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Surprise! The Boss Hired Someone With No Experience Without the Usual Staff Input — and Wants Them to Train Her

Is the team justified in being taken back and disgruntled?




I CAN’T BELIEVE we have had so few responses to our job posting,” Sandra said to her co-workers.

Lucy responded, “Me too but I’m confident we will find the right person because of how we hire, and that can sometimes make it worth the wait.”


Real Deal scenarios are inspired by true stories but are changed to sharpen the dilemmas involved and should not be confused with real people or places. Responses are peer-sourced opinions and are not a substitute for professional legal advice. Please contact your attorney if you have any questions about an employee or customer situation in your own business.


Carissa Dunphy has been working in private practice optometry since 2008 and is the founder of Optician Now ( Follow Carissa on Instagram and Facebook at @opticiannow.

“I agree,” Valerie chimed in. “The hiring process I went through is one of the biggest reasons I knew this was the right place for me.”

“Valerie, you’re the newest employee,” said Sandra. “What was the most important part of the interview process that you recall?”

“Talking with each member of the staff during the interview.” Valerie continued, “Not only did each person help me to understand what exactly I would be doing, it also showed me the flow and vibe of the office, the team dynamic, and put me at ease for the interview. I wasn’t just getting grilled by frigid bosses.”

Lucy added, “I totally agree. In addition to that, getting a tour of the office added a whole extra level of understanding and I gained appreciation for what everyone else does, and how each staff member complements one another.”

Not one second after Lucy said this, Dr. Gordon approached the three of them, “Hey guys, just a heads up that I’ve hired someone to fill the front desk position and she’s starting this Monday.”


“Do you mean you have an interview scheduled with her on Monday?” Sandra tried to clarify.

“No, I hired her and you three will begin training her on Monday.” Dr. Gordon continued, “If you want to know a little bit about her, I’ll leave her resume with you.”

Dr. Gordon set the new hire’s resume on the table and walked away.

The team sat there, speechless, for several minutes. Finally, Valerie picked up the resume and began to review her qualifications. “Alright guys, let’s see why this person is so amazing she was hired without even including us.”

The other two looked at the resume with her. Lucy began, “Her most recent job was a golf cart attendant, prior to that she was a bud-tender, a dog food taster, a sip-and-paint instructor, an event seat filler, and a bingo caller.”

Valerie replied, “Um, you guys, these jobs were all held within the past two years.”

“That’s a lot of super random jobs to have in a short span,” Sandra said. “I can get past the fact that she has no office or clinical history, but it looks like none of these jobs have any sort of experience answering phones and very little to do with customer service.”

The three sat there again, speechless.

The Big Questions

  • Is it reasonable for the staff to ask Dr. Gordon why this new hire was brought on without the hiring process each of them experienced?
  • Since the rest of the staff was not included in the decision, how do you think this affects the morale of the established staff members?
  • Is there ever an instance where it benefits the office just to fill a role without considering the long-term needs of the office?


Stephanie C.
Charlotte, NC

It is 100% reasonable to ask why this person was hired without going through the normal process. I feel it will diminish the morale of the office because they all had to go through the “normal” hiring process, and then not only did this new hire get to skip that but they also have little to no qualifications. I don’t think that hiring someone just to fill a role without considering the long-term needs of the office is a good idea. I think it leads to much more frustration throughout. On the flip side of that, hiring someone to fill a role could end up being a fabulous fit for the office but such cases are few and far between!

Robert H.
Olathe, KS

Depends on the office culture. We want our team confident in asking anything they want. If this was our office I would want and expect our team to ask us for more background or “the why” behind our decisions.

Of course it can negatively impact morale or at least the feeling of inclusion for the team, which can have such a positive and negative effect on the team’s engagement and buy-in. The more teams feel included in processes, decisions — or in this case recruiting the team they will be working with each day — the more they will be on board and help with the success of the new team members.

I’m sure there might be a time when you need to think short-term only, but that should be the rarity. Decisions by the owners/leadership should have the “30k foot view” in mind: how it will impact the business, the team and what benefits you anticipate now and five years from now.

Jill C.
Port Orchard, WA

I have worked in the eyecare field for almost 30 years, as a technician, office manager and now administrator. I have interviewed countless employees over the span of my career. It has been my experience that nothing tells me more about a good fit than physically meeting face-to-face with a candidate. You can receive a resume that exceeds all expectations and then meet with the person and know within minutes that they are not a good fit for your practice. I have also hired people lacking any experience that have turned out to be some of the most outstanding employees I’ve ever had. You truly can’t tell anything from a resume, but meeting in person will either quickly confirm a non-hire or give you the feeling that this person would be a great fit. Your “gut instincts” never lie. I would have conferred with the doctor in question and expressed my preference to meet with any candidate prior to being hired.

Cindy H.
Chattanooga, TN

Hiring is a nightmare right now. If we get an applicant who is pleasant and eager to try something new, they’re immediately in my top five regardless of experience. Our staff knows that they will be training new people … just as they were trained. We believe strongly in teaching through real time experience. We have long time coworkers who started this way and they now run the stores. If a staff member isn’t willing to help train new employees then they are the problem.

Rick R.
Girard, PA

Of course it is reasonable. We just read how they interviewed prior. I’m assuming this is Dr. Gordon’s office and that he was a big part of how they interviewed in the past. This is a BIG RED FLAG.

It started to affect the staff the moment Dr. Gordon announced he had already hired someone who has absolutely no experience and jumps jobs like a grasshopper.

No, because in the long run all it will do is cause resentment and a lot of wasted time training and then refilling the position.

Marisol R.
Charlotte, NC

I believe it is reasonable for the staff to ask their employer why they hired someone without their input if it was usual and customary protocol.

The staff may now feel slighted and confused by such a big decision.

The only time I believe it would help to have a temporary fill-in is when there is an internship opportunity, or someone is on a temporary leave of absence, and secretarial duties need to be addressed to keep a good pace at the office until the employee returns.

Pablo M.
Atlanta, GA

There is so much NOPE in this one. Hiring someone without any regard for the established hiring process and with no relevant experience to boot. A very spotty work history by the applicant. All red flags. The good doctor best have had a really good reason to hire this person, and this person best be a rock star to be hired like that. I am not psychic, but I would see a lot of resentment and morale problems (if not staff resignations) over this one. This could end up being a very costly hire for the doctor. Had it been a person that has a consistent track record in the position, who comes from a similar position; that would be a different situation altogether, but this one looks, feels and smells like a train wreck.

Jennifer H.
Sandpoint, ID

I think there’s a happy middle ground when including staff in the hiring process. We tend to try to do a 15-second meet-n-greet with as many staff members as we can during the interview process, but it doesn’t always work out if staff members are busy, or if interviews get scheduled after hours. We love getting staff feedback on candidates — it often proves helpful! But there also needs to be a healthy level of two-way trust. Management needs to demonstrate a sense of listening to staff opinions during the hiring process, and staff need to be comfortable trusting that “a decision has been made and we’re going to go forward with it” … even if they didn’t get to be included.

Sandra L.
Monsey, NY

Great scenario. I have my second in command in the office interview with me, and then I let the candidate sit in the office waiting area and watch how the flow of the office works. I think she would be terribly miffed if I interviewed without her and hired a person, especially one who held several menial jobs within the past two years in areas not at all related to what the current job entailed.

Good luck to the entire office dealing with that!

It’s still a very hard sell to get people in for interviews. Seems like no one wants to work. It’s cheaper to collect welfare than work. No work ethic left in this country, sad to say.

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