed passed, turning long enough to tell Buckland to go f*** himself.

This might have simply been just another day in the city, except that hours later, who shows up for Buckland’s 5:30 interview but the same man.

“At first he didn’t recognize me,” Buckland told an interviewer after his tweet about this went viral. “I asked him how he got to the interview, how was his morning commute.” It was then the candidate recognized him.

The candidate, a web developer, didn’t get the job. But Buckland insists, it wasn’t because of the incident. “He wasn’t right for the role,” he told the BBC. “By the end of the interview we laughed it off and were both happy.”