What Companies Can Learn From The Rutgers Problem

It wasn’t that long ago we discussed Rutgers’ men’s basketball’s bullying problem. A former assistant coach had recently leaked a tape of head coach Mike Rice verbally berating, and in some cases, physically abusing, players. The University responded by firing Rice, and shortly after Athletic Director Tim Pernetti resigned amidst pressure from the community. That left Rutgers in the thick of a search for two of its most prominent positions. As it can be with any hiring process, Rutgers was left with tough choices; unfortunately, the hire of new Athletic Director Julie Hermann has left a sour taste in the mouths of many, and new basketball coach Eddie Jordan never graduated as he claimed (as was required of the position) leaving many to question the hiring process. So what can your company learn from the Rutgers hiring process?

First, make sure to fully vet your candidates. While those involved in the hiring process at Rutgers maintain they vetted Hermann thoroughly, it’s quite clear they did not. Don’t skip the vetting process in your search. It may not always be the make or break factor, but something as big as Hermann’s record of lawsuits for discrimination and harassment, and Jordan’s academic record, should have been easy bones to unearth.

If you do find something, try to speak with the parties involved. In some cases a candidate may have someone who wishes to besmirch him or her, but it’s important to get all sides. It may not always be possible, but once you find out something it’s important to continue the research and come to a conclusion based on all sides of the story.

Finally, in the midst of the big hiring process, be sure to involve only those whom can be trusted. Emails came forth after the Hermann hire which expressed doubt in the hire and the hiring process. You can’t control what everyone involved says and feels, but it’s vital that all parties be trustworthy and honest throughout the hiring process.

The hiring process can be tricky, and may often throw some curve balls your way. The Rutgers situation took place in front of a national audience. While your hiring process may not be quite so public, there are still a number of lessons to be learned from the situation. Be sure to have an honest, truthful hiring process, it will help not only avoid hiring the wrong candidate, but also prevent your company from embarrassing or potentially harmful miscues.

What’s your process for vetting candidates? Is there anything else you learned from Rutgers’ questionable hiring process? Share with us below.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by The Fayj