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HR Management

Job Interview: How To Tell If the Candidate Will Lie, Cheat, Steal?

March 8, 2007 | By | 9 Comments

He doesn’t go to church.

Knight and Bozell_culture_and_media_institute.JPG

Bob Knight and Brent Bozell

Photo Credit: Michelle S. Humphrey

from the Media Research Center It seemed that many of the clients of Your Business Blogger were having challenges finding integrity in job candidates. Even business schools are forced to teach ethics. Goodness.

So I ask Bob Knight, who runs the Culture and Media Institute a part of Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center about this. Bob’s team just released a report, The National Cultural Values Survey.

Smart Human Resource gurus have always used an unspoken, intuitive cultural profiling to test job candidates.

Bob Knight’s Survey quantifies with hard numbers what managers have all been feeling over the last few years.

And it turns out the HR professionals may have been right. People these days have a …flexible compass on truth.

The Culture and Media Institute released this report at The National Press Club on Wednesday in Washington, DC. I ask Bob, “What should hiring managers use to determine a good job candidate from one that would break the law, lie, or use drugs?”

“This is a problem for business and for us all,” Bob said later. The variable on honesty can be measured by the professed attendance at a house of worship. “The determining line would be going to church at least twice a month.” However, Bob was quick to remind me, “You can’t ask that in a job interview.”

Questions based on Faith Based Hiring practices would be, well, discriminating.

In favor of the crooks and liars and liberals.

In The National Cultural Values Survey: America: A Nation in Moral and Spiritual Confusion, Bob finds that,

The survey reveals that 74 percent of Americans believe the nation is in moral decline, and that a culture war is indeed occurring in America.

Indeed. First-line supervisors see this daily and battle with the challenge of finding ways of selecting good employees.

Managers would often gauge an aspect of culture and class of a job candidate by observing the prospective employee’s behavior at a restaurant. Table manners were important, but the astute manager watched how the candidate would treat the wait staff.

Bob Knight’s Survey takes this test to a higher level and gives a vignette on measuring honesty in a table called, Cheating on a Restaurant Bill,

You are out to dinner with a group of friends. When the check arrives you notice that several

items are missing from the bill. Your friends say you should just pay the bill, and that it’s the

restaurant’s own fault for making the mistake. What would you do?

85% of church-going conservatives would Tell the waiter and pay the right amount. Only 52% of the Godless liberals would be forthright.

The 18th-century atheist and culturally-correct philosphe, Voltaire, recognized this problem. Even though he believed Christianity was an “infamy,” he wrote that “I want my attorney, my tailor, my servants, even my wife to believe in God.”

Voltaire wanted this accountability to God not for his employee’s eternal salvation, but as a Total Quality Management System. “…Then I shall be robbed and cuckolded less often,” he concluded.

The Frenchman and the Jesus-loving Christians. Voltaire hated them. But he hired them.

And so should you.


Thank you (foot)notes:

If you are a manager, please comment on your favorite (legal) tactics to find honest employees.

What’s the One Best Question to Ask a Job Candidate?

Also see MRC’s Business and Media site.


And mark your calendars for Media Research Center’s 20th Anniversary Gala on 29 March. Your Business Blogger and Charmaine will be there with some of the smartest people in DC. You be there too.

Business Pundit has more data that supports one of Bob’s findings — children make us more honest and better people. See Do Parents Make Better Managers?

See Mike Paul’s Reputation Doctor.

All links are unpaid.

Read Major Findings of the Survey at the jump.

Read More

Are Children at Risk in Red States?

January 27, 2007 | By | 3 Comments


Cybercast News ServiceA new book Homeland Insecurity… American Children at Risk says yes.

I think not. Red States are better than Blue States. Permit me one anecdotal statistic. Your Business Blogger packed up kith and kin and moved from the blue, communist “Free State” of Maryland and headed south, back to our beloved “Old Dominion.” (Home of the University of Virginia and George Mason.)

My car insurance instantly dropped 30%. My personal property insurance dropped.

So I asked USAA Insurance why the huge savings by my merely moving a few dozen miles.

Short answer: Lower risk.

