Ex­am­ple one

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Jobs -

Hir­ing new team mem­bers and suc­cess­fully in­te­grat­ing them into the com­pany is a lot of work.

For real-life ex­am­ples of times when this has gone hor­ri­bly wrong, I reached out to re­cruit­ing soft­ware com­pany Jaz­zHR. And boy, did the HR man­agers they sur­veyed de­liver some doozies.

Corey Berkey, Jaz­zHR’s di­rec­tor of hu­man re­sources, of­fers some point­ers on what to do if you face sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances as the ones that fol­low.

A new staffing spe­cial­ist “ap­proached sev­eral of her co-work­ers about where she could pro­cure var­i­ous il­le­gal drugs and then asked about hir­ing a hit­man to take care of her cur­rent hus­band’s ex-wife, as ev­i­dently the al­imony thing was a prob­lem for her. She also told her co-work­ers how she had ma­nip­u­lated her hir­ing ref­er­ences in or­der to get the po­si­tion.

“The man­ager called the po­lice and the spe­cial­ist was fired.”

Ex­am­ple two

“Mid-in­ter­view, the can­di­date be­gan to sweat pro­fusely. I of­fered wa­ter, turned the air con­di­tioner to a lower tem­per­a­ture as he be­gan to mum­ble. I thought, ‘Oh, no, I've got a med­i­cal emer­gency on my hands.’

“He ex­cused him­self to go to the re­stroom but didn’t re­turn after 15 min­utes. I asked a male staff mem­ber to en­ter the men’s re­stroom to check on him. The door was some­how locked and bar­ri­caded. The ap­pli­cant wouldn’t an­swer our calls to open the door but be­gan ram­bling.

“I called the fire depart­ment, and after an­other 20 min­utes ,the ap­pli­cant emerged to­tally in­tox­i­cated (empty bot­tle in hand) and pos­si­bly un­der the in­flu­ence of some­thing else.

“The next day his wife called me re­quest­ing to know when his start date would be. No job of­fer was ex­tended to this can­di­date!”

Berkey’s ad­vice: When you’re in sit­u­a­tions like these, you first have to check your emo­tions. Quickly as­sess­ing the sit­u­a­tion and dif­fus­ing the ten­sion is al­ways key.

It’s also worth­while to start com­mit­ting the ac­tiv­i­ties to mem­ory be­cause you may need thor­ough notes on the sit­u­a­tion for the fu­ture.

If things es­ca­late be­yond your con­trol or be­come un­safe, it’s im­por­tant to reach out to the right au­thor­i­ties right away.

Ex­am­ple three

“We had a new hire who was pro­vided a com­pany di­rect billed credit card to pay for food and lodg­ing when at­tend­ing new hire train­ing in an­other of­fice lo­ca­tion. When the bill ar­rived, there were a num­ber of charges on the card from an adult nov­elty store lo­cated close to the ho­tel in which the em­ployee was stay­ing.

“When asked why there were charges un­re­lated to the food and lodg­ing ex­penses, the em­ployee stated he did not want his wife to find out about the adult nov­elty items he pur­chased be­cause they were for her birth­day.”

Berkey’s ad­vice: Part of be­ing in peo­ple and tal­ent man­age­ment means you have to pre­pare for the un­ex­pected. New hire ori­en­ta­tion and on­board­ing are key as they al­low you the time you need to take a new team mem­ber through the rules and poli­cies of your work­place. Tak­ing the time to shore these items up, and re­visit as nec­es­sary, is key.

Make sure peo­ple know what is an ac­cept­able use of com­pany funds (even when it may be ob­vi­ous) and have an ac­tion plan in place for when some­one breaks the rules.

Ex­am­ple four

“Two days be­fore a new hire’s agreed-on start date, he called and asked if his start date could be moved back a week. We agreed. His new start date ar­rived, but the em­ployee did not. We called, left mes­sages and sent e-mails with no re­sponse . ... We moved on, in­ter­viewed again, hired some­one else.

“Two months later, the no-show can­di­date called and asked if he could start now, he had to leave the coun­try for an emer­gency and now wanted to start here. He did not, how­ever, have an an­swer to ‘Was the des­ti­na­tion with­out cell cov­er­age en­tirely?’ ”

Berkey’s ad­vice: Set clear ex­pec­ta­tions for how/when you’ll com­mu­ni­cate with a can­di­date and what you ex­pect in re­turn. Make sure that in­ter­nal stake­hold­ers have a com­mu­ni­ca­tion plan be­tween of­fer ac­cep­tance and start date. HR, re­cruiters, hir­ing man­agers, train­ers, etc. can all step in here.

Let can­di­dates know in an am­i­ca­ble way that they were not se­lected, be­cause you never know when the op­por­tu­nity may arise to re­sume that con­ver­sa­tion (this is also im­por­tant for your em­ployer brand).

While these ex­am­ples ad­mit­tedly are ex­treme, they also show that hir­ing man­agers and lead­ers can be vi­tal when it comes to re­spond­ing to se­ri­ous work sit­u­a­tions. They can serve as a cru­cial line of de­fense for the well-be­ing of the en­tire busi­ness.

Know the law, have clear poli­cies, com­mu­ni­cate with re­spect, and reach out to the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­i­ties or ex­perts as needed.

Wanda Thi­bodeaux is a writer and pro­pri­etor of Tak­ing­dic­ta­tion.com.

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