This month, we take a break from our regular hiring & leadership blog to bring you 6 serialized mystery episodes from the case files of Hyrum Maximillian, P.I. Check our blog each week for new stories.

 

“Where’ve ya been, ya lazy bum!”

The super was yelling at the last guy who dragged in at the factory. As for me, I was watching the boys on the line for their reactions. A few were shuffling their feet and staring at the floor, but most of ‘em looked like they didn’t have a care in the world. Showing up late seemed to be par for the course at this establishment.

Showing up late seemed to be par for the course at this establishment.

I walked on through to the GM’s office to introduce myself properly, “Hyrum Maximillian, Private Investigator, at your service.”

The big man’s name was Joey Leadham, General Manager of Gidgets Incorporated. I knew that already ‘cause I read it on his door. What I didn’t know is whether he realized the root cause of his problem or not.

Joey stretched out a meaty paw and gripped my hand. “Thanks for coming. We’ve got a big problem around here, and I can’t seem to figure it out.” He went on to give me the cliff notes of his autobiography, and it sounded all-American to me.

“My pa worked at this factory from the day Mr. Banksbetter opened it up. He brought me up to tell the truth, keep my word, and give an honest day’s work for my pay. He never got promoted past supervisor cause of his lack of education, but he had the respect of every man at the plant. I’ve been here 21 years now myself, and I’ve always stayed true to those values. I just don’t understand how a body can take a check and then not show up to do his job.”

“I just don’t understand how a body can take a check
and then not show up to do his job.”

I raked four fingers through my hair and turned my steely gray eyes to the shop floor window, “When did things start going downhill?” Joey thought for a moment and answered, “Most of our boys have been on the line for years. They’re good, salt-of-the-earth folks. Occasionally a few of them get rowdy, but they’ve always worked hard for me.”

He went on, “Until about 18 months ago, things were fine. Then one of our customers made a video of our Gidget XL with one of those drone thingies and posted it on Youtube. Suddenly demand went through the roof. I had to double my force and go to two shifts to keep up.”

“But the new boys are not like the originals. They wear dirty clothes, drag in half an hour late, and disappear entirely when I’m not watching. They hide out in the men’s room or behind the racks in Shipping. What’s worse, they’re pulling down some of my old boys with them. Complaints are up, production is down, and we’ve had several accidents due to carelessness.”

“Complaints are up, production is down,
and we’ve had several accidents due to carelessness.”

I furrowed my brow. My mental machine is not the fastest, but it usually gets to the right answer in the end. “Mr. Leadham, I think I know what your problem is. You hired folks of a different character. I call them social loafers. They’re not acting like you expect them to, because they didn’t bring the right character with them to the job. Maybe they have experience, but their attitude is all wrong. If you keep them around, pretty soon the whole factory will drop down to their level.”

Joey blurted out, “But what can I do? I thought I was hiring the best of the guys that applied!”

I looked him in the eye and said, “Sincerely, Mr. Leadham, I’m sure you did your best. But some things about a man don’t show up on a job application. You’ve got to look deeper. With your permission, I’d like to bring in my silent partner, Orion.”

Now Orion, he doesn’t talk much. But he sees it all. He has a sixth sense to find the bad apples in the barrel. He can predict when a guy is going to bring a lousy attitude to work. I told that GM to have Orion look over all the new applicants before he made the decision to hire.

Orion can predict when a guy is going to bring a lousy attitude to work.

Couple of months later, I stopped by to see how things were running. Seemed to me like the floors were shinier, the boys were busier, and the super was a whole lot happier. Joey’s meaty paw shot up over the desk to grab mine, and for a minute I thought he was going to hug me.

“My boys are back to work! I sent half of the newer crowd packing, and Orion helped me pick out replacements that have the right kind of character. A few of them needed some on the job training, but they took to it all serious-like and caught up pretty quick.”

That’s how it goes when you bring Orion and me to the party. They don’t call me Hyrum for nothing.

Afterword:
Orion is an EEOC compliant pre-screening assessment that measures job applicants for counter-productive tendencies like theft, drug use, tardiness, and not following policy. Use Orion as a low-cost solution to avoid “Hiring Disasters” like the one above.

Follow us on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook to get the latest episode of Hiring Disasters.
If you’d like to meet Orion, click here to request a sample or a demo.

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Dr. Shero believes that leadership can be learned and that the best organizations intentionally develop leadership at every level. Leaders have the privilege of influencing other human lives for the better. That's why Phillip cares so much about learning to lead well and helping others do the same.

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