Head hunter abuses Wendy Harmer on Twitter


  • By Kristin Shorten
  •  news.com.au
  • March 26, 2013 12:27PM
  • Aussie exec calls author ugly on Twitter
  • Joe Waddington says he is ashamed of his tweets
  • The recruiter says his tweets border on trolling

AN AUSTRALIAN executive head hunter has been forced to delete abusive tweets after telling Wendy

Author Wendy Harmer

Harmer she is “F***ing ugly” on Twitter.

Joe Waddington, managing partner of Chamberlain Executive, used the social networking site on Friday to tell the writer, radio show host and comedienne that “there’s a thing called plastic surgery”.

@wendy_harmer F***cking ugly too” he tweeted on March 22.

“I don’t accept that argument, there’s a thing called plastic surgery,” he then replied to another tweet.

Waddington, whose Twitter account links to his company website, later deleted the tweets.

The Brisbane-based recruitment manager said he tweeted the comments while having a few drinks after a barbecue with mates and must have had “a rush of blood to the head”.”It was a disgusting thing to say. It was just awful. Now I’m deeply ashamed about that,” he said.

“To be perfectly honest with you, I was a bit drunk.

“I really think I should (apologise). I’ve just been too embarrassed quite frankly.

“If given the opportunity I would give my unreserved apology for a comment that was crass and unforgivable.”

Harmer said she had been “astonished more than anything”.

“It’s remarkable. How can you expect to be well regarded professionally and carry on like that?” she said.

“Most of the trolls that are on Twitter don’t identify themselves and you find out they are 15-year-old boys, not company executives.

“The other weird thing about it is that anyone who knows me would know that I’ve had extensive plastic surgery and advocate on behalf of Interplast for kids in developing countries who require plastic surgery but he’s not even smart enough to work that out.”

Picture: Twitter

Harmer said she and others had sent complaints to Waddington’s website but were yet to receive a response.

However Waddington, who works in the financial services sector, said he and his partner ran the company – and the website – themselves.

“Joe is personally involved in ensuring the successful delivery of executive recruitment assignments and strategic consulting for a variety of clients, whilst also offering an ongoing career management service to individuals,” the site says.

Waddington, who uses social media to insult public figures, told news.com.au that his behaviour bordered on trolling.

“Yeah it probably does (border on trolling) quite frankly,” he said.

“Am I concerned about it? I suppose in a small way but it happens to me.”

Picture: Twitter

Mr Waddington said that while he regretted his tweets about Harmer, he is unapologetic about calling Prime Minister Julia Gillard “fat guts” and a “lying heifer” with a “big fat yapper”.

On March 16 he tweeted “BREAKING: Australian scientists have developed the world’s first ‘mass contraceptive device’…pictures of @JuliaGillard in every bedroom.”

“Don’t forget I’m not the only one (who tweets about Gillard),” he told news.com.au.

“If you go through tweets I think you’ll find there a lot more comments made about Ms Gillard than mine. “I think mine border on the mild.”

He has also labelled Labor Minister Greg Combet a “buffoon”, said Kevin Rudd had the “gonads of a pre-pubescent” and uses expletives to describe Treasurer Wayne Swan.

Picture: Twitter

He recently tweeted that Senator Stephen Conroy should be “sent straight to a psychiatric ward and sectioned”.

“I absolutely am anti-Labor,” he said.

“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion I believe. I’m not going to hide behind a nom de plume.

“That’s really how I feel about this atrocious Labor government and quite frankly I’ll stand by (the tweets).”

The HR specialist said he was not worried about how his public comments reflected on his business.

Picture: Twitter

“If organisations take offense (sic) to what I write and my politics that’s their right and there are thousands of other recruitment companies they can use,” he said.

“Some executives are in positions and running organisations that will impact on a political basis so then of course they have to be very diplomatic and that’s understandable.

“I think it just depends on circumstances.”

He also rejected that he would look unfavourably at job candidates who Tweeted expletives, insults or abuse.

“I don’t look at candidate’s tweets and that sort of thing,” he said.

“A candidate will stand on their employment record and that’s the criteria I look at.

“If they have embarrassing photos on Facebook that’s their personal business. Obviously it would depend to a certain degree on the role they’re applying for but that should not impact on their employability.”


Mr Waddington tweeted an apology.

“@wendy_harmer Dear Ms Harmer, I would like to offer my unreserved apology for the unforgivable comments I made on Saturday,” said the first tweet.

“@wendy_harmer  I am thoroughly ashamed for the crass comments I made. It would perfectly understandable if you ignored any apology.”

Harmer responded at 4.30pm.

“Thanks @exec_hunter. Let’s that be the end of it, between us at least… now how about them Broncos?”

Follow @itsKShort or email kristin.shorten@news.com.au



As The Age saw it


Read more

Misogyny and equilibrium in the market for ideas

9 thoughts on “Head hunter abuses Wendy Harmer on Twitter

  1. wow n these types of recruiters are always preaching about being careful on social media coz prospective employers will check wht u do… but it all makes so much more sense… i’m not getting rejected for jobs coz i lack the skills (which i actually dont lack)… i’m getting rejections coz i’m not attractive enuff for them to be put thru for…

  2. So, it’s okay to abuse the PM on twitter, if there are worse comments out there?

    Seriously, what is wrong with people? If something is wrong, it’s wrong. It doesn’t become morally right because there is something even worse occurring. Morality is not meant to be a comparative measure.

    This is why charged murderers don’t use the defense: “There’s serial killers out there-in fact my one murder would be considered mild”
    or shoplifters say: “Well I stole some items from the supermarket, but there are armed robbers stealing money from the tills-by theivery is comparatively mild”

  3. I’ve said some really dumb shit while drunk, but I’m proud to say that I’ve never gone off on racist, misogynistic rants. Being drunk doesn’t absolve you of what you’ve done, it just lowers your inhibitions and makes you more likely to say what you really think.

  4. Must be drinking all the time. Makes me wonder about the level of talent in the banking sector if this is the ‘Top Head Hunter’ in the industry.

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