7 Jokes About Employees You Wish You Didn’t Hire

Jan 25 10:33 2010 Michael Mercer, Ph.D. Print This Article

Every manager hired some employees they wish they never hired.
This article gives you methods to avoid hiring such employees.

Every manager hired some employees they wish they never hired.  To make light of – and also put light on – hiring losers,Guest Posting I now give you a special gift: 

a.  Jokes about types of employees you wish you never hired

b.  Solutions:  Methods you can use – so you avoid hiring such creeps

Solutions include pre-employment tests, special interview tips and more to help you stop putting lousy employees on your company’s payroll.


Joke #1 = Some employees are so lazy . . . even if they have a work-from-home job, they still get to work late.

Solution:  Use a pre-employment test that measures Work Ethic.  If an applicant scores low on the test’s Work Ethic scale, then you need to find someone with more gumption and industriousness. 


Joke #2 = Some employees are so stupid . . . when they find out they can apply for other jobs online, they ask, “Where does the line start?”

Admit it:  You hired some employees who have the IQ of room temperature. 

You create expensive problems when you hire employees who are not smart enough for the job.  They find it hard or impossible to (a) learn the job and (2) correctly solve problems encountered on-the-job. 

Solution:  Pre-employment tests of mental or cognitive abilities helps you hire people who are smart enough to learn and handle a job.  Mental abilities tests help you measure brainpower abilities, such as

*  Problem-Solving

*  Vocabulary

*  Arithmetic

*  Grammar

*  Handling Small Details

Importantly, you need to determine specific “benchmark scores” you need for each job.  You do this by conducting a “benchmarking study.”  Have your best employees take the mental abilities pre-employment tests.  From that, you discover the test scores they get.  Then, you can prefer hiring applicants who get pre-employment test scores similar to your best employees. 


Joke #3 = Some employees are so mean . . . they would make monks curse.

Solution:  A pre-employment test that forecasts behavior on-the-job can help you avoid hiring nasty and wicked people.  Mean people may get horribly high scores on certain pre-employment test scales:

*  Aggressiveness

*  Excitable

*  Power Motivation 

So, if an applicant gets high scores on those pre-employment test scales, you may want to find a better, nicer applicant.


Joke #4 = Some employees are such criminals . . . they ask you to call them by their nickname – which is two letters – “JL.”

Solution:  A pre-employment test forecasting potential criminal behavior may help you avoid hiring unsavory characters.  Using a dependability pre-employment test, beware when you test an applicant, and the applicant gets “high-risk” or bad scores on these two test scales:

*  Theft/Stealing concerns

*  Substance Abuse concerns

For example, one pre-employment test I researched and created has those two scales, along with three other scales.  To research and develop the Theft/Stealing scale, hundreds of prisoners locked-up in jails – convicted of stealing crimes – filled-out my research questionnaires.  For the test’s Substance Abuse scale, hundreds of people convicted of DUI and/or drug possession answered my research questionnaires.  Also, hundreds of non-thieves and non-substance abusers answer my research questionnaires – to serve as comparison groups. 

From that huge research project, I discovered specific questions convicted thieves or substance abusers answered statistically significantly differently then non-thieves or non-substance abusers. 

That pre-employment test includes questions that help you differentiate (a) criminals from non-criminals and also (b) substance abusers from non-substance abusers.

Make sure you hire people who are unlikely to be thieves or substance abusers.


Joke #5 = Some employees are so crazy . . . even their imaginary friends won’t play with them.

Solution:  Pre-employment tests do not predict if an applicant is mentally ill.  Fortunately, a behavior pre-employment test tells if an applicant may have work-related “personality problems” that result in the person being a difficult employee. 

For example, I notice people with unpleasant work-related personality quirks often score the following on a behavior pre-employment test:

*  Low score on Subjective Reaction to Pressure – a whiner

*  Pessimistic – down-in-the-dumps and low confidence

*  Highly Excitable – do not light a match near them

If the applicant also scores high on the pre-employment test’s Aggressiveness scale, then you should avoid that job candidate like a plague.


Joke # 6 = Some employees are so unhealthy . . . when they go to a club they order gravy-on-the-rocks.

O.K.  You’re not supposed to take health matters into account when hiring.  Instead, you need to focus on hiring people who can do the job. 

But, then your company complains about healthcare costs. 

Q = Who rings up a lot of your company’s healthcare costs? 

A = Employees who lead unhealthy lifestyles. 

“Wellness programs” are popping up in companies – to help employees transform their unhealthy lifestyles into healthy lifestyles.  If your company might need a wellness program, ask yourself if the reason is because it hired many people who have unhealthy lifestyles, resulting in huge healthcare costs.

Solution:  Of course, follow employment rules and guidelines.  But, if you have an applicant who oozes unhealthy attributes, then you might see if you can find another qualified applicant who does not look like death warmed over.  Then, you decide which one you hire.


Joke #7 = Some employees are so cheap . . . they chase garbage trucks with their shopping lists.

This is a huge problem:  Some managers feel thrilled buying cheap products or services. But they do not weigh the cheap cost versus the product’s or service’s quality and actual results.  As you know, cheap seldom equals quality. 

Before starting my consulting firm, I was a corporate manager at a big company.  We described such cheap managers using this put-down:  “Some managers feel thrilled to save a nickel – but, in the outcome, they waste a quarter.’

Solution:  In the job interview, ask for examples of purchasing decisions the manager candidate made.  Probe how they made buying decisions.  Did the candidate (A) focus on buying the cheapest items or (B) analyze the quality of the product or service obtained for the cost involved?  Avoid hiring managers who pride themselves in doing (A) – but show little or no regard for (B).


Pre-employment tests and certain job interview methods help you avoid hiring people who are lazy, dumb, act wacky, or have other unwanted characteristics. 

Yes, I realize I made jokes about many types of employees you wish you did not hire.  The jokes are funny.  But, you never find it humorous dealing with lousy employees. 

So, use pre-employment tests and careful job interviewing to make sure you avoid hiring clowns.

COPYRIGHT 2010 MICHAEL MERCER, PH.D.  www.MercerSystems.com

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About Article Author

Michael Mercer, Ph.D.
Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

Michael Mercer, Ph.D., is an industrial psychologist with expertise in helping companies hire winners and pre-employment tests.  Dr. Mercer devised 3 pre-employment tests – FORECASTER(tm) TESTS – to help companies hire outstanding employees:   “Abilities Forecaster(tm) Test,”  “Behavior Forecaster(tm) Test,” & “Dependability Forecaster(tm) Test.”   He wrote 5 books – including HIRE THE BEST – & AVOID THE REST(tm).  You can get his free 14-page recommendations on “How to Hire Winners” plus subscribe to his monthly “Newsletter” at www.MercerSystems.com

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