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Thread: Hire the nervous guy?

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    Platinum Member pmbguy's Avatar
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    Hire the nervous guy?

    I have a guy that has been helping me out when things get busy. I am considering using him more, especially for onsite call outs to my clients. He is a great guy, very intelligent and hardworking, we get along very well. But here is the problem, he is possibly the most insecure person I have ever met. He is very nervous around people, to the point where communication is sometimes problematic. He is ok around me, but customers freak him out.

    I guess my concern is that his insecurity may cause problems regarding how clients perceive the business.

    What are your thoughts?
    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    I personally think that anyone that is hardworking etc, but has a few other problems deserves all the chances that he can get. If you have confidence in him, have checked him out via ITC or Crim check (if necessary) and he has been with you a while, then I would give him a chance and expand his portfolio. I would also send him on some sort of course that would be relevant to what would help him in your work environment. But I would certainly try to get to the route of his insecurity, help him work on it and mould him to where you and him see his future in your business.

    But don't get fooled if you have only known him for a short period of time. I hope that you have known him for quite some time to be able to judge his character and his work ethics.
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    Platinum Member pmbguy's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply
    I have known this guy for a while and he is actually a very good honest worker. He has recently lost his job and is struggling so I give him as much work as possible.
    His nervous disposition is a long term condition, it does not affect his technical work but he really struggles in dealing with clients.
    You see I want to employ, permanently, somebody who can do work for me at the workshop and in the field. So if I employ him I basically handicap myself because he can’t really deal with clients, so he can’t go on site alone.
    I am not prepared to hire 2 people to do one persons job. I am also not prepared to just let him go just because of his condition. I want to help him. At the same time I am running a business not a charity.
    I am very open with him about the whole story and he acknowledges the problem that we have.
    I don’t know what to do
    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    You can fit a round peg into a square hole - but both the peg and the hole suffers.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    When I was still in school I had to “re-learn” a few things such as reading writing and as I used to stutter “speech”. Now I was lucky, the lady that helped me with my problems was a wonderful therapist. Sadly she past a way a while ago.

    Anyhow, a therapist can help your friend a lot. Consider the cost and consider the investment. If you feel it is worth it then talk to your friend about it. If not then it is your choice your business.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I have a similar problem, I hired a guy who has Asbergers Syndrome. I understand the problems and issues that he faces and I've made a lot of allowances for it. The problem is that his productivity is close to zero and he disrupts the other staff to a point where they want to throw him under a bus. The guy is up and down, up and down all the tim, he is unable to do the simplest task without interrupting everybody by asking stupid question every 5 minutes. Although I understand that one should make allowances for the shortcomings of other people, it becomes very difficult when one has to treat those people a if they are naughty 3 year olds running around the office all day. The harsh realit is that we are not running charities, having high levels of productivity with very little resources and staff is the only way for our small businesses to succeed.....I am throwing him off the bus at end of work this afternoon, its simply the only way to put us all out of our misery.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    @ Adrian & Dave Too true, and unfortunately this is the problem.
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    Bronze Member Miro Bagrov's Avatar
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    Timid people are timid, because they are too busy thinking of themselves, and how others will think of them.

    What seems to help is letting them follow a process. If they are a salesman then process based sales coaching seems to work. The must say and do, 1. 2. 3. 4. They mustn't think about it, just do it. When they do it mechanically then there is less "individuality" and more "group" and they feel less personally threatened.

    I found that out when dealing with timid sales team members.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    The problem with my guy is that he is not timid, he is mentally strong but his mind is simply not wired up right. It is not for a lack of trying, the guy really tries his best but as somebody pointed out to me today, no matter how hard a quadrapleagic tries, he simply isn't going to be an olympic swimmer. Horses for courses as the saying goes. There is a lesson in all of this and the lesson is that a business is not composed of many individuals operating on their own, it is composed of many individuals interacting efficiently with one another, much like a gearbox, sometimes having a reverse gear is useful but when that gear keeps popping up between 3rd and 4th then it is simply troublesome.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    I can understand your concern...in this situation I would probably be the timid one, to be honest. I agree with @Miro Bagrov however. I've worked in sales previously, and after doing some research online and sort of 'teaching' myself by going the recommended steps towards a good sale, it really helped with my confidence when approaching a customer - which improved my sales. The mechanical approach really does help.
    I would try to keep the guy on in the same part time capacity and specifically work on developing his confidence. Set a time frame on it, however (Eg. Within 3 months I expect to see measurable progress in _____)...If there's no improvement even after working with him, then he's likely to just end up more a problem for you than anything else. You'll need to judge the levels of progress yourself...and fairly objectively too.
    One things i would add - if the guy knows he's timid and being a liability for you...that's only going to make him more timid - he'll constantly second-guess himself

    Good luck!

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