10 Keys to Avoid Hiring Toxic Workers

Toxic employees in the workplace generate high noise. For employees, in the meanwhile, it is tough to work with a toxic boss. It would be ad...

Toxic employees in the workplace generate high noise. For employees, in the meanwhile, it is tough to work with a toxic boss. It would be advisable to establish a protocol to identify possible toxic workers, and do not frivolity this subject because it requires an in-depth study of the behaviors.

"How did I come to hire that person?" It is the questioning that we have at some point made ourselves frustrated, those who have been hiring staff for a long time and, moreover, we usually keep the person in the company to avoid the unpleasant step To say goodbye.

10 Keys to Avoid Hiring Toxic Workers
To hire toxic collaborators is extremely costly for our organizations:
  • They negatively affect the team.
  • They are black holes that, due to their bad attitude, absorb the energy, morale, and commitment of other collaborators.
  • Damage the relationship with current customers.
  • They cause loss of clients and potential new sales.
  • They are unproductive and generate more work for the company.
When we finally decide to separate them from the enterprise, the cost of this is added to the uncertainty that makes the equipment that a person leaves for the possible increase in their work and the insecurity of who will be the next to go.

According to an article by G & A Partners, replacing a partner can cost the company, depending on their position, between 30% and 150% of the person's annual salary. The more specialized, the more expensive area will be the replacement.

The Harvard Business Review notes that 80% of turnover is due to poor recruitment, which in most companies is not a priority.

For all of the above, whether you are the founder of the enterprise, General Manager of an SME or a large corporation or the leader of a work team, one of your priorities should be: To create the best possible work team to achieve the objectives. To achieve this, it is essential that you focus on innovating and establishing a recruitment process that considerably increases the chances of hiring the person who best matches the culture and vision of the organization so that, almost immediately, it will add up.

Next, I share the process of collaborative recruitment that we develop in the company, and that is giving excellent results:

1. Apparently, identify what you expect 

Job descriptions do not necessarily define what is required of the person. I suggest you take the time to expand this story detailing the following aspects:
  • The purpose of the position: In a maximum of two lines explains the rationale of that position. Why is there such a job?
  • It defines its responsibilities, that is, what the person in that position has to achieve; Not the functions you have to perform.
  • It details the type of experience that the person has to have to be successful in the position; What you should know how to do.
  • Describes the type of soft skills or personality strengths that are required to match the position and culture of the company; Such as assertive communication, stress management, high level of organization and self-management, leadership, etc.

2. Invest time in recruitment

Depending on the position, you can rely on recruitment agencies and social networks - such as LinkedIn - to locate candidates.
Also read: 7 Ways to Keep Your Employees Happy (and Working Hard)

3. Filters by mail

Before you interview, send an email to all the candidates who have responded to your advertisement thanking you for the interest and asking them to answer the following questions that are essential to the process:
  • Why are you interested in the position?
  • What are your strengths as a person and how can they join the organization?
  • What are the expected minimum income and desired benefits?
My recommendation is to interview those who best describe their strengths and who are within the defined salary range for the position.

4. First Interview  

Interview, then, only those who by their description sent by mail and their CV, meet the requirements defined for the position.

During the meeting, focus on identifying if the person has the attitude and skills desired for the position and the company by asking questions that allow the candidate to talk about their experience:
  • What has been the most severe problem or disagreement you have had with a boss?
  • With which of your previous bosses did you become more congenial? How was he?
  • What has been the work or company that you have most enjoyed and why? And which one did you like least and why?
  • How do you keep the team aligned?
  • What programs or processes have you implemented for?
  • Tell me if you had a lot of stress in a job and how you handled it
  • Share me a success case in the implementation of
  • Currently, how do you (define any process) that is relevant to the position? (This will allow you to validate the current knowledge to perform your work).
What has been the work or company that you have most enjoyed and why?
Focus on asking questions that allow you to evaluate situations that you have already lived and avoided hypothetical questions (How would you handle or solve?) Because all you are told is the level of imagination of the person.
Also read: 10 Things You Should Never Do With Your Employees

5. Create a personal connection

The lighter and personal the more relaxed interview will feel the candidate, and more thoroughly you will be able to meet him.

6. Apply diagnostics to identify strengths and abilities

Apply to the selected candidate's diagnoses that allow you to determine their soft skills, those personality traits that characterize them. Today there are several at an excellent price that can help you; Like the strengths of viacharacter.org or the skills Gallup.

Remember that it is more important to hire by attitude than by aptitude.

7. Interview Panel 

This is the best part of the process. It selects from 3 to 5 better candidates so that they are questioned by some of their possible collaborators and subordinates, who will form the panel of interviewers

Before the interview, ask each of the members of the group to write and send to the Human Resources area two questions they would like to ask their future boss and partner (the interviewee).

Human Resources will group and validate the questions in an interview format that will be given to each panel participant at the time of the interview.

During the panel, each of the participants will ask their questions to the candidate, and everyone will evaluate their degree of mastery with their response.
"It’s Better to Avoid a Toxic Employee than Hire a Superstar" 
Panel questions include questions that allow everyone to assess the candidate's type of relationship and mentality.


The General Directorate asks you and another area director for a project for a specific date. Both agree on what activities belong to each one to be able to fulfill in time and form. You commit and perform your part. However, the other director is not fulfilling his due and the deadline to submit the project is due, which can make them both as irresponsible to the Directorate General.

Share and briefly explain three concrete actions to manage this situation and fulfill the commitment.
  1. Mentality. Answer that you agree or disagree with these statements:
  2. Work does not come to socialize.
  3. For things to go well, it is better to make them oneself.
  4. A high and controlling image is necessary to be respected.
  5. The rules were made to follow them, not to question them.
  6. It is tough for someone to impress me.
  7. It is important to have control to avoid problems.
  8. It's hard to find people eager to do things.
  9. Feedback from the team
After the panel interviews are over, meet with the team to exchange their impressions, asking them questions such as:
  • Based on what you have heard and observed about the candidate, would you like to work with him as a peer or boss?
  • Based on the information you have today from the candidate, do you consider that the team will be successfully integrated?
  • Based on the information of the candidate you have today, do you consider that he is the best person to help you achieve your purpose or objective?

9. Select the person best evaluated by the group or start the process again

The participation of the team during this process significantly increases the chances that the individual will function in the organization.

10. Thanks by mail to all the participants that speak very well of your company

People are the soul and heart of the business, which will make the initiatives possible or not. Invest time in selecting the best ones for your business.

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