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You Might Have Hired the Wrong Person If …

April 4, 2013

While on an 8-hour journey back to my hometown of Beaver Dam, Kentucky from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I needed to listen to something to prepare me for the sights and sounds of what coming back home to a small, country town entails. So I decided to listen to none other than fellow “redneck” and comedian Jeff Foxworthy. If you want some insight into my small, rural town in Kentucky, some of the iconic Jeff Foxworthy “You might be a redneck” jokes certainly do not fall far from the truth. Regardless, I am proud to say I am one of those rednecks and his jokes may or may not fall far from describing me and my hometown ...

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As I listened to Mr. Foxworthy rattle off a few of his jokes such as, “You might be a redneck if you take a fishing pole to Sea World” and “You might be a redneck if you’ve ever filled your deer tag on the golf course,” it struck me as to how ridiculous some people really are at times and how you never know what to expect from others. In the workplace, there are also some behaviors employees can exhibit that may leave you scratching your head. Consequently, Mr. Foxworthy inspired me to think of behaviors that poor performing employees exhibit. Let me introduce the first installment of the “You might have hired the wrong person” series.

You might have hired the wrong person if …

The employee cannot work with other members of the team. Most professional jobs today require extensive teamwork and collaboration to accomplish a common goal. If an individual is putting his or her own goals ahead of those of the team’s, it may lead to conflict, inefficiency, and even a loss of productivity. Hiring someone who is willing to and capable of working collaboratively is essential for success in most occupations.

You might have hired the wrong person if …

The employee is continually tardy or is absent from work. Dependability is one of the most common behaviors that is desired most when talking with job incumbents and job content experts from the healthcare industry to the manufacturing industry. Simply put, employers need someone they can count on to consistently show up for work and show up on time.

You might have hired the wrong person if …

The employee cannot function during times of change. Several jobs present a changing environment; many times, one day will be very different from the next. If the job continually presents changing circumstances, adjusting behavior and attitude to accommodate the changing circumstances becomes increasingly important. Not only will the individual not perform well in a job that requires adaptability to a great extent, but he or she will also most likely not be a good fit for the position and the likelihood of the individual leaving may increase.

By assessing candidates up-front in the hiring process with job-specific assessments and asking the right interview questions, the agony of hiring the wrong person can be prevented. With the high costs of turnover and the inconveniences of hiring a poor fit, individuals that do not seriously rethink their selection system may be the butt of the joke and creating their own “You might have hired the wrong person if…” list in the future.


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Jason Frizzell Jason Frizzell is a Consultant at PSI with experience in designing and implementing valid and legally defensible large-scale selection systems across a number of industries. He is involved in project management, supporting and managing clients within the healthcare, manufacturing, technology, retail, call center, mining, and transportation industries to help each in identifying, selecting, and developing top talent. Jason also holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. His area of expertise include developing selection tools, competency modeling, efficient selection process design, job analyses, and talent management.