Zelda had remained where DCI had found her when he arrived on the scene. As he approached her for his preliminary interview, she appeared to have dozed off (it was nearly 9:00 PM), but in fact she was in the early stages of shock. She’d drunk the sugary tea which was the universal British antidote to shock, but it hadn’t helped much, and she was loath to ask for the Mount Gay with tonic and lime for which the occasion seemed to call.
But Zelda became quite alert looking when Fritz introduced himself and asked for her name etc. As the interview proceeded, Zelda told him of her scheduled meeting with Cummins, of finding the body and calling for help. She explained her role as a project manager and, therefore, as a hiring manager. In response to his questions about the nature of her project, she said that he would need to present any such questions to her boss since her project was in stealth mode.
She then explained that Mr. Cummins, as the parent company’s senior most recruiter, had been assigned to source candidates for her project. Then, once she had made hire decisions, Cummins’ job was to secure their employment via a competitive but within guidelines offer, to sort out any remaining candidate questions or concerns, to arrange a start date, and to oversee the onboarding process — with all of this being done as quickly as possible in order to fill the key positions assigned to Cummins because of his presumed expertise. She also described the events of the previous day which almost lost them a great candidate and then, when she had turned things around as much as possible with that candidate, were further compromised by Mr. Cummins’ proposing an almost insultingly low end job offer.
DCI Fritz took all of this in while quietly assessing Ms. Kahniefmeyer’s demeanor, speech patterns, body language, and all the other clues which he’d learned through experience could signal whether or not the “witness” was being entirely truthful, leaving something out or avoiding some aspect of the situation, going to be a keen and accurate or muddled observer, etc. Ms. Kahniefmeyer was making a very good first impression with no obvious signs of lying, obfuscating, or muddying the waters, but Fritz knew better than to let first impressions solidify before their time.
Once Fritz knew that Cummins was a recruiter, the folders began to make much more sense as did the chart on the wall, but something the “witness” said gave him pause. “I really don’t know why Mr. Cummins would have any such folders or that chart. We’ve automated the hell out of all of our HR processes and data over the last couple of years, really automated all of our administrative and recordkeeping processes. Cummins should be relying on and annotating those automated records, to include records on each job or position against which he’s recruiting, records on each hiring manager and how they like to work as well as their KSAOC preferences, records on each candidate and on every step of the candidate’s passage through the recruitment process, along with summary charts and analytics of everything you could ever want to know.” Zelda had added: “And while I understand that he might want a giant chart so that, at a glance he could see where he is with meeting each hiring manager’s needs, I have absolutely no idea, from the pictures you’ve shown me of his chart and from a quick look at these manila folders, what information is contained in those mysterious, color-coded tick marks.
Since it was now getting on toward 11 PM, and he could see that Ms. Kahneifmeyer was at the end of her tether, DCI Fritz suggested that she leave her car in the office parking lot, and let a policewoman take her home and pick her up again in the morning, about 10:00 AM. He knew he would need her help to decipher those tick marks, which instinct told him were likely to be important to solving this case, so he asked her if she could clear time on her schedule the next day to assist him with this. By now Zelda would have agreed to anything just to get out of there, and so she did.
Stay Tuned For Chapter VI