This month, we take a break from our regular hiring & leadership blog to bring you 6 short detective stories from the case files of Hyrum Maximillian, P.I. Check our blog each week for new episodes. Scroll down to comment and share the worst hiring disaster you’ve heard of.

 

Usually it’s the bosses that come to see me, but this time it was the boys on the line.

I was down at McCafferty’s, having me a nice chilled draught of his locally brewed root beer (you do remember Prohibition, don’t you?). The boys tumbled through the door just minutes after the work whistle blew, and I heard Sammie bellow, “T’at’s the t’ird one to quit t’is munt’! It’s like we’ve got a durned revolving door!”

“That’s the third one to quit this month!”

The rest of the men were mumbling about always having to train replacements. Sammie went on, “I finally get one fella taught how ta run t’ boiler, and ‘soon as I turn aroun’, he’s gone! I cannut keep a man in t’at spot for more t’an a few munts, and it’s muckin’ up the rest of the line!”

By now I was leaning in to listen, ‘cause I smelled a case brewing. Charlie caught my eye, and he points at me and says, “What do you say, Hyrum? What’s wrong with us that keeps the new hires from staying on? I want to work beside a man I can depend on to be there, and I’m getting tired of covering two jobs every time somebody walks out.”

“Yeah!” Tommy chimed in, “One of our best line engineers left last month, too. I couldn’t believe a long-timer like him would blow the joint, but he complained that it was too stressful for him to stay without a reliable crew. There’s a few goof-offs I wish would leave, but we’re starting to lose the better ones!”

“I’m getting tired of covering two jobs every time somebody walks out.”

I raked four fingers through my hair and said, “All right, boys. Settle down. I’ll take the case.” I didn’t expect to get paid, but I figured they would buy my root beer if I could turn around their turnover problem.

But first, I needed to have a little chat with the boss man.

The president’s secretary was talking to the telly when I walked in, “Yeah, we’re hiring,” I heard her shout into the horn, “When can you start? … Tomorrow? Yeah, that’s great. And if you’ve got any friends, bring ‘em with you!” She hung up the receiver with a sigh and looked up from her notes, “You must be Mr. Maximillian. The president, Mr. Bederleeder, is expecting you.”

“Call me Hyrum, ma’am.” With a look of genuine concern, I asked, “Is it really that bad that you’re hiring people over the telly?”

“I feel like I’ve got all 10 fingers poked into holes in the dam,

and a big crack is forming right over my head.”

The big man stepped out from behind his large oak desk and answered my question: “Well, Hyrum, we’ve got so many gaps to fill, we don’t have time or staff to keep up with regular interviews. I feel like I’ve got all 10 fingers poked into holes in the dam, and a big crack is forming right over my head. I’m just hoping that some of them stick around long enough for us to make quota this quarter.”

I got right to the point, “Mr. Bederleeder, if I may be so blunt, you’ve got a hiring disaster on your hands. Some of the folks you’ve brought in never intended to stay—they think of you as a weekly bread-making machine while they find a job that won’t expect too much of them.”

I’m happy to say, Mr. Bederleeder wasn’t too proud to admit his problem. “You’re right, Hyrum. It is a disaster. I feel like I just got lucky finding the few really good men I’ve got, and now I’m worried that they’re going to leave me, too. I wish I knew what made them stay so long so I could hire more like them.”

“I feel like I just got lucky finding the few really good men I’ve got . . .”

“Allow me to introduce my partner, Orion. With your permission, I’d like him to take a look at those folks you’ve got coming in tomorrow before you hire them. He’s got a sixth sense about who’s likely to stick around and who’s just using you before they skip off to the next thing.”

Sure enough, Orion started weeding out the unstable and uncommitted applicants. Once the president saw some results, he started trusting Orion’s judgment a lot more. Now he won’t hire anyone without Orion giving him an intelligence report. Turnover is down 37%, and Sammie has kept his boiler man for almost a year now.

Mr. Bederleeder opened up an unlimited tab for me down at McCafferty’s, so I’m swimming in root beer. Orion has done it again.

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.

Scroll down to comment and share the worst hiring disaster you’ve heard of.

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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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