Crime and Punishment: Hiring the Burglars

hamburglarA few nights ago, as I learned via the Nextdoor app on my phone, some people in my neighborhood had their vehicle stolen out of their carport. They walked out the door in the morning, keys in hand, and BAM – “WTF – where is the car?”  This happens, sadly enough, with alarming frequency in various neighborhoods around town, so was not an unusual circumstance.

But, Baton Rouge being what it is, everyone knows everyone else so I ended up having a conversation at work with our Advertising Manager who lives 6 blocks from me and 2 doors from the unfortunate victims. (Yes the car was locked; the vehicle had keyless entry that apparently presents an even easier opportunity than old school hot wiring).

Anyway…when my co-worker and I were discussing this, lamenting the sad state of affairs in our solidly middle-class neighborhood I told her the story of how my house had been burgled circa 2012. Middle of the day thing: the burglars stole electronics (gentlemanly in their frenzy, at least they didn’t RIP the shit off the walls), tossed my jewelry box, opened the china cabinets, flung the silverware and china hither and yon, and manhandled my underwear. The latter evidenced by the fact that the dresser drawers were open and my panties were, quite literally, in a wad. Icky.

(note to would-be-burglars….. don’t be googling my address. We are fully alarmed, literally a 60 second drive from the main Baton Rouge Police Command Center, and now have multiple cameras taping everything from every angle. Don’t even think about it).

So here’s the backstory to what is forevermore known as the Schooling Home Invasion of 2012.

Picture it: 2 months before the break-in on some random weekday. Mr. S. had left for work while I, ever the late riser, was still getting ready. At 7 AM the dogs started barking so I checked the driveway and peered out the window: no cars and no people. I headed back to the rear of the house and continued readying myself for a day of super-freaking-important-HR-work (!!) and got to the stage where makeup, jewelry and underwear were in place. The dogs, once again, went into a frenzy so, in exasperation, I stormed down the hallway and headed into the sunroom, a good-sized room with multiple French doors looking out on the patio/deck/backyard,  to address the ruckus. I admonished the dogs in a motherly voice to “STFU” and simultaneously came face-to-face (through the French doors) with “criminal dude.” In my underwear and earrings I probably scared him more than he scared me.

I screamed, freaked-the-F-out, and called 9-1-1.

Later, (much later), after the Schooling Home Invasion of 2012, I realized that “criminal dude” was casing the joint and deciding if it was worth the time to share with his fellow miscreants. “Dudes….I’m telling you….they have little dogs that sound more vicious than they are and there’s loads of stuff we can grab.”

(note: we have since added a vicious KILLER dog named Mr. Crumples and although we have way too many TVs for a household of 2 people you need to remember, potential burglars, that we are alarmed and the police station is a 1 minute drive away!)


There’s an HR/Recruiting/talent attraction lesson in there.

Our candidates…our applicants…our casual visitors… are checking us out. Casing the joint. Aren’t they?

“Is it worth it?”

“Should I tell my buddies?”

“Will there be a ROI if I spend some time there?”

“Is it worth the risk?”

“Am I gonna land in jail?”

“Sweet fancy Moses I hope I don’t have to see an HR lady in her underwear…….”

Look… I love my recruitment marketing employer branding folks as much as the next gal. I belong to EB Facebook groups, follow #EBChat on the twitterz, and have pontificated on the topic myself. But let’s strip it back down to the basics and forget the fancy names – this is all about letting people get a glimpse of the real job, the real company, the real deal, and the trade-offs.

Many a recruiter, trying to land a coveted and in-demand candidate, wonders what the candidates need to see, feel, and experience. Big dollars are spent. Budgets are created. Pictures? Snapchat? Content? Video? Manufactured BS designed to win an award?

Maybe – just maybe – those candidates simply need a glimpse of the underwear.


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