Bouncing Back from a Terrible Hire

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Most people who are ambitious and goal orientated probably have a touch of narcissism, but it’s the degree of craziness business owners need to be aware of before they recruit someone with such tendencies. 

New employees can cause mayhem. If we haven’t experienced this first-hand, we sure know someone who has. Their way will be the only way; they will do whatever it takes to get their way even if their ‘way’ is immoral or even marginally illegal. 

As if causing chaos and mayhem wasn’t terrifying enough, know that these new staff members – who to be sure will show their true colours on about day 95 of their engagement with you – think that bullying people is one of their natural talents, not something that should be seen as a negative trait. 

Here are some signs that you made an error with your recruit. There are certainly more traits, but this list is to assure you that you’re not alone – we’ve all been there before you:

  • Your new recruit hates being questioned or challenged
  • They can talk their way into or out of any situation
  • They believe they are more capable than anyone else, even though they have no particular skills to do the job or the talents required to manage people and/or projects
  • If things go wrong they will always find someone to blame
  • They expect people to believe what they say no matter what
  • They do not understand the concept of modesty

If we have just sent waves of terror through your body, I feel for you. These people can interview well, but make no mistake, they can be very hard to get rid of. They have the smarts to be consistently one step ahead of you and they will have an answer or excuse for everything. They literally have the hide of a rhinoceros and the survival skills of a cockroach. 

Psychology Today suggests three ways to deal with these kinds of people in your world. They are:

  • Maintain a positive outlook.If you are dealing with someone who enjoys irritating others, then seeing the irritation and frustration they cause will only egg them on to more of the same behaviour. Don’t look ruffled, even if you’re feeling annoyed, and eventually that behaviour should diminish in frequency.
  • Don’t let yourself get derailed.It’s easy to lose your own sense of purpose, or sight of your business goals when a difficult new recruit takes centre stage. You don’t need to attend to everything this person says or does, no matter how much he or she clamours for your attention. Find the balance between moving ahead in the direction you want to pursue and alleviating the vulnerable new staff member’s anxieties and insecurities.
  • Keep your sense of humour.Calling his or her bluff may mean that you ignore the person, but it might also mean that you meet that bluff with a laugh, at least once in a while. Without being cruel about it – remember as an employer you have an obligation to be fair and reasonable – you can point to the inappropriateness of the person’s egocentric behaviour with a smile or joke. 

The great news is that these hires can get bored easily, and if they are not getting the love and adoration they crave in your business, they will look for it somewhere else. Wish them a relieved “bon voyage” and learn the signs for next time. The not such great news is they tend to know all about their entitlements and business owner’s obligations, and they can be capricious with what they do with their knowledge.

 

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