Steer Clear of the Honey Badger

A few years ago, a funny video came out about the honey badger, an animal who just doesn’t care about anything…what people think, what people do, or what people want it to do.  When it comes to business, it’s important to steer clear of a honey badger, and work to hire people that want to move in the direction of the company.

In today’s business world, where making the wrong hire can cost a company literally thousands of dollars, it’s important to stay away from making the honey badger your next hire.  For a hiring manager, it’s important to vet a candidate as thoroughly as possible, in as many ways as are imaginable (and legal of course).  A background check is a great tool and can of course provide some good insight into the type of person you are looking to hire, but there are some things that you can do within the context of your business before you go all the way with the monetary layout.  Or if you do, make sure you assess the individual in perhaps some less than traditional ways.

One of the biggest things that a company can do is take the candidate for a test run.  If your business model allows for it, hire them as a contractor or a strictly trial basis.  Make candidates compete for the job.  You can tell a lot about a person if they just decide they want to mail it in during this trial period.  The honey badger wants to do its own thing…stay away from hiring that type of individual.

Another thing that a company can do is to evaluate a person based on their ethics, both work ethic and personal values.  Sometimes a person might be missing a particular skill-set, but from an ethical standpoint, they can add the skills and bring a strong foundation of business ethics and values with them into the company.  This might actually help the company more in the long run.

Something that people don’t always pay attention to is their personal feelings about an individual.  Sometimes, listening to your inner voice can say a lot about what you feel with regards to a candidate.  The honey badger might seem like he will do what you want, but sometimes you have to see what your “self” is saying to you with regards to hiring him.

Obviously, a background check where references, employments, education, and criminal background is vetted is a sure fire way to gain a picture of who you are hiring.  The results from this type of screening is certainly a useful tool in weeding out the honey badgers, but it needs to be combined with perhaps some less traditional methods of evaluating when it comes to making the next hire.

The honey badger doesn’t care about anything but itself, and the last thing anyone wants to do is hire someone who will wreak havoc internally, and perhaps, externally.  Be creative with your hiring process…background check and vet your candidates in as many ways as possible, trust your gut, and avoid hiring the honey badger at all costs.