Dr. Jekyll, Meet Mr. Hyde

In an article in this week’s issue of PR News, I wrote about a subject that I imagine is top-of-mind for many communications executives: hiring. But I wasn’t going for a how-to piece about recruiting strategies; rather, I was thinking about a few recent horror stories I heard from executives who interviewed a candidate for a job opening, swore it was a match made in heaven, and then found themselves in management hell when the new employee showed his/her true colors–and they weren’t pretty.

With the emergence of digital communications platforms, it’s much easier to learn about people beyond their handshake. Between blogs and personal profiles on social networks, some individuals leave very little to the imagination. But it’s still all too common for hiring managers to fall for a standing ovation-worthy performance at an interview and then realize the actor and his character are two very different people.

The article discusses strategies for minimizing the chances of ending up with a Mr. Hyde–from digital detective work to writing tests–as well as a few red flags to look for during the interview process. With that said, do any of you out there have suggestions for vetting job candidates? Any horror stories? If so, how did you undo the damage? Do tell!

By Courtney Barnes

  • James

    Hey. I’ve been hiring staff since before you dressed your first Barbie Doll. I think instincts and good solid questioning by a pro means we don’t have to go down the path of “big brother,” sista.

  • Ken Knorr

    Today’s hiring manager should definitely consider the social networking sites as a place to look in on what a prospective employee brings to the table.

    Another new technology that I’ve found is the Jobsite myizzo.com which has candidates upload a video introduction as well as allows employers to conduct online interviews. It has a social network aspect as well..

  • A

    As a college student graduating in May, I am terrified of the “big brother” affect. I’m not a crazy person, but I am social and enjoy a night out. While I understand there is a line between professional life and social life, it’s frustrating how thick that line must be. As long as I’m not standing on the bar, breaking glasses and flinging around my company name tag, can there be a happy medium?

    I’m hopeful for a future in PR and understand the importance of a solid and respected network. Thus, I will do what is necessary to achieve that for the sake of my future success… but, wow, it would be great if recruiters would opt to rely on good instincts rather than conducting their own social media research. It would certainly take the stress level of job hunting down a few notches.