Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

10 Of The Worst Hires In History.

By James Ball | Aug 28, 2015 | Friday Funnies
Man with his head in his hands looking shocked

What have I done..?

Ask any Recruiter or HR Manager and they’re guaranteed to have (at least) one horror story about a new employee…

That one employee who somehow managed to slip through the cracks of background checks, references and interviews and went on to wreak havoc in their new role…

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to make staff members feel engaged and like part of the team, you just end up with a bad egg.

Behold, 10 of the worst hires in history…

1.  Adolf Hitler.

HitlerLets get our slightly controversial number 1 out of the way shall we..?

Generally considered the most evil man in modern history, Hitler was “hired” by the German people in 1932  during the country’s general election.

No one could have predicted how quickly he would rise through the ranks and the devastation he would eventually cause the country (and the world.)

The rest, as they say, is history.

As far as bad recruitment decisions go, this has to be by far the worst.

2. Bad Teachers.

Over the last few years, a variety of pretty bad teachers have been exposed in the media…

How would you feel if your child was being taught by an aspiring porn star like Stacie Halas or part-time stripper like Benedict Garrett?

How about a teacher who sent your child home with a pornographic video starring herself, like poor Crystal Defanti?

It would certainly make the birds and the bees talk an interesting one!

Crystal was reportedly a fantastic teacher who merely made a terrible mistake, but one that attracted controversial publicity that no school wants.

3. There IS Such A Thing As Bad Publicity.

Now, we’ve seen some social media gaffes in our time…

…but Justine Sacco, PR Director at IAC’s racist Tweet really did take the biscuit!

Justine Sacco“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” – Say What?!

Did that just happen? What a complete Tweet!

By the time she landed, the Tweet had been heard around the world, the hashtag #hasjustinelandedyet was trending, photographers were eagerly awaiting her arrival and she’d received a barrage of angry tweets.

Oh and she was sacked… It almost makes you feel a little bit sorry for her doesn’t it?

Whether you meant it or not Justine, you’re in PR! You should know better.

4.  Caught in the Act.

Would it shock you to find out that 1 in 10 UK employees admit to watching pornography at work?

(Probably not, if you’re one of the ten!)

However, getting caught on camera is just plain stupid (you can see his screen in the background of the shot)!

Surely if you knew a TV crew would be knocking around, you’d be on your best behaviour?

The cringe only heightens when the banker realises that he is being watched and shoots a guilty look towards the camera.

5.  Not For the Faint-Hearted.

What’s the worst excuse you’ve ever given for missing work?

“…I’ve got a sore throat?”

“…My car’s broken down?”

“…I’ve been beaten to a pulp by a razor-yielding yob?”

man biting fist like whatttttt23-year-old Scottish hotel cleaner Steven Reid decided that the best way to get himself a little time off was to beat himself up with a rock and a razor and blame it on ‘two male persons’ – he even reported it to the police!

To read more (not for the faint-hearted) check out this article.

He must have seriously wanted that day off…

The irony is – after getting sacked for the incident – he’s got all the time off in the world.

6.  The Laziest Employee EVER.

kittens all looking in the same direction, following something, gifI love this story!

A web developer in America decided that, instead of completing his own workload, he would outsource his entire job to a random company in China – paying them just 1/5 of his six-figure salary!


So how did the lazy sod actually spend his working days? ‘Surfing the web, watching cat videos on YouTube and browsing Reddit and eBay’ apparently.

Brownie points for resourcefulness and originality, although probably not the best hiring decision ever made…

Click here to read the whole story. Brilliant!

7.  Would You Like a Footlong?

a bottle of urine, frozen and a man putting his penis on a sandwichTwo American Subway employees were recently caught (and sacked) posting some pretty distressing photos on Instagram.

(One showed a bottle of frozen ‘pee,’ the other a disturbing act being carried out on some bread).

Both employees claimed that they committed their food crimes at home, but the caption reading ‘today at work’ pretty much gives the game away.

Perhaps ‘do you like to fondle food’ should be a compulsory question during fast-food interviews?

8.  The Naked Truth.

a priest licking his lipsPriests have a certain reputation to maintain; one of decency, sobriety and decorum…it’s pretty much in their job description!

So I’m not really sure what Rev. Robert Whipkey from Denver was thinking when he got caught jogging, butt-naked, around a “high school track” in the early hours of the morning!

Apparently he told police that he believed no one would be around at that time and that because he sweated profusely, he simply couldn’t bear to wear a tracksuit.

Buy a treadmill next time Reverend!

9.  Chinese Whispers.

I’m sure nepotism is an extremely common occurrence in a lot of industries, but most executives will at least try to keep it under wraps…

Yet in 2013, JP Morgan came under investigation for supposedly hiring Gao Jue (back in 2007) son of Gao Hucheng (China’s commerce minister) despite his poor performance during the interviews.

It’s also alleged that Gao was kept on throughout major job cuts despite…

  • Extremely poor performance.
  • Sending a sexually explicit e-mail to HR.
  • Not having a fixed visa.

Apparently Gao’s father had offered to… “go extra miles for the bank if his son was spared from company-wide job cuts in 2008.”

If you’re going to commit a self-interested crime…you could at least try and hide it!

10.  Crash Course.

ferrari scratched at the frontAnd the quickest, surest way to get fired from your valeting job..?

Parking Valet Crashes Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder

In a scene like something out of Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, the unlucky valet at Dubai International Financial Centre scratched one of the rarest cars in the world.

As you would assume, by the time the news got out, the valet had been removed from his post…

Poor car.

Happy Friday!

Does it make you feel a little better that at least you didn’t have to take responsibility for these poor hiring decisions?

Bet your new, annoying colleague doesn’t seem too bad now, right?

Recruiter Pro Tip for Hiring Managers.

On a more serious note – one (really) bad hiring decision could have a catastrophic effect on your business.

That’s why we’ve created our Assessing Applicants blog, revealing our insider tips on screening, assessing and interviewing job applicants to ensure that you don’t end up lumbered with a bad egg.

(You don’t want to make on our next “top 10 worst hires” blog!)

If however, you’re currently taking the slack for someone else’s terrible hire – good luck!

Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend!

- James Ball

James Ball

James is the founder and owner of Coburg Banks and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes.

> More blog posts by James Ball

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