Saturday, August 26, 2006

Determination Pays Off

Today I had a job seeker in my candidate pool that seemed to be a PERFECT match for one of my available (and VERY hard to fill) titles. For the sake of this quick story, we're gonna' just call him "Al."

Sadly, Al's resume didn't reflect a current phone number. So every time I attempted to call him I got everyones favorite recording telling me that the number was no longer in service. Of course, the only reason I kept calling it was on the off chance that it would be reconnected or one of those nifty little "new number" recordings would suddenly play. No luck, of course.

A week goes by and I'm still having a heck of a time filling this position and I can't get over how perfect Al would be for this job. So I dig up Al's resume and take a look at it again. While I was just staring blankly at his name and address I decided that if this guy was still interested... then THIS was the guy I needed to find.

I pulled up the WhitePages in my browser and looked up Al by his name and address. The number was the same dc'd number I had on his resume. When looking at similar addresses in the listings shown I noticed that the numbers were a bit strange. So I pulled up Google Maps to get an aerial view - I love that satellite hybrid feature!
It looked like Al lived (since I didn't even know if he was still there) in a VERY small apartment complex that consisted of 3-4 buildings and that was in a VERY small town. I opened up a new tab in my browser and headed over the the YellowPages site where I tried to look for an apartment complex on that street in that town. No Luck.

On the off chance that they might have an idea of how to contact that complex I called an Apartment Locater service. Unfortunately the complex was privately owned and was not in any of the Apartment Locator's databases. Not to be deterred, I asked for a listing in the closest apartment complex in that area.

Smiling and dialing I reached a woman at a neighboring commercial complex that knew how to reach the smaller and privately owned apartment complex. She was nice enough to give me the telephone number and moments later I was talking to the owner!

Argh - yet another hurdle. The owner did not have Al's new number and wasn't sure he even remembered him. He did, however, head to the neighboring apartment and asked (he volunteered - I didn't push for him to do so) if they knew where Al had moved to or where he might be.

The neighbor had no idea but did know the number to Al's mother - go figure - small town, right? The neighbor gave me the mother's cell number and I gave her a call. The call I had with Al's mom made my week - but seemed to make her year.

Al was still desperately looking for work and his mom was delighted that I was searching for him. His specialized skills are not in high demand but are paid for quite nicely when hired (think programmers of an obsolete programming language.) Al's mom said that if he were to get the job, it could really save their lives.
Now I don't know how much of that was exaggeration on her part, but hearing her out of breath and 1/2 singing her responses to me made me feel that she was pretty genuine. I was speaking with Al 10 minutes later.
Al comes in for an interview next week. I can't wait to meet him.