This was my challenging situation:
Faced with a difficult search for an international intermediate sized Group, for a middle management position which is located in a small town in Austria, where apart of touristic activities you cannot find many industrial companies as hunting ground. The role contains specifications which make the selection of candidates particularly hard. SAP is the key word! More than that, people in that region often have their own house, they are not mobile and refuse any job that needs more than a 20-minute-drive to reach their working place.
So, I had all ingredients of a search which is to last for months in order to find the right fish in the ocean!Imagine you have finally discovered a talented candidate, a woman (great, in times of gender parity at the top of the list), an enthusiastic user of SAP, having many years experience in the role, living 20 minutes from the Client's location, supposed to be "mobile", because she is single and has no family obligation. And then, you discover that the lady has recently realized her dream: having a dog!
She tells you, "the Client willing to hire me must hire me and my dog!" You think, it is a joke. You talk with your Client, the Human Resources Director of the Group, who takes it with a smile, saying "we perhaps have to think about a nursery for pets to become attractive!". Ha-ha you laugh...good reaction, he is flexible! Then you organize the first candidate presentation with your Client. Everything is wonderful, competencies, personality skills of the candidate - all OK and much appreciated...until the dog is mentioned! Issues like mobility for international meetings (trip to HQ abroad, or other plant to meet colleagues) are discussed and the famous dog is obviously becoming a problem...She is ready to travel...with her dog in his box, because nobody else has been taking care of the dog until now, and she would like the dog to be happy...
You can read the surprise on the face of your Client's representative... Second meeting with other Client representatives and again, all skills great...but the dog emerges in each sentence that deals with mobility...
Finally, what appeared to be the solution of your endless search is refused, because of a dog! Too limited options offered by the candidate to solve the problem! Too bad experiences on the Client's side with pets of the staff in the past. No is no!
A nightmare! We have never experienced such a "companionship" problem in an otherwise perfect search matching!
Group Regional Consultant CEE
TARGET Executive Search - Austria