I was recently in Costa Rica with many of my friends from the recruiting industry. One evening over cocktails, my friend and colleague Scott Samuels told me what is now one of my favorite recruiting stories.
Scott owns Horizon Hospitality, based in Kansas City with offices in West Palm Beach and Scottsdale. He was contacted by a prospective client regarding a search for an Executive Chef. There’s nothing unusual about that; Horizon recruits Executive Chefs all the time. However, there was a twist: the job was in Russia, as part of a new restaurant that would be modeled after Texas Roadhouse. Scott learned that Russia has few mid-range dining options, and his prospective client fancied the Texas Roadhouse concept.
The goal was to recruit Executive Chef candidates who were willing to move themselves (and perhaps their families) to Russia. But there were more twists: The client wanted each of the candidates to cook for them. The beef they would be cooking could not be American beef, because American beef wouldn’t be served in the restaurant. And… the client flying from Russia to evaluate the candidates didn’t speak a word of English. Never one to back away from a challenge, Scott agreed to accept the search and was retained by the client.
Scott then did what a great Recruiter does; he figured out how to deliver for his client. He sourced the appropriate beef internationally, found a translator and secured a test kitchen. And yes, he also recruited three talented Executive Chef candidates who were willing to compete for this job and move to Russia if offered.
The client flew in from Russia and everyone descended on the test kitchen (which was in Kansas City). The candidates prepared steaks. The winning candidate was chosen, was hired and Horizon Hospitality scored a huge success. I love this story. It’s a testament to extreme client service and the talents of a great recruiter.