Ways to Hire a Really Bad Employee…Or Not

By Guest Blogger Paula Mathews – Every time you hire someone you don’t know or haven’t thoroughly checked out, you put your company at risk. Bad hires drain morale & resources. Some people even make a profession out of suing employers for harassment, discrimination, or bad working conditions. Companies should establish very robust pre-employment practices to keep these bad hires from slipping in the door.

One way NOT to hire a really bad employee is not to let your applications leave the building. This will ensure that the person you are hiring is the person who completed the application, not his girlfriend or his mom. A client once made this mistake and hired an employee who couldn’t read & write well enough to do his job.

A phone or on-site interview lets you eliminate candidates who clearly don’t have the correct skills, don’t fit your company culture, or have expectations (for pay, vacation, shifts) that you can’t meet. If you wait until after the interviews to check references, you’ll have far fewer references to check.

Another way NOT to hire a really bad employee is to make sure the employment history is accurate. Once I called to check a reference, expecting that the previous company would confirm a three-year history of employment. Imagine my surprise when the person on the phone started laughing and said that the applicant worked for them less than 90 days and was terminated for poor attendance. What do you think the applicant was doing for the other 2 years and 9 months that he didn’t account for? At the very least, the applicant is not being honest with you and is probably not an individual you should hire. You need to trust the employees who work for you.

If you are interested in learning more, Paula is offering a workshop Twelve Ways to Hire a Really Bad Employee . . . Or Not on Thursday, May 2 from 12-1:30 here at the Hannah Grimes Center. Attendees will leave this workshop with a checklist that will improve their pre-employment screening techniques and help them hire the best employees for their company.

Paula Mathews has been a strategic partner with companies since 2001, helping them create the company culture they have always wanted, comply with State, Federal, and OSHA regulations, and create a stable foundation for growth with defined policies, procedures and handbooks. She brings over 30 years of experience to companies in the construction, retail, funeral, software development, manufacturing, food, and financial industries; she also provides a quarterly newsletter to her business partners. Currently on the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, she has volunteered for Hannah Grimes since 2010.