To mark St. Patrick’s Day (here in London), of course I have to write something about leprechauns. But to keep it relevant to jobs and hiring, it seems appropriate to explore a central leprechaun recruitment issue: How to handle a leprechaun you’ve short-listed for a job.

That special interviewing and vetting techniques are likely to be required should come as no big surprise; after all, leprechauns are wily and mischievous, with a legendary agenda of their own, but with potential for big payoffs for the right employer willing to bet on riches at the end of the rainbow.

Here are some general useful guidelines—“Ten Leprechaummandments”, if you will—to ensure your effectiveness and safety while interviewing a leprechaun:

1. Never preface a question with “I would like to know”. That may be interpreted by the leprechaun as one of your three wishes, in the event the candidate is or becomes a captive, and therefore forced to fulfill your wish-trifecta.

2. In general, their work experience is limited to making shoes—in some instances only one shoe of a pair (or so it is said of them). Accordingly, short-listing should, where possible, be for positions with great “skill transfer” potential. Among the careers and jobs most suitable for a shoe-making leprechaun are

  • Dictator mentor: Joseph Stalin and Mussolini’s fathers started out as shoemakers (Mussolini’s father having been a blacksmith, which means, among other things, making shoes for horses).
  • Nike executive (mentor): Having mastered the ins and outs, so to speak, of shoe making, a Leprechaun will have a leg or shoe up on the competition and be well-qualified to mentor iron-fisted corporate leaders.


  • Boot and policy maker: for jack-booted dictators who haven’t used up their three wishes.

Note that in terms of satisfying ambitions of global dominance and undisputed rule over the masses, either advisory role may be suitable for a short-listed leprechaun.

3.  If you ask whether an Irish brogue has been a career asset, expect an answer about a “1. a coarse shoe of untanned leather, formerly worn in Ireland and Scotland; 2. a man’s heavy oxford shoe, usually with decorative perforations and a wing tip”. That’s assuming that the leprechaun can understand your non-Irish accent.

4. If, because of the other kind of Irish brogue, you don’t understand anything the leprechaun is saying, never ask him to repeat it—your request may be interpreted and wasted as one of your three wishes (if you have three coming to you).

5. Never tell a leprechaun he’s been “short-listed”. Not only is he likely to take offense—he may also sue you and your company for discrimination if he’s not hired.

6. Don’t be surprised if the leprechaun is decked out entirely in green (or, much less commonly these days, red, depending on his lineage). Moreover, don’t expect the leprechaun to ever wear anything else on the job. Although shoe making has only a limited skill-transfer potential in a segue to hospital employment, the leprechaun’s insistence on wearing green may require taking a close look at a hospital career, even if not in the hospital OR. Alternatively, a position with Greenpeace or some other environmental protection group could be given close consideration.

7. Don’t hesitate to offer so-called “dollar-a-year” jobs that provide a token honorarium to select leprechaun professionals who, in effect, are volunteering their services. Presumably, the leprechaun will have lots of gold stashed somewhere, even if not “at the end of a rainbow” (which is obviously blarney designed to deflect would-be thieves from the real cash cache).



8. If you are not sure whether the candidate (who may resemble Chris, Toby or the figure shown in the London and Dublin photos) is a leprechaun, you might consider dangling a compensation package with payment in gold rather than dollars as a litmus test. Being hardcore gold bugs, a leprechaun will pounce on that offer.

The problem with that is, in light of virtually limitless quantitative easing and an exploding supply of Fed-issued fiat U.S. dollars and risk of hyperinflation, almost every savvy job applicant will (or should) respond the same way and go for the gold.

9. If you are considering a leprechaun for a position with respect to which he is inexperienced, don’t say that the company is willing to take on a “green recruit”. That will either confuse him or land you in court (again, for discrimination, however veiled).

10. If the leprechaun is not suitable for any current opening, consider holding him captive and extracting three wishes. To maintain an appearance of perfect professionalism, you should carefully consider making the first wish one consistent with your industry code of ethics and expectations, say, “I wish there were a job I could offer you”, which will raise no eyebrows or suspicions, …

….since you say that every day.

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