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Management Insights
Don't Hire a Dud!
By Gregory P. Smith, President, Chart Your Course International

Welcome to your first day at work, says the store manager." "We are going to have you work in the one-hour photo shop." It is very important you show up for work on time and please smile and greet each customer." The very next morning, the new employee arrives 15 minutes late--"car trouble." The following day, a customer complains that the new employee was rude and overcharged her $6.00 for her photos. Low and behold, Friday, the new employee calls in sick. As you drive home from work, you start noticing that the parking lot of your competitor's store has many more cars. Things are quiet for a coupe of weeks until you audit the receipts. Now you are missing $1500. Did you hire a dud?

Webster's dictionary says a "dud" is something "of little or no worth: valueless." In the military, a dud was something failing to explode at the right time and always exploded at the wrong time. Hiring the wrong person is just like letting a bomb blow up in your business-not as deadly, but just as painful. Yes, these are cruel words to describe a person. Nevertheless, today we must be more careful in whom we hire and whom we put in the public eye. The wrong person spells disaster.

Don't get me wrong. Some low performers have high potential and with the right training, development and leadership grow into great employees. This is what good managers do. Unfortunately, wrong people seem to get promoted and become managers. This makes the problem even worse. Now you have a dud trying to lead good employees.

We have taken a long way around to come to this important point . . .don't hire a dud in the first place. Even though we have a tight labor market, don

Gregory P. Smith, author of The New Leader, and How to Attract, Keep and Motivate Your Workforce. He speaks at conferences, leads seminars and helps organizations solve problems. He leads an organization called Chart Your Course International located in Conyers, Georgia. Phone him at (770)860-9464 or email More information is available at

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