How You Can Avoid Hiring Such Creeps


Every manager and owner hired some employees they wish they never hired. To make light of – and also put light on – hiring losers, 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 tire pressure.

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 abilities or cognitive aptitudes help you hire people who are smart enough to learn and do a job. Aptitude 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 intelligence-type tests. From that, you discover the test scores they get. Then, you can prefer hiring applicants who get pre-hire test scores similar to your best employees.



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

Solution: A personality test that forecasts behavior on-the-job can help you avoid hiring nasty, wicked people. Mean people may get horribly high scores on certain 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 helps 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, for comparison groups, I had hundreds of non-thieves and non-substance abusers also answer my research questionnaires.

From my huge research project, I discovered specific questions convicted thieves or substance abusers answered statistically significantly differently than 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.

Your goal = 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 pre-employment personality 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 pre-hire personality test:

  • Low score on Subjective Reaction to Pressure = whiner & complainer
  • Pessimistic = down-in-the-dumps and low confidence
  • Highly Excitable = do not light a match near them!

If the applicant also scores super-high on the personality test’s Aggressiveness scale, then you should avoid that job candidate like a plague. Why? Because they enjoy eating co-workers before lunch!



Joke #6 = Some managers 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 or service’s quality and usefulness. As you know, cheap seldom equals quality.

Before starting my consulting firm, I was a corporate manager at two big companies. At one 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 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 undesirable characteristics.

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

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


© Copyright 2020 Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

Michael Mercer, Ph.D., is a business psychologist, consultant, and speaker.  He created the 3 “Forecaster™ Tests.”   These pre-employment tests are used by window cleaning and other companies to assess job applicants.  Dr. Mercer wrote 6 books, including “Hire the Best & Avoid the Rest™.”  Subscribe to his free Management Newsletter at  You can see examples of his “Forecaster™” pre-employment tests used by window cleaning companies by calling his office = 847-521-2554.