Saturday, October 3, 2015
Agenda Hiring: Social Justice Warriors
If 4 of every 10 applicants intends theft of some form, it is not likely that this statistic includes the myriad of thievery practiced by professional "victims" today; who seek to game the system by fraudulent claims of injury, harassment, and so on. For each "victim", there is a cost that will "heal" their woes and the business owner is tagged, even in fraudulent cases, to bear that cost.
We use analysis to train HR professionals to not only "weed out" the deceptive, but in "content analysis."
Content analysis is the jewel of information, born of intense training and hard work. It is what we glean well beyond the polygraph.
"Why would you like to work for us?" seems like a silly question, but one in which we always seek to learn if the applicant has an agenda other than the norm, for applying for a job.
There are two basic reasons why someone is seeking employment:
1. Earning Money for Provision
2. Satisfaction from task completion and a job well done.
When someone has a motive other than these two (and their close relatives), it is a red flag that warns you that the person is going to bring harm to you.
The most common agendas include political and sexual agendas, which I have covered and will cover in future articles. Lesser ones include corporate espionage, competition, and so on, but are rare and more limited to certain fields.
Common agendas include those who plan, at the time of the interview, to find a way to separate the company from its money outside of legitimate work.
There will always be those who are resume building (a close relative of our two basic motives), but what about someone who deliberately plans to...
"fall on the job"? These are far more numerous than most recognize.
"claim harassment" or "discrimination" of some element ? These are usually above average intelligence but will reveal this in the interview process.
"claim victimization" of some form? This is often directed at an individual.
Some have been "counseled" to seek employment and not disclose a substance abuse issue, just long enough to put the company on the hook for rehabilitation costs, which could be $15,000 and upwards.
Some seek employment just long enough to get unemployment. Some of these have admitted being advised to do this by government workers.
For any of these, the priority can be revealed, as all priorities can be, through the interview process which should include a written statement for both analysis, and the subsequent interview.
Here is a new popular rising star: The social justice warrior.
Hire a social justice warrior and simply count the days until the "event" takes place.
Question: What is the one thing a social justice warrior needs more than anything else?
Answer: An event involving their social angle.
If someone is very public about discrimination based upon race, how long will it be until this person is either "discriminated against" or happens to "witness" a discriminatory event?
This is where we often find the one, a champion against prejudices, suddenly and "surprisingly" finding himself or herself in, can you guess,
a situation in which the very issue they champion, has happened to them!
It is an example of "fake hate" and about the worst thing imaginable is now likely to happen to you if you hire the "social justice warrior":
They will create an accusation that suits their own agenda.
I have had HR professionals tell me that in the interview process, they have had some people raise the issue of sex only to be told,
"We are a non-discriminatory company and do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, sexual..." which is not a sufficient answer to the "social justice warrior."
HR's have told me, "He is waiting for me to say something so he can run to his lawyer!"
I once interviewed a man who kept bringing up sexuality, of which I gave a response similar to the one above.
During the interview, he asked to be excused as he said, "I am unable to compose myself" and left the interview room crying.
He came back in a few minutes later and the interview continued. He said things like, "I'm sure you won't hold this against me" and "I'm sure you understand what it means to be discriminated against..."
None of which I would answer. It was a compelling performance and I knew not to be without a witness in this interview.
I asked a manager from the company to come in, saying that the manager may have some questions, too, asking, "Would you mind?" to which he said, "Oh, not at all!"
I returned to questions:
"You said you just moved here from southern California. What did you do there?"
He said, "I was a waiter."
Bingo. There was my answer. No male, 18-30 is a waiter in southern California.
"What else did you do besides waiting tables?"
He was an actor. Hence, the performance during the interview. I knew that when he was not offered a job, he would demand to know the reason why not and may claim discrimination. I used our "scoring system" which is quite useful and eventually, the company offered the position to one who had scored significantly higher.
I carefully documented his answers for the company, often reading back to him his own quotes. I offered him water, or, if needed, another break. I asked him if he was comfortable. I knew why he was there and what he was up to. He was looking for an easy mark.
