Hiring Right: Steps in Hiring

Hiring Right: Steps in Hiring


Steps in Hiring and Horror Stories


The lifeblood of your business

            Your employees are the heartbeat of your business, whether you are a single practitioner of the healing arts or the CEO of a major international corporation. They are your face on the public view; they reflect who and what you are. They can enrich or impoverish you. This series will provide you with every step you need in hiring, training and retaining great employees.  You will read horror stories about bad hires and how to avoid it happening to you.  You will learn how to locate, hire and make that employee into pure gold, a trusted player who would take a bullet for you.

            What do you know about hiring a new staff member?  How do you find the ideal employee and then how do you retain him or her? What do you do to keep the new hire happy, producing and growing in production? Here are the proposed articles in this hiring series.


Future Chapters in this series

  • The Job Description
  • The ADA (American Disability Act) and other pertinent law
  • The application and Resume
  • The Interview
  • Legal traps and liabilities
  • The contract
    • Benefits
    • Medical
    • Vacation time
    • Sick leave time
    • Bonuses –
    • Games
  • The Hire
  • What do you do after the hire?
  • Probationary period.
  • Sexual abuse, bullying, antagonistic employees
  • Company manual of “what to expect.”
  • Firing – when it is appropriate. How to do it and stay out of trouble.



Not to start this series on a bad note, but I want to stress how bad it can get if you are not aware what a bad employee can do to you. Nearly all employers in these examples were blindsided but they were careless in making the hire and mishandled the problem once it began.


Case number 1.

Claire was a skilled, highly regarded physical therapist in a large city in Texas. She hired Thelma, a thirty something lady as her assistant without checking her background, relying on her application showing experience. Thelma would fight with her boyfriend on the phone. One day Thelma began screaming and running all around the office throwing things. To calm her down, Claire, who was a stocky but strong lady, grasped Thelma by both arms and shook her to stop her from screaming.

Claire was charged with assault and battery, abuse and a litany of other things that were totally untrue.  Had Claire checked the references she would have known she was a mental case.  Claire was taken before her board, put on probation, lost her license and had to move out of state.


Case Number 2:

Angela had a prosperous skin-care clinic in Los Angeles with a dozen employees. Randi worked with her for 3 months when she began being late for work.  Unfortunately Angela didn’t keep any records.  Randi continued being late, and finally Angela issued her a written warning that she could lose her job.

After the third warning, Randi didn’t show, and Angela received a letter from a lawyer, asserting that the male employee in the office had been sexually abusing her and bullying her when he didn’t get his way with her. It happened to be untrue, but truth plays a small role in these cases. Angela didn’t have a clue, as no one had ever complained.

Angela paid nearly a quarter million to the lawyer, and had to pay Randi over a hundred thousand. She had to close her business.

If she had done a background check she would have known that Randi had been fired for the identical thing twice. She didn’t document anything about the series of lates and taken recorded statement why she was late and gotten from her if there was anything wrong in the office.


Case Number 3:

Frank is a DVM (Veterinarian), and owned a string of Vet clinics in Atlanta, Georgia.  Brad, a young Vet was very ambitious, began working overtime, and impressed Frank with his spirit, ability with animals and clients, as well as his desire to please and was promoted to manager. Brad compulsively worked until late in the night, never took a break or rest, and his health suffered from lack of rest.  He grew irritable and was constantly angry.

Two of the women nurses in his office timorously approached him about the treatment of one of the cats about to go into surgery with another Vet.  Brad went postal. He threw a small bulldog he was holding at the woman in front and began cursing them and called them a word that women despise. (not bitch or something so innocuous).

When the dust settled, Frank had to pay these women a hundred thousand plus attorney fees. Fortunately, Frank had enough assets to stay in business, but it definitely played havoc with his finances.


Case Number 4

There are predators who collect regularly from unsuspecting business people.  It pays to be a little paranoid when you start the hiring process.

Ricky, a prospective candidate came into Dr. Jones’ dental clinic and filled out the application. He was very effeminate and asked how the office felt about hiring homosexuals. That stunned the young interviewer, and she stammered, “I don’t think that Dr. Jones would consider that wise.”

The slick prospect recorded the statement, then blew up, pretending to be offended, and stormed out. He wrote a letter demanding an amount of money or he would claim discrimination and sue.  Fortunately, Dr. Jones’ brother Bruno (made up name) was a private investigator and discovered that Ricky made his living doing this. Many victims paid Ricky hush money so he would go away.  Bruno,  6’ 2”, weighing in at 250,  paid Ricky a visit who caught the next bus to the coast.


Case number 5

Dr. Hansen, an MD, had been saved at the First Evangelical Church of Powhatten, a small church in Littleburg, Oklahoma. His employees didn’t like the idea of reading scripture from the Bible every morning at the start of the work day.

Joe Meriweather, dental technician, was not of the faith, didn’t attend morning prayer meetings or go to church with them, he was moved to a tiny windowless room with only his tools as a technician.

Complaining about this to some of his friends, he was told about the law of religious discrimination. He called the EEOC, the office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The matter was brought up before the commission and action was taken to close the clinic.


Negligent hiring and retention

            Negligent hiring and retention.  This is the failure to properly screen employees, resulting in hiring someone with a history of violence or crime, who commits a violent or criminal act during course and scope of employment. Negligent retention is retaining an employee after an employer becomes aware of the employee’s unsuitability because of a history of violent and criminal acts. Usually it comes from failure to do a background check of a new hire. This is a deadly weapon in the arsenal of plaintiff lawyers.

Just a few examples:

  • A furniture company paid $2.5 million for negligent hiring and retention of a deliveryman who attacked a customer in her home.
  • A store customer detained by a security guard as a suspected shoplifter was injured while being restrained and was awarded $10 million.
  • An employee with a criminal record sexually assaulted a child; $1.75 million awarded.


The number of horror stories could fill books in a big library. The United States is lawsuit happy.  Plaintiff lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, i.e., paid a percentage of what they win, and if they lose they get nothing, not even their investment. So most are not predatory and operate only on cases that are sure to win because the facts are on their side. However, there are some that may just sue to shake down the defendant. Fortunately most judges don’t tolerate this.  But it happens.


Fox in the hen-house

Knowing how to detect and avoid a fox in your hen-house is the trick you must learn. This series will show you how to avoid these horror stories and create winners of your hires and they become treasured pillars of your business. But they must be nurtured just like any friendship or marriage. It is a marriage of sorts, with the same devastating effect of a divorce if it is not done right. This series shows you how to do it right.

Now that you know what can happen, the articles that follow in this series will lead you down a safe path and if you follow the marked way you will find the gold at the end of the hiring rainbow.