Seems that Maryland is full of terrible drivers and home invaders, criminals and crappy schools. Insurance companies assess rates accordingly.

A citizen is more apt to be a victim of a car wreck or have his home burned down and personal property stolen living in Maryland. My former county in Maryland had horrific public tax-supported education, forcing the Penta-Posse into private alternatives.

A citizen is safer in Virginia. The (apolitical) (profit-motivated) insurance market proves it.

And coincidentally, Virginia is aggressive with criminals. The Commonwealth of Virginia is prompt in emptying death row with Dead Men Walking. Maryland is more “compassionate” with crooks walking…or running for office. Murderers get a pass in Maryland. Murders are executed in Virginia.

So I moved to Virginia. Safer.


Tom McMahon And I’m not the only one. Tom McMahon originally pointed us to the United Van Lines Migration Study showing what states people move out of and into,

Maryland … continued its 15-year outbound tradition… the United Van Lines study, through the years, has been shown to accurately reflect the general migration patterns in various regions of the country… real estate firms, financial institutions, and other observers of relocation trends regularly use the United data in their business planning and analysis activities.

The only thing United Van Lines gets wrong are the colors. “Inbound” states should be red; “outbound” blue.

Which, as Alert Readers have noted, align with blue state/red state political leanings.

Business and citizens understand the market and benefits and safety of red states.

But not liberal elites. Like Michael Petit.

Monisha Bansal, a Staff Writer writes in Children More at Risk in Red States, Book Claims,

( – A family group voiced deep skepticism Thursday about a new book charging that children in Republican-leaning states are at greater risk than their peers elsewhere because of conservative policies.

[The book] says the risks include “inadequate pre-natal care, lack of health care insurance coverage, early death, child abuse, hunger and teen incarceration.”

It was released Thursday by the child advocacy group, Every Child Matters Education Fund, whose president, Michael Petit, authored the book.

“Thanks in large part to the erosion of real federal spending on children and families, mostly engineered by conservatives, the child poverty rate is rising again even as the stock market has climbed,” Petit wrote in the book.

“Further, more people are uninsured, real wages are declining, prisons are overflowing, and millions of children live in distressed families facing their struggles alone, thanks in large measure to conservative policy,” he said.

Petit based his “red state” versus “blue state” distinctions on the 2004 presidential elections.

Based on that measure, he said, nine of the top 10 states with “the best outcomes for children today” are the Democratic voting blue states of Wisconsin, New Jersey, Washington, Minnesota, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, with Iowa being the sole red (or Republican voting) state in the group.

Reasoned, seasoned voices challenge the claim. My favorite political scientist is quoted,

Charmaine Yoest, vice president of communications for the Family Research Council, said she was “really skeptical” of Petit’s findings….

“They don’t appear to have taken into consideration a variety of variables,” she said. “You have to be pretty careful about positing causality, and I’m not certain that they have done that.

“They have a very simplistic and disingenuous analysis,” Yoest said.

“It is very clear that they are looking for more government programs that involve more government spending and higher taxes,” she said.

“Any time you hear advocates on the left talking about children you can be certain that they aren’t going to pay attention to the effect of family structure on the well-being of children,” Yoest said.

“This project appears to be no different,” Yoest argued. “There’s somehow this mythical idea that spending equals well-being for children when in fact the research data is incontrovertible.

“The overwhelming evidence has proven that the two-parent family – a mom and a dad, committed for life and caring for kids – provides the best outcomes for children,” Yoest said.

Charmaine, as usual, gets it right.


Thank you (foot)notes:

My endorsement of USAA insurance is unpaid.

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger served Jim Gilmore, former governor of Virginia. Whenever the courts sentenced death in a capital punishment case, Gilmore always, “Declined to intervene.” Virginia has good courts, too.

Vote Results Protecting Marriage as Between One Man & One Woman: The Scorecard

January 26, 2007 | By | No Comments


Your Business Blogger

and CharmaineThe gay marriage scorecard shows that the nation prefers marriage to be between one man and one woman.

Heterosexuals, 28; vs.

Homosexuals, Transgender, Bi-Sexual, Bigamists,

National Man-Boy Love Association, 1

Yes, that’s 28 to 1.