Someone with an agenda, or one who views himself or herself as a "victim" in life, is going to import trouble:
They will claim to be a victim when it is you, the business owner, or you, the Human Resources professional, who is actually the victim.
Another modern twist is the social services agenda in which someone in social services has advised the applicant, "if you want to keep your benefits, you have to apply for a job but if you get hired you are going to lose..." and they enter in with the intent on sabotaging the interview. This is fine, as you do not want someone who does not want to work but beware: those who game the system can be clever and may seek to file a complaint against you for not hiring them. Care to go up against a "poor, single mom who just wants to work while you, the wealthy, cold hearted capitalist just wants to keep her down" scenario? It is not pleasant.
There are two very strong motivations for employment:
2. Emotional satisfaction for completion
"Tell me about yourself" is a great way to get to motive.
As humans, we need to survive. This means provision. It is, therefore, a rudimentary element of satisfaction when we have provided for ourselves, and an even intensified emotion when we provide for loved ones. Applicants seeking real employment often begin with their families. They need money. This is good.
I once had an applicant boast how she worked for Walmart where she, an anti-gun advocate, removed all of the hunting magazines, herself, from their shelves, and carefully put them in the stock room.
I asked, "Were you concerned about getting in trouble?"
She said, "No. It takes courage today to stand up for what you believe in."
Me: "What would you say if I told you I was an avid hunter?"
I'm not. Eventually, I told her that I was not. She was initially stunned into silence, but then went into her martyr speak, which is a rebel looking for a cause.
Emotional Intelligence, as seen in self awareness: very low.
Agenda driven: very high
Risk: very high
Reward: very low
It is likely that this applicant would find someway to get herself the attention she craves and it will be at the cost of some company's well being. The stance she must take will find something to protest. It depends on the job, but she must be noticed and she must be the center of attention and has a desperate need for relevancy so much so that it drives her. Her motive is self driven, and not provision for her family, for example.
Most agenda driven applicants are not this easy to spot. Analysis guides the questions.
Some business owners feel a deep seated emotional satisfaction for the provision of their employees and their dependents, in a special, unique way.
In interviewing business owners, I have found that some of them feel the weight of decision making upon their shoulders because they know: the decision I make here could impact the lives of my employees, their spouses, and their children.
These are special people.
They are often above average intelligence, gifted, and take personal risk with their own money. They feel a responsibility to their employees, therefore, those of whom they hire are those of whom they hold a certain level of trust for, almost as if they are joining the family.
This is especially true towards the person or persons hired who are responsible for hiring, as well as those who the business owner personally promotes. It is not that the low level employee is a family member, which is why I wrote "almost" in the sentence above.
Small business owners often care a great deal more for their employees than the employees are aware of.
The small business owner often puts his own money, including mortgaging his own home, as well as his or her family name on the line, complete with the reputation the family has in the community. It is anything but impersonal.
When interviewing small business owners over the years, I have learned this natural consequence of the concern they have:
Theft is very personal.
When an employee steals from them, they often feel personally betrayed. When someone files a fraudulent claim against them, or against one of their employees, there is the costs involved:
*Cost of hiring attorneys
*Cost of insurance
*Cost of settlements
*Cost of unemployment payments
*Cost of the loss of time
But there is also the cost of stress and the personal feeling of being attacked. This can impact his or her health and family.
When, for example, a business owner runs a restaurant, the greeting the employees give, at the door, is a reflection of the owner. This is how owners often think.
Even when the business grows, the decisions become even more heavily weighted.
They are counting on Human Resources professionals to protect their investment, their employees, and even their name.
The one who considers himself or herself a "social justice warrior" will, one way or another, be involved in an "incident" that is the precise topic of their protest.
Hire someone with an agenda other than earning money and personal satisfaction and you run the risk of importing trouble of unforeseen consequence to your company.
For formal training opportunities for lie detection, content analysis and interviewing, please see Hyatt Analysis