End Potential Nightmares Right at the Interview

PIC - ME AT CLOSET DOOR 1 3-17-2015
There are days when interviewing is not my favorite thing but a necessity for all employers.

The process of interviewing prospective staff in the area of direct care can seem unending.  This is the case for both large and small scale providers of assisted living, adult day health care, in-home care and others.  While everyone in care has to do all that we possibly can within reason and within our budgets to minimize employee turnover, the reality is that people quit and they get fired.  This occurs for a number of reasons.

Sometimes employees become so sullen that their approach to care is no longer comforting for residents and others being served.  They may repeat disciplinary action they have been subjected to in the presence of residents and others which is absolutely inappropriate.  Some vent personal concerns in the presence of staff and those being served from payroll disputer to disagreement with a supervisory directive and this too is not good for the work environment.

An indication of possible laziness and a fire hazard


Others manifest lazy habits from how they manage sanitation to how they attend to maintenance issues from minimizing pathogen spread to cleaning the lent trap in the dryer.  Others read way too much into small things and as a result seek to create problems for you with regulators.  We call these the “sour grapes” crowd.

Bottom-line is people sometimes need to be let go.

You still have to wonder how much of this can be avoided if we paid attention during the interview.  I conducted an interview of a potential direct care worker not long ago and even with all my experience I was astonished.  She literally bragged about how the manager of the home where she previously worked was insensitive to residents, refused to use the night to clean the home to keep it as pathogen free as possible and even set out snacks hours in advance including dairy products. She further bragged that she called a regulatory agency, Recipient Rights which enforces the rights of the mentally ill in group living programs, to report her findings.  She continued to lament how such behavior was well below her standards, etc. etc. etc.

When I questioned her about whether or not she sought to make suggestions to those she felt were at fault for these mistakes she was evasive.  When I asked how long she was on that job, she replied, “2 days”.  Imagine my thinking after that.

A couple of things were obvious.  For one she could not see herself as a mentor.  The ideal employee would have noticed certain performance issues in coworkers – primarily minor ones – and then would examine how he/she can help the offender get past this behavior for the overall benefit of the work environment.  In addition, I knew an employer has to be careful with someone who seems to look for the worse in every relationship and not the best which predisposes them to a spirit of complaint and not solutions.

PIC - ITS ALL ABOUT MEOf course there is more to be on the lookout for, such as the person who brags about how in their last assignment they kept the place together, everyone else was worthless and without them everything would have crashed.  Again, you would be dealing with someone who was clueless about team spirit.

Human behavior is far from an exact science and none of us want to live in a bubble of paranoia.  However, if we train ourselves to be alert, some employee grief may be prevented before the interview is over.

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