Interview horror stories are a dime a dozen. But when’s the last time you heard a good sourcing story?

Long before the interview stage, recruiters do the hard work of finding qualified candidates for the applicant pool. And sometimes, the best hires aren’t discovered the conventional way.

They come from the gym, on the street, at the bar. They surprise you when you least expect it.

At a recent Yello-hosted event, a few recruiters shared their best candidate sourcing stories:

The Farmers’ Market Engineer

“I was at a farmer’s market in Iowa, doing a little weekend sightseeing. This guy who worked on his family-owned farm also happened to be an engineer. We ended up hiring him.”


“I had an Uber driver talk my ear off about jobs one time. It didn’t work out, but it’s the closest I’ve come to a randomly sourced hire.”

I’d Like You to Meet My Daughter

“I met someone on vacation in Aruba. Their daughter ended up applying for a job with us.”

Matt Who?

“When I worked for a professional services firm in Cleveland, I called a candidate named Matt. He answered, we talked, and he showed up for an interview. Turns out it was the wrong Matt! He was the roommate of the Matt I was looking for. Lesson learned: Always use the first and last name on phone calls.”

Check, Please

“I was talking to my server in a restaurant and I said, ‘You should come work with us.” Later, I saw her in the hall at work and I was like, ‘Hey, I remember you!’”

He’s All-In

“We had a casino-themed holiday party one year. I started talking to the poker dealer, and we interviewed him for a position.”

A Happy Accident

“A student tried to text her friend but sent it to the wrong number. It happened to be our campus recruiting director.”

Kickin’ It

“I’m on a kickball team and I like to network after our games, having a beer and sharing links to apply.”