Is personal drama a recruitment deal-breaker?

 In Leadership

Trust highlighted in greenSo the candidate has a car accident on the way to the interview, or their child is suddenly sick the day they are supposed to start the new job. Maybe their ex-wife shows up and creates a ruckus in the parking lot. Or your top finalist for the VP job informs you that they still want to be part of the final process but that they need to drive back to Oregon to put their mother in a nursing home ASAP.

I file all of the above under the category of PERSONAL DRAMA. Life can be messy and we have all had our share of “stuff” happen. The problem with drama as it relates to new employees and recruitment is that the instant something arises it causes us to feel that shadow of a doubt about the person’s commitment to the job. It nearly always reminds us of some past employee who we helped, trusted and counted on and who let us down in the end. While each situation is different, this guide may help you to know when to give the person another chance and when to simply cut your losses and move on:

5 excellent reasons to give someone another chance

  1. You are using this moment as a test to see what happens and paying close attention to behavior and actions.
  2. You genuinely believe the person and have absolutely no reason to doubt them.
  3. While inconvenient, the delay or complication in the process is not detrimental.
  4. The person seems genuinely aware of the effect their personal issue has on you and your process and is able to acknowledge this in a satisfactory manner.
  5. The person has agreed to make it up to you in a way that actually works and gives you confidence in their thought process.
5 bad reasons to give someone another chance
  1. They are ideally qualified and perfect for the job-except for the drama. Drama is a red flag, be careful not to ignore it and hope it goes away.
  2. You want to be perceived as someone who helps others who are having a hard time.
  3. You believe in hope.
  4. You have no other candidates.
  5. The person is desperate for a break and you feel sorry for them. Run!
“Hope for the best, expect the worst-and take what comes.”‘ (1999, H. Crane: Miss Seeton’s Finest Hour)
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