Rogue Employee of the Week – The case of the lunchtime drunk.

Posted: February 15, 2012 in Hiring and Firing, Rogue Employees

“Bob,” a new hire, seemed to be a capable, though not stellar employee in the mornings. Apparently, however, he turned his lunch hours into happy hours. Employees began to notice that he turned into Mr. Hyde in the afternoons. He did little work in the afternoons and even fell asleep at his desk on a few occasions. Other employees even complained of excessive flatulence in the afternoons. Bob was demeaning toward the female employees. He boorishly tossed Hershey Kisses at them and asked them to join him for drinks after work. They somehow resisted his charms. Poor Bob was promptly terminated before he caused the company any real problems.

Hiring the wrong person is a costly and time consuming endeavor, even if you promptly terminate him (in fact, most employers do not promptly terminate; human nature being what it is, employers do not want to think that they made a bad decision). The question becomes, how do you hire the right person in the first place?

A careful vetting process is important. If you read my blog often, you know that one rogue employee on your staff can ruin your whole day, or your whole year. While many management lawyers will caution you against Google and social media searches, you won’t hear that from me. While there is a theoretical risk that you will find some “prohibited” information on someone’s Facebook page, it’s well worth the theoretical risk to vet the job candidate. I say to do a complete as possible internet search to look for legal reasons to reject the candidate.

Also, you should really check references and ask probing questions. Be wary of references that provide vague answers or faint praise. Listen carefully.

Conduct a second interview and ask tough questions. Most interviews are cursory and the employer does all the talking. Make sure that the candidate can handle the position and is right for the position.

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