27 of 28 public debates on marriage were decisively won by traditional marriage proponents.

Only voters in Arizona voted wrong.

Protecting Marriage as Between One Man & One Woman

Prior to 2004

Alaska (1998) 68%

Hawaii (1998) 69%

Nebraska (2000) 70%

California (2000) 91%*

*California’s statewide ballot measure, Prop. 22, enacted a new state law protecting marriage, rather than a constitutional amendment.


Arkansas 75%

Georgia 77%

Kentucky 75%

Louisiana 78%

Michigan 59%

Mississippi 86%

Missouri 71%

Montana 66%

N. Dakota 73%

Ohio 62%

Oklahoma 76%

Oregon 58%

Utah 66%


Kansas 75%

Texas 75%

Alabama 81%


Tennessee 81%

Colorado 56%

Idaho 63%

S. Carolina 78%

S. Dakota 52%

Virginia 57%

Wisconsin 59%



Minnesota (’07)

Indiana (’08)

Massachusetts (’08)

Pennsylvania (’09)


California (’08)

Florida (’08)

(Bolded states went for Kerry in 2004. Proving that voters may be confused about liberals, but not about marriage.)

Thank you (foot)notes:

The Cumulative Chart is the work of David E. Smith, Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute. A family policy council that counts.

Human Resource Management Tip: Hire the homosexual? Maybe, but be slow to award “partner” benefits. The public and, I dare say, stockholders, prefer traditional marriage.

Looking For A Job…With Tattoos?

October 19, 2006 | By | 12 Comments

Our US Army is getting more recruits with tattoos. And so are you.

A third of the population 18 to 29 has a tattoo. Your Business Blogger(R) is a bit outside this age range and our five-kid penta-posse has not yet demanded needles with ink. But this is an exploding fad that will affect business hiring.


Body Piercing

Tools of the Trade

courtesy: Gotham Here I will review only the deliberate body modifications. Not the accidental. (Scars are tattoos with better stories.)

We just hired a number of employees. Not one of the attractive young women had any body art. That I noticed. Not that I was looking.

My concern is less with my outdated preferences than that potential candidates knew my preferences. If I control cutting the check, I’ll control the body cutting. I’d like some input in what peeps I be hangin’ wit’.

I prefer non-smokers with no (visible) body art. Conjugated verbs are a plus.

Please, no “Adult Language.”

Job seekers must remember that symmetry and chemistry between interview-er and interview-ee is what gets hired. It is not fair. But remember, I’m writing the check.

So tattoos and other self-mutilations are not for me. And it’s not likely that I would hire such decorations. But one of my managers with hiring authority might. One of my clients might. But not me.

(And please don’t ask me about trans-gender: If you take a meat cleaver to your manhood, there would probably not be a fit between us. Because you would be crazy.)

And I’m not the only fuddy-duddie. The Vault reports,

Companies with dress and grooming codes are on the strongest legal grounds when they defend their policies based on legitimate business reasons.

At Starbucks, “baristas” who serve the $5 lattes can’t display any tattoos or wear any piercing jewelry besides small, matched pair earrings. Each ear can’t have more than two piercings. Serving upscale coffee demands upscale workers, according to Starbucks, and tattoos don’t fit that scheme.

So what’s right? What is wrong with tattoos?

Sometime ago I questioned my Rabbi, Daniel Lapin, on the issue of tattoos. Yes, I’m Presbyterian who sits at the feet of the JollyBogger. But everyone also needs a Rabbi; a teacher. Your coach doesn’t have to be faith-based. But the “donations” can be tax deductible…

My Rabbi said that ancient Jewish tradition held that a person’s body does not belong to him; it belongs to the Creator and we borrow this earthly vessel for a while. Which is why the tattooing of identification numbers during the Holocaust was so humiliating to the Jews.

So if I interview you, or some other old codger interviews you, don’t tell us about your tattoos. It is not part of the job description.

You will be hired for your wisdom and your judgment.



Thank you (foot)notes,

Be sure to follow Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine on Twitter: @JackYoest and @CharmaineYoest

Jack and Charmaine also blog at Reasoned Audacity and at Management Training of DC, LLC.

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