Subscribe to Inc. magazine
HIRING

A Tale of Horror From the Hiring Desk

Who knows what terror lurks out there in the land of potential hires. Follow our CEO heroine as she learns valuable hiring lessons in this 2-part Halloween tale.
Advertisement

As we begin our dark and spooky tale, you the reader should know that there are at least three frightening acts of hiring danger in the story below. They are not for the faint of heart and you may have experienced these horrors personally. If so please alert your fellow hirers so all can learn to prepare from these tales of terror.

Lucinda Slate was just about to leave the office of her company, Slate and associates. She had spent a long day sorting through resumes trying to find the perfect new hire. It was frustrating. They needed a new Office Manager soon. With all their growth, things were getting disorganized. Another two weeks without a hire and the wheels would start to come off the bus, so she posted a simple ad that would attract people.

All of the resumes started to look the same. As if they had all used the same online template. There was no substance, no personality. Just the same business jargon trying to make useless tasks sound like important accomplishments. Finally she finished the stack and was ready to go home.

Lucinda wasn't thrilled with the few selections she had made, but at least she was done with the dull and painful task of reading page after page of people's exaggerations. They all started to blend in her brain. She needed to stop. She could see the autumn leaves blowing outside her window and wanted to head home before the incoming storm started making the roads wet and slippery. It was dark and quiet outside her office door. She was pretty sure everyone else had already left.

As Lucinda packed up she felt a cold chill on the back of her neck. Suddenly she heard a loud knock. Startled Lucinda flipped around to see the door fly open. Lucinda screamed! There in the doorway was her worst nightmare! It was Steve, her associate holding a huge stack of more resumes. Lucinda dropped her things, took the stack, sat down and quietly sobbed as she began the tedious task of sorting through the new resumes and cover letters. If only she had a simple way to attract and identify worthy and compatible candidates.

Lucinda entered the conference room. It was particularly dark outside that day which left the room with a sad gray tone from the large windows. Lined up outside are the few candidates she hopes will be worthy from the resumes she sorted the previous week.  Lucinda was anxious from the need to get someone on board.

One by one the applicants come into the conference room and spend time with Lucinda. Hoping to convince the best of the bunch to like Slate and Associates, she turns on her charm and aggressively sells each of them on working at the company. They stare at her like zombies as she feeds them her brains verbally. They can smell Lucinda's desperation and get excited at the prospect of the job that sounds perfect. All the applicants leave pleased at how easy their interviews went.

With the interviews over, Lucinda went back to her office to decide on the candidates. She slowly laid out each of the three resumes on the desk and checked her notes. Suddenly a strange feeling came over her. She felt queasy. The blood drained out of her face as if sucked out by a vampire. She shrieked as she stared at her notes and realized what had happened. She was so intent on selling the candidates on the company, she never really paid attention to what they had to say and now had no real thoughts on which person to hire. "Oh My God!" She thought. What if she missed the tell tale signs of a bad employee?!? What if she hires the wrong person who destroys the company?

Lucinda had decided upon Slate's new Office Manager Rosemary because she seemed attractive, confident and eager to please. Her references all had glowing reviews, in fact they all sounded similar. It was a bit odd. Rosemary seemed so perfect...so hypnotic.... yet something seemed a bit amiss....she seemed almost TOO perfect. Still Lucinda needed the Office Manager fast. So she hired Rosemary figuring she could give her 90 days to see how it went. After all, how much damage could she do in a few months? Little does Lucinda know that a storm is brewing.

Is Rosemary the cause? Will she tame the wild Slate office or create chaos in the shadows? Will Lucinda gain control of her hiring hassles? Have you identified the acts of danger?  Tune in Tuesday for the chilling conclusion and the lessons to be learned from the tales of hiring horror.

Last updated: Oct 26, 2012

KEVIN DAUM | Columnist

An Inc. 500 entrepreneur with a more than $1 billion sales and marketing track record, Kevin Daum is the best-selling author of Video Marketing for Dummies and the executive producer of Amilya! on 77WABC New York. Sign up here and never miss out on Kevin's thoughts and humor.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



Register on Inc.com today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Livestream events | Comments
EMAIL
PASSWORD
EMAIL
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
PASSWORD

Or sign up using: