May 11; Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing; MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK: 365 Daily Bible Verse & One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful
Chapter Five: Hiring; 11 May
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD
is to be praised.
|Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing|
“Why on earth did you hire him?” I asked the sales manager. The Senior Territory Manager had shoulder length hair. He was wearing a leather jacket and a three-day beard that passed for the latest fashion. His eye followed every woman. He looked like idle Euro-Trash sauntering toward a comfortable café to pass the afternoon. Even his surname was French. Let’s call him Rob.
Our work was selling high-end medical devices to hospital accounts. Nurses were the key influencers for our products and services. But these women were more than clients for that one sales representative. They were targets. Rob was a fox in a hen house.
He was a management headache who should not have been hired. Rob was making substandard decisions and his personal presentation was not fit for a dance night club, less so a professional presentation to inspire trust and confidence in the new medicine we were selling. The females may have bought into the ‘services’ that Rob was selling—but they didn’t buy his products.
John William Gardner, who served as a Marine Corps Officer in WWII and later in Lyndon Johnson’s cabinet, said, “When hiring key employees, there are only two qualities to look for, judgment and taste. Almost everything else can be bought by the yard.”
Rob lacked judgment and taste.
During the job interview, the manager was fooled. Rob was appropriately, fittingly conservatively attired and made an outstanding first impression. Con men often do. His hair was short and well groomed and he sported no facial hair. His suit was conservative and he was well spoken and respectful. He was on “Vince Lombardi time” for his job interview appointment, that is to say he was 10 minutes early. His resume may have had some gaps and there might have been some questions, but Rob sailed through the interview process under the time pressure to fill the position.
So how did he get hired? How, I wondered at the time, could management make such an irresponsible decision?
Your Business Professor has developed over the decades a deep sympathy for the hard decisions managers make. The boss in this example had his reasons to hire this cad. And it all just wasn’t pretty.
Staffing up a start-up places crushing demands on the hiring manager to find talent fast. And to generate sales fast – to stay ahead of the burn rate of limited seed-capital.
Rob was also highly recommended by his older sibling, who as one might imagine, strongly suggested hiring his kid-brother man-child. Rob’s brother, as it happens, was a physician and one of our key customers who was instrumental in our new product launch.
The hiring manager was in a dilemma: take a chance on a hire or certainly alienate a significant customer.
It turned out to be a no-win for the manager, as these things often go. And Rob was soon let-go.
Rob was terminated when management knew for certain that his physician older brother could not damage the company.
The job interview is the best that you will ever see the candidate. He will never be as appealing; once the candidate is hired the applicant’s real persona is released.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30