I hired a guy 3 weeks ago. Working out ok. Shows a lot of promise, on time and quick to find something to do.
Text me last night and asked to take off for an appointment, I assumed a Dr visit since they just had a baby last week. Found out when he got to work it was for an interview for a job he put an app in months ago.
What would you do? Should I even bother telling him how I view this as unethical… he could have been up front instead of me dragging it out of him.
Delicate situation you have there. First I would determine what field the job is in. If this is a job in a field not related to window cleaning or janitorial, and he has been working in this field before, encourage him…especially if the job pays more than you can afford.
Perhaps, during your interview process, you should ask applicants if they are applying for jobs in their fields and are they going to take a job in their field should one come up. Then you will know if the applicant is looking to stay or is only a temp. I have never discouraged an employee from bettering themselves. I know what kind of income a janitor, window cleaner or floor man can expect to make in the industry.
I know what the turnover rate is for my janitorial business versus the window cleaning business.
I can’t be angry with a person for taking a job to pay the bills, and to support their family, while they are looking for another position in their field…unless they lied to me in the hiring process. I don’t expect an applicant to come to an interview and tell me they are only stop-gapping and will soon leave. Would you go to an interview, when you really needed money and tell someone that? Of course, it is your responsibility to ask if they are submitting applications for other jobs. Then comes the up front and honest discussion about where they are and where they want to be…and how can I help them get there?
I will not hire and train someone if they have been working in our field and for several companies. They are not reliable and I don’t want to expose my inside information to them when they will go down the street to a competitor for a dollar more.
I will, and have, hired people who have been laid off and were actively looking for work in their field, but need income to support their family. I put them in labor positions where they don’t deal much with inside info like pricing, budgets and marketing. I have also tried to help them network with people I know to see if they can get an interview in their field. You never know when someone you have helped get through a rough patch will have the ear of someone who can award you a nice contract.
So to answer your question, unless he lied to you when you hired him, I don’t feel like he has done anything unethical (unless he going to work for your competitor). I think you should sit down and have a heart to heart conversation about what is going on. Get both of you on the same page and decide what comes next together. If he is a good employee, keep him on as long as you can, just ask for him to respect you enough to keep you in his job searching loop
I don’t find anything unethical about it. He’s trying to find the best job he can for himself and his family. There is no honest way to look for a job while employeed, most employers won’t treat the employee fairly if an employer is aware he is looking for a job somewhere else.
As an employer you should be asking yourself:
Why does he want to leave?
Do I want to keep him?
If so, how can I do a better job retaining talent?
Is my salary competitive?
Do my employees dislike my management style? Should I change?
You need to evaluate your hiring process (as already mentioned)
He asked for the time off regardless what it was for; that was up front. (He didn’t call in sick and then go interview somewhere.)
I think we all know what it takes to make a living, raise a family, cover bills and a new born. For some couples the 2nd paycheck covers extra expenses. For others it’s the combination of the two for them to keep their heads above water. I wouldn’t go hard on the guy for looking out for his family. I don’t know what you are paying him - if his position is a “revolving door” position or potential for good enough earnings that retain him for a long time. With the uncertainty of finding jobs it would be unwise to say “I’m interviewing for another job tomorrow, can I have the day off?” You both are new to each other, some people would find a way to drop a guy from the payroll for that. Faced with uncertainty of no income is scary. I say cut the a break and work with him the best you can. It’s not unethical to look out for ones future.
Yeah… good point as well. I feel he just happened to get a call from an ap he put on before I interviewed him. He is a good guy…as a dollar raise coming already next week. But I cannot compete with a job offering benefits.
I appreciate all the imput guys. Thanks for helping me keep a good perspective on things.
“The employee was truthful about having an appointment.”
Done it, and been there! He did not lie In anyway, he was honest! Why do you take this personally? I could be wrong here, please help me out!
