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The Cost of Not Hiring Integrity

April 14 2011

“It could have been worse.” The hiring manager said with a sigh.  “We quickly realized that he could be putting the company at risk by his actions.  Frankly he could be putting my job at risk.  It got very personal–quickly.  What he saw as a slight of hand and no big deal was a slippery slope.  I reiterated our integrity agreement that he signed and coached him on approaching matters more thoughtfully.”

“And?”  I said.  ”Did it help?”

“From the moment I suspected an integrity issue to the day he left I was constantly worried.  I wasn’t sleeping or able to concentrate consistently on our business at hand.  Hiring him, knowing there might be an integrity issue was a costly mistake.  It won’t happen again.”

When an employee lacks integrity it can be costly on many fronts.  It not only could put the company and direct supervisor at considerable risk financially but it could also put the company’s reputation at risk.  What happens when a company loses the public’s trust?

There is a personal toll that a manager also pays.   When trust is lost, the working relationship takes a sharp turn downward.  The manager shortens the leash and begins to look and listen closer to everything the employee does.  This takes the manager away from productive and profit driven activity and drags her into preventive activities.  This also puts the employee on edge because they know they are being watched.  The manager spends less time developing her business and people and more time looking for the next crack in the dam.  If you wonder if these worries and distractions follow a manager home….just ask the spouse or significant other!

Every great manager wants to develop their people but like the other WHIM qualities, integrity can’t be taught.  Even the most talented manager can’t teach this quality.  You must hire integrity.

The other significant cost is now all that you invested in time and resources must be repeated as your outgoing employee must be replaced.   The costs and loss of productivity add up.  We must get it right the first time.  Every hire must be Hired on a WHIM.

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