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

I saw her silhouette through the frosted glass, so I jerked my feet off the desk and combed four fingers through my hair: Hyrum Maximillian, Private Eye, was about to get a new case.

She said her name was Betty. Came from someplace called HR, and it sounded rough. All the stuff in her joint was growing legs and walking off. First, it was just the pens that went missing, then it was a lunch sack in the icebox, and this morning it was a $10-spot from the office kitty.

“I took the case, ‘cause I’ve seen this kind of carnage before.”

I took the case, ‘cause I’ve seen this kind of carnage before. I had a hunch of where to start looking, and frankly, I needed the dough.

Things had started out innocent enough. Their outfit was growing, so they hung out the “Help Wanted” sign and reeled in some new hired hands. Only problem was, some of those hands were attached to sticky fingers.

I’m no slouch, so I started sniffing out the place right away, building up a list of suspects. I spied this one fella with shifty eyes hanging around the supply room. He kept ducking in when no one was watching . . . and coming out with bulging pockets. Next time he went in, I slipped over to his cube and went through the desk drawers. Sure enough, there was the spare key to the cash box, right on top of poor Johnny’s missing lunch sack.

“Sure enough, there was the spare key to the cash box…”

I showed Betty the evidence, and she wasted no time giving him the bum’s rush. Can’t keep folks like that around—it’s bad for morale.

Back in the office Betty sniffled and pulled a handkerchief to dab her eyes, “He seemed so nice in the interview. But after we gave him the job, he totally changed! I don’t know how we ended up hiring a thief who would steal right from under our noses! Who would do such a thing?” I nodded with a grim face—a thief can dress up, smile, and give a firm handshake same as you and me, but interviews don’t tell the whole story.

Betty looked me straight in the eye and said, “Hyrum, how are we going to keep from hiring someone else that would steal from us? I’ve got to interview for his replacement tomorrow!” I smiled a little and combed four fingers through my hair to enhance my charm, “Why ma’am, that’s our speciality.”

I’ve got a silent partner, and it was time to bring him in. Back where we came from, folks call him Orion. Like the constellation. He doesn’t say much, but he’s hardly ever wrong. So I slipped my thumbs behind my vest, rocked back on my heels, and said, “Line ‘em up, ma’am, and we’ll tell you who’s straight and who’s crooked.”

“. . . folks call him Orion. Like the constellation.”

The perp was savvy, I’ll give him that. I couldn’t have picked him out of the applicant line-up myself. But he didn’t figure on running into my partner. Sure, the thief thought he was smart, but Orion was smarter. He sniffed out that rotten egg from a whole pool of candidates. He only has to look at them once, and he knows who is likely to put his hand in the till. It’s like he’s got X-ray vision or sees the future. He always knows the bad ones before they’re hired.

The case was closed, the thief was out on his ear, and the dame from HR got her new hire. The new guy seemed like an honest chap, and I figured he’d work out just fine. As she walked out my door, Betty turned and asked, “Will I see you again?” I winked and said, “Ma’am, you can call us any time.”

Orion and me, we make a pretty good team.


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.

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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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