What are employers concerned about when hiring new people ?

Hiring people comes with a few very real risks. The dangers aren't that obvious, but experienced employers, particularly those who've had a few bad moments, know what they don't want.

Alcoholism at work, drug abuse, theft, fraud, and a variety of actual crimes are the landscape of the workplace around the world, and employers want as little of it as possible.

The basic ritual of employment is a minefield. These standard tests are an indication:

  • Background checks
  • Reference checks
  • Psychometric tests
  • Math tests
  • Logic tests
  • Drug testing
  • Criminal record check
  • Credit reports (applies where finance or cash are involved)

It is quite possible for a single person to undergo all these checks and tests in the course of being hired.

Employers sometimes have to take what they can get, but that can mean getting second rate staff. Instead of ?Class A? they get Class B, who can be people with either fewer qualifications, less experience, or lower standards of work and management or supervisory skills. The result is that more oversight by management is required.

The problems get worse when the B class start hiring C grade staff. This is adding another dimension to the lowering of standards:

A lower quality supervisor is a real risk for management. For example, some of the C grade may be friends of the supervisor, making the workplace a boy's club. The B grade supervisor either doesn't know any better, or is so stupid he thinks management doesn't know any better. While hiring, it creates a set of possible appeals, as well as defeating the whole idea of employing good quality staff on merit.

It can be disastrous. These sorts of problems, which rarely if ever happen with better staff, are likely to be much more common.


A warehouse has to fill an order and despatch it to a customer. The B level supervisor runs the job on autopilot. His C grade staff know how to do basic orders, but this one's a bit difficult. They don't have the knowledge and don't know all the complex routines. They're not even sure what some of the articles in the order are. The B grade supervisor doesn't, either.

They try to do the job, and louse it up. They claim innocence. The management has to try and clean up the mess and holds an internal hearing to find out what actually happened. The B grade supervisor denies any involvement, which is ridiculous, but it adds some more fuel to the fire.

Meanwhile the customer is furious, and talking about suing for breach of contract. The client is lost, and the order has to be redone to at least avoid the penalty clauses.

The result is that the B grade supervisor is fired. The C grade staff are removed as soon as they can be replaced, because they just can't do the job. The whole process, since hiring the B grade supervisor, is a total loss. It's been expensive, too, because the customer had an opportunity to get some extra mileage out of the mistakes. The contract wound up operating at a loss.

An A grade employee is the ideal, gets the job done, and make sure ?teamwork? means something more than a question at a job interview. Reliability and a real ?attitude?, not the cosmetic kind, are the important factors, almost more important than skills.

Employers aren't picky because they have nothing better to do.

Quite the opposite.

If they're not picky, they can find themselves doing much worse.