If your are the bee all, end all of employers, where do I apply? Let me guess, your ****ed because you pay $30.00 per HR., You offer full benefits, a 401k, sick time, and 4 weeks of vacation a year, that goes up one week a year for a max. of 12 weeks.
Really, you offer a good or a bad wage (this is not personal it’s Business), non of us offer year round employment for at least 3 to 4 years (unless you are way south). I’ve worked for window cleaning company’s and always had my resume out, as I knew that I had no work in the winter.
So you have a honest employee, is he fast, and is his workmanship really good? If so, if you can afford it, be poor, praise him with words and something his wife has wanted ( a gift). He will get Unemployment, for a off season. But reward good employees with actual money. If you don’t and they leave, It’s might be your fault.
You definitely should be looking for a replacement. If he is looking for a different job with benefits you can’t afford, he will be leaving. And you also need to expect those who follow him to also leave until you can provide a salary/benefit package to keep employees
I have 2 employees which are very intelligent and which have a hard time with the mundane routine.
The fix so I can keep them longer (hopefully)? Ive been asking them to help me train new employees and develop things like our company manual and such. They really enjoy a break from the regular work.
My secretary (and wife) recently quit her job to be at home more and care more in that way for our family. Problem? She does not enjoy being home all the time. Solution? She’ll be accompanying us 1 day a week in the field once school starts. She’s happy about that too!
While I cannot eliminate the routine work for them I can challenge their minds or bodies in these new ways.
I would recommend asking employees from time to time how they are liking their job and inquiring what is difficult for them. Its not always more pay they want. Since each employee is different inquiring and adjusting to accomodate them has proven helpful.
I hear alot about “maximizing profits” but this may unfortunately may be at the expense of your employees happiness / loyalty.
I appreciate the differing views and actually had an employee about 4 years ago do that “to me”. Still, I can’t stop feeling that this is a little low.
Jeremiah, did he try to get the interview at a time when it wouldn’t interfere with his current work schedule? Do you think he could trust you to know that he is interested in higher pay and will be keeping his eyes open for other opportunities? Do you think you have a reputation for being a ‘rule or ruin’ sort who would fire him on the spot if you feel threatened?
I consider myself a pro-employee business owner and I still think it smells.
Yeah, well when was the last time you saw someone working at burger king with a smile on their face? I’ve never heard anyone say “I work at burger king” as if they were proud of it. Not slamming fast-food workers, everyone’s gotta’ have a job and make a living, but having had many a low-paying job (none in the food industry however), not getting enough hours, feeling like “the company” was always getting fat rich off my hard work, I know it sucks! And, while as a business owner I also can’t pay my employees more than I get paid, I can make sure they Love working for me. It’s not always all about money. And when it is, train them to do all the hardest work and pay them well. When they’re responsible, hard-working, and reliable, pay them as much as you possibly can because otherwise they could easily take those talents and become your competition. Then they’re making as much as you do, or should I say DID.
Jeremiah- Don’t hate on the employee for going back on a job interview call. At least he was honest with you. Maybe he’s not sure window cleaning is for him. Just because you see that he’s good at it doesn’t mean he thinks he is or wants to do it. Maybe it is about money and he thinks he NEEDS more to get by. Maybe like you said he’s just worried about having benefits since he’s a “family man” now. But I agree with Chris that you have to hire a replacement just in case, assuming you can afford it.
i agree that burger workers are not happy- i really want my workers to be happy and we have plenty of laughs on the streets but the job demands a lot physically and the temptation to do something that is easier on the body is something i recognize . if you have just 1 main man and he quits for whatever reason ,you are then going to have to find and train up a new guy VERY quickly before the workload falls behind .
Indeed i know of a fellow business owner who has been faced with this and after going thru Many workers is now trying to sell off a lot of his work as the load is too high(he is/was cleaning about 700 houses over an 4week period ,had2 full timers )
Also by sharing the load amongst several p/t workers reduces the chance of burnout .