As we are on a bit of a roll here on careers, and jobs, at One Degree I was just thinking … over the course of my career I have hired hundreds of folks. And, there was only one person I ever hired that really fooled me.
Most, if not all, the fine people I have hired, and subsequently worked with have gone on to fabulous careers and that pleases me no end. I still stay in touch with a great many of them and am always delighted to hear about their successes!
The only one that fooled me did so on purpose. He really did a number on me. Looking back I don't know what I could have done to prevent it. Be curious to hear your thoughts …
Here is the story:
I was running a public company and was in the process of hiring a GM for one of the divisions. That hire BTW was one of the best hires I recall!. We are still in touch and I was even somewhat responsible for him meeting his current wife. They are still together have a bunch of grand kids and now happily in retirement.
In the process of selecting this new GM to run the division, a candidate's resume came across my desk. Impressive. I met him three times, my HR person met him once, and we checked out all references and called previous employers. This guy got 10 out of 10 from everyone!
I left the actual hiring, or recommendation to hire, to my new GM of the division, who checked this fellow out as well and we all agreed he would be a great addition.
Luckily, it only took less than 6 weeks for his true colours to shine through.
I received a call one morning from a police station in SW Ontario asking if "so-and-so" belonged to me?
Our company supplied Universities and government organizations, like the police and fire departments with electronic equipment.
Well, our guy had shown up, on a sales call, to this detachment, at 9 am, on a Tuesday … hammered. Not just smelling of booze, or hung over … tanked. Full stop.
We dispatched a couple of our guys to pick him, and his vehicle, up and return him to us forthwith!
He was fired summarily (There were a few other things we discovered that prompted that as well, but the saying goes … Hire slow, fire quick!) and we proceeded to do some investigation to see if there had been any other incidents with our clients. Luckily, only one other. Those fences were mended, and we replaced this guy with a more suitable candidate. By more suitable, I mean someone who at 9 am is not loaded to the gills.
The morale of this story is .. you cannot check everyone out. In my case, one out of hundreds is not a bad record, but I still feel bad, sad really, about that one.
All the folks I spoke to at his previous employment, gave glowing reviews. Obviously, they did not want to pull the trigger on letting me know this guy had issues. BTW, in two of the meetings, I met him at a bar. I always do that, just in case. He drank soda each time, was sober, and extremely presentable and so on and so forth.
So, lesson learned?
– Resume content is certainly a fine way of separating the wheat from the chaff, but it does not tell the whole story.
– References are more than likely planted (Why would you give the name of someone as a reference that would trash you?) so you call the previous employers and maybe even interviews can be faked.
So, I ask you … what would you would recommend as a hiring practice or technique that would give you 100% success? Is it possible?
And, of course, nowadays the Social Media space is one place to look and get a glimpse, but this was way before the Net!
Thoughts? I would be curious to hear what you think?