You can’t escape office pranks when you work in recruitment – they’re basically a requirement of the job!
I’m sure we’ve all seen our share of outrageous tricks getting pulled around the office over the years, and since lockdown, I know I’ve certainly missed them.
As it’s April Fool’s Day, I thought I’d provide some sweet nostalgia for life in the recruitment office, where on the first day of April, you really have no idea what you’re walking into!
1. The wrapping-the-desk trick
Who doesn’t love unwrapping presents, right? This trick is the gift that keeps on giving – especially when you’re still finding stationary in your drawer to unwrap two weeks later.
I’ll never forget pulling this prank on a colleague on April Fool’s Day a couple of years back. He had a full day of telephone interviews ahead of him and came in to find his entire desk, computer and chair all wrapped up.
Of course, our entire team came in extra early to see the surprise and we were all doubled over watching him trying to unwrap everything so he could get on with his day.
He soon realised it was going to take too long, so took himself and his laptop and set up office in the boardroom for the day, leaving us sitting there with a fully wrapped desk.
2. The hide-and-seek car prank
Is your colleague careless with their car keys? Well, they better hope they don’t work with some of the recruiters I know.
In one of my old recruitment jobs, a junior recruiter left the keys to his new pride and joy Ford Fiesta ST lying on his desk (big mistake).
One the senior members of staff (who’ll I’ll keep anonymous) decided to ‘borrow’ his keys and move his car into a new parking space 500 metres away.
When this poor junior recruiter went out to get his lunch, he quickly realised his car wasn’t there and came sprinting back to the office shouting that his car had been stolen - only to look up and see his colleagues peering out the window in fits of laughter.
3. The secret admirer
We all love getting a gift from a happy candidate. But this is the perfect set up for a cheeky prank on your colleague: Just leave a cheap box of chocolates on their desk with a note from a “candidate” gushing about what a great (and handsome!) recruiter they are.
Then you just sit back and enjoy watching them wonder which candidate wants a bit more than just job alerts (if you know what I mean…).
I heard about this prank from a fellow recruiter working at another agency. When their colleague found a gift on their desk with a rather risqué note attached, they spent the rest of the day boasting about it and scouring their database trying to figure out who could have sent it.
Of course, they picked out all the best looking candidates as their potential admirer, only to turn around and see an office full of sniggering colleagues!
4. The unattended-computer prank
There’s always that one colleague who’s bold enough to leave their computer unattended and unlocked.
If you were foolish enough to leave your computer unattended too long in my old recruitment office, you’d come back to your desktop flipped upside down, your keyboard keys switched around and tape over your mouse sensor so it didn’t work.
I can’t tell you how times recruiters in our office called IT saying their computer was broken, just to turn over the mouse to find a post-it stuck to the bottom. This would always crack everyone in the office up. Well, apart from the guys in IT…
5. The Zoom call
In our industry, we all make a lot of calls – making us easy prey for this prank.
One recruiter I know left a post-it note on a colleague’s desk with a call back for ‘Mrs Penguin’ on it.
Of course, the call-back number they left them was for Edinburgh Zoo - where else would Mrs Penguin live?
There aren’t many things as enjoyable as watching your colleague slowly realise they’re asking to speak to a penguin that lives at the zoo – and that they look like a total nutter. Their face will be truly priceless!
If you need to make up for the time you lost playing pranks on your colleague, download the eBook below to learn how to learn how to get more done in less time.
Growth Specialist Paul was a Principle Consultant in the tech sector before joining Firefish. He loves changing the way agencies recruit with software.