Don’t Hire Difficult People. EVER.



Many of you ask questions about your work place and difficult people – especially with unemployment rates being low. One reoccurring issue is how do you know who NOT to hire! Here is my take on insuring a toxic free zone.

Difficult and Toxic People don’t just make others feel miserable; they create problems for their companies in many ways. They increase turnover, lower morale, and reduce profits.

When hiring employees, look for two characteristics: judgment and attitude. Typically, difficult people do not have either of these attributes. Everything else can be trained.

Second, avoid hiring the people who will never succeed — those who cannot do what they are told and those who cannot do anything unless they are told.

Ask questions that help get responses to make better hiring decisions.

1. Why did you leave your last position?
2. What are the key factors/skills you bring to building a successful team?
3. How do you stay motivated and focused?
4. What are the two elements of your experience that will help us reach our goals and satisfy our clients/customers?
5. If you had an issue with another employee, whether your subordinate, colleague, or superior, how would you go about resolving it?
6. What are two or three considerations a company has to focus on to build great customer relationships?

Lars Dalgaard is CEO and cofounder of SuccessFactors, one of the world’s fastest-growing software companies with revenues over $30 million created a list of the interesting milestones for the last seven years of his company. Her is my favorite:
* Employing no jerks

All the employees SuccessFactors hires agree in writing to 14 “rules of engagement.” Rule 14 starts out, “I will be a good person to work with—not territorial, not be a jerk.” One of Dalgaard’s founding principles is that “our organization will consist only of people who absolutely love what we do, with a white-hot passion. We will have utmost respect for the individual in a collaborative, egalitarian, and meritocratic environment—no blind copying, no politics, no parochialism, no silos, no games, —just being good!”

If you need a better understanding of identifying Toxic People, find resources that will give you the skills you need! Whether it is my book, Toxic People: decontaminate difficult people at work without using weapons or duct tape or other resources, do something! They will contaminate any work group or business environment.


Let me know what you think! Your questions have been terrific. Marsha

Difficult People Come in All Shapes and Sizes

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