Twelve Ways to Hire a Really Bad Employee

The following guest blog comes from Paula Mathews of HR Compliance 101. You can receive more great advice by signing up for her newsletter. Thank you, Paula!

Every time you hire someone you don’t know or haven’t checked out, you put your company at risk. Bad hires drain morale and resources. Some of them even make a profession out of suing employers for harassment, discrimination or bad working conditions.

Here are twelve ways to guarantee that sooner or later you’ll hire someone you wish you’d never seen:

1. Take it for granted that the candidate’s resume was written by the candidate.

2. Let candidates take applications home to fill out, where their friends can help with the reading and writing.

3. Don’t check resumes for unexplained gaps or job switches.

4. Don’t conduct phone or onsite interviews.

5. Don’t worry about what you ask or don’t ask during the interviews.

6. Don’t show candidates where they’ll work and don’t mention the skills they’ll need. Let everyone be surprised when they show up for work and can’t do the job.

7. Don’t involve your current employees in the hiring process.

8. Don’t get references.

9. Don’t worry if a candidate doesn’t remember the names or contact information of past employers.

10. Don’t check references.

11. Don’t verify dates of hire and termination at previous jobs. Let the candidate hide work gaps by changing the start and end dates of jobs.

12. Don’t bother to send out letters to people you reject. You’ll never see them again, so be as rude as you like.

HR Compliance 101 has helped many companies set up interview processes that avoid bad hires, keep companies safe from lawsuits, and also save time and money. For example, phone interviews are a good way to quickly reduce the number of candidates; they take about 15 minutes. The few candidates who remain can then be invited to lengthier onsite interviews.

A phone or onsite interview lets you eliminate candidates who clearly don’t have the correct skills, don’t fit your company culture, or have expectations (for pay, vacation, shifts) that you can’t meet. If you wait until after the interviews to check references, you’ll have far fewer references to check.

Another way to save yourself needless effort is to ask your current employees whether they know any of the candidates on your final list. People build reputations in their field; your current employees can steer you away from those who have built bad reputations.