Recruitment Challenge Fallout: Heads Role at University of Weeengland


  1. Dear Gregory,

With regret, I must inform you that HR have restructured you. All relevant senior managers concur: you are responsible for the failure of Weeengland to recruit to target. In future your role will be performed by Capital Academician’s recruitment unit. Capital A is well serviced by an upstanding statistical unit. Unlike your bumbling efforts they will sensitively calibrate our message to consumer desire. Their young, pliable, adaptive and expert staff know how to stimulate vibrations from a competitive market.This vitality, vigor and brute instinct for survival is the challenge I need. “We’re talking good vibrations!”

Your skills are better deployed elsewhere. I will write an appropriate reference and promise not to demean your stunted but excellent verbal communication, your deft touch with computers, and your unquestionable commitment to lost causes. Intelligence, my friend, is based on how efficient a species becomes at doing the things they need to survive. You never learnt that lesson. In this, and in this alone, you have failed. I have ordered a copy of “On the Origin of the Species”  as a farewell gift, and trust that it will guide your navigation of the choppy waters of unemployment and the loving touch of Ian Duncan Smith. Thanks to your incompetence there are others who will keep you warm as you sip the grim soup of reality.

I remain your friend and confidante.

Vice Chancellor and Tesco’s Professor of Retail Integration Management

Roberta Rainsford


  1. Dear ROBERTA,

What are you talking about? We agreed the recruitment policy. We agreed to aim Higher, we agreed to compete with the best. You developed the policy of this University, drawing on your TESCO’s retail expertise. Let’s forget that you sent that last email.  The reputational damage I might cause should give you pause…We have been good colleagues. I trust that we will remain ever so, and recall most fondly our more intimate moments during your ascendancy to power.

Gregory Halden, Head of Registry, Administrative Service Senior, Senior Director, BA Accounting; MA Creative and Artistic Practices, Group Scout Leader Weeengland


  1. Dear Mr Gregory Halden,

As Vice-Chancellor I do not have to formally notify you of my decision to terminate your employment. After a long and fruitful collaboration, however, I wanted to pass on the sad news. You have not met any targets agreed in your last review. These included:

  • recruit to target: Weeengland is 450 students below target for the second year running. This will cost the University £4 000 000 this year alone. You did not ‘aim Higher’: you were limp and ineffectual for one whole year. At least you posed no threat to population growth;
  • introduce a computerised admissions system to eliminate staff discretion: your system recruited no AAA candidates. Your hard drive to recruit was a cock-up. I recall, in particular, the letter sent in error offering sexual health advice to all applicants and requesting that they dispose of used condoms in appropriate recycling bins;
  • cut operating costs by 33% before August of 2014: you seemed on track to meet this target after you decisively axed 40% of registry staff during our worst period of austerity. However, you then re-employed all but one of them as contractors in the middle of our recruitment crisis. Your budget is in deficit, another limp testament to poor performance.

Some have suggested that I terminate your employment without compensation. In light, however, of your many excellent years as gardening assistant, Head of Garden Services, deputy Head of Residential Affairs, Consultant Manager with Capital Academicians, and finally Head of Registry Weeengland will meet all of their statutory obligations for redundancy pay.

You are obliged to accept these terms, and to remain silent on your time here. Your incompetence reflects badly on all at Weeengland. Any further threats will mean that I seek redress for defamation of character. I have insured my image for £1000 000. A slur on my reputation has an attached cost. (I include a schedule of damages detailing the compensation I may seek.)

Information Services have removed your hard drive: apparently it was difficult to find and access to University information systems will terminate on reception of this email. You are legally obliged to return all information you hold on storage devices. Please leave the premises with your private possessions, including that bottle of whiskey you keep under the desk, the dumbbells, your copy of I’m Ok, You’re Ok, your Sinbad dvd and that bag of dead sandwiches.

I will announce your resignation to the University community tomorrow morning as part of my final pre-fresher’s week email about University restructuring in light of the crisis. And please Greg, do not appeal to sentiment. We were once young, naive and immature. That Song of Innocence is now over, and we must adapt to experience.

Yours, Vice Chancellor and Tesco’s Professor of Retail Integration Management

Roberta Rainsford

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