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HR Tip: How not to hire disruptive employees

Too many companies focus on hiring for a certain set of experiences and do not give enough attention to the behavioral side. When they write their job specs, they don't include a section describing the behaviors they would like to see in the candidates, such as interpersonal skills, ability to work in a team-based environment or an attitude toward safety. The result can be employees that are toxic, negative, dysfunctional and demotivating.

According to a Wharton article "Havoc in the Workplace: Coping with Hurricane Employees," the tip-off that a candidate may not be a good fit comes when someone presents an aggressive profile and who is focused on results, but has little to say about how he or she would get things done, given the nature of the company's culture. Their relationships are transactional not connective.

The article notes that, in spite of its size, LEGO, the number two toymaker in the world stands out in the hiring process. According to a November 14, 2013, Wall Street Journal article, the company recently filled several openings for designers by inviting 21 men and women to spend two days (at LEGO's expense) at headquarters in Billund, Denmark. Rather than go through formal interviews, the candidates sketched and built LEGO sets in front of a panel of senior designers. The men and women were judged not just on their design concepts - including "color schemes, build ability and the elusive element of fun" - but also on "the way they interacted with each other." After all, as the article pointed out, the town of Billund has just 6,500 inhabitants and "night life is limited to an Irish pub."