Hiring Wisdom: How To Tell If You Took the Wrong Job

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

By now I should be jaded, but, still, I am amazed by the “first day on the job from hell stories” I hear from those who attend my presentations.

In spite of all the research, educational articles, and training programs devoted to the importance of employee on-boarding, it seems most of corporate America didn’t get the memo.

Just last week, a hiring manager named Archie shared these details of his first day experience with a former employer:

  • Upon arrival, no one was there to meet and greet or even knew that he was starting.
  • The person at front desk did not know who to call or inform he’d arrived.
  • No agenda, materials, or training schedule
  • Building security credentials missing; they were sent to wrong location.
  • Everyone was too busy, no time for lunch. He ended up eating alone.
  • Co-workers all said something along the lines of: “Good luck and welcome to a life of non-stop work.”
  • The onsite manager didn’t know what to do with him or where to place him.
  • No one checked back with him to see how his day went.

When Archie went home that night, he told his roommate: “I think I made a big mistake.”

He did give it another four days, but things didn’t improve, so he tendered his resignation. Today, he’s happily employed by a competitor.

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These kinds of horror stories were much of the inspiration for my latest book, The 5 Firsts: A Simple System on On-Board and Retain Top Talent. If you have a “first day on the job from hell” story to share, please do!

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.

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2 Comments on “Hiring Wisdom: How To Tell If You Took the Wrong Job

  1. I wrote an article a few months ago about my friend Herb who had a similar experience.  You are right, this scenario plays out over and over again.  However, there are lots of things we can do to help make the transition phase much easier. We, for example, are in process of implementing on Onboarding technology platform that helps smooth the process and orders tasks to for individuals to be responsible with.

  2. “Building security credentials missing; they were sent to wrong location.” Ha! At least someone was willing to give those out. I had to wait 3 MONTHS to be given a key and pass code to the door.

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