Better Call Saul Employer Episode
If you saw the August 13 episode of Better Call Saul did you wonder if we had paid the creators in order to help employers? We did not, of course, but a valuable lesson about the importance of pre-employment background checks was provided nevertheless.
Background information: Jimmy is an attorney whose practice was struggling. To change that fact he buys air time, but now finds himself unable to use it, since he is not allowed to practice law for one year (for forging documents, no less). Since he has already paid for the time, he decides to use it for another venture—making commercials for local businesses, but he can’t use his “lawyer” name, so he reinvents himself as Saul Goodman (how he arrives at that name is interesting).
Jimmy Looks for a Job
In this particular episode Jimmy decides that in addition to doing commercials he needs to find a job. We see him interviewing for a position selling copiers. Falling back on his years of working in a mailroom, he’s able to “talk copiers”, and he and one of the interviewers reminisce about the astounding capabilities of older models. The interviewer casually mentions that one of the old copiers could make excellent copies of $5 bills. (Jimmy also notices the Hummel figurines collection; he knows about those, and their worth, too.) Moving into the interview, the two interviewers briefly ask him about his being an attorney and why is he applying for a job selling copiers. Jimmy confidently tells them some story that they buy, and before they can ask the next obvious question—do you have any sales experience? He offers a confident response: as an attorney he did a lot of selling! He “sold” his clients into accepting settlements that he thought were a wise move; he sold, he sold, he sold while practicing law. He also tells them, “Stubbornness and persuasiveness are two of my top qualities.” He’s smooth…very smooth. He knows key traits of a salesperson, he knows the body language, he exudes confidence.
The Sales Spiel
The interviewers thank Jimmy for coming in and tell him they’ll get back to him. But remember, he’s out of work, and he needs the money. He starts to walk out, pauses, and strides back in. He goes into a long and confident sales spiel about how a good copier can make or break a business: how it improves productivity, how it affects morale, etc. The managers are duly wowed, shake his hand, and offer him the job on the spot. This guy is exactly what they need! Strong sales skills, confidence, he’s hungry, he knows the product, he’s driven. They simply can’t let him get away, or worse, risk giving the competition a chance to hire him!
Jimmy Declines the Job Offer
Now for the best part—and again, we did not pay for this “commercial”: they tell him he’s hired, and his response is, “What?! I’m hired?! Just like that?! Are you out of your mind?!” He rebukes then for having allowed themselves to be “sold” by a candidate about whom they know nothing, and tells them he could be a serial killer or someone who would do unsavory things once hired, and he sternly admonishes them for offering jobs to people WITHOUT DOING BACKGROUND CHECKS! He rejects the offer (of course! Who wants to work with people whose backgrounds haven’t been checked, right?) and tells them they are naïve and/or gullible (in not-so-nice terms).
Even Jimmy, whose moral compass is certainly skewed, recognizes the need for employers to protect themselves from people like him, especially when it means giving access to extensive Hummel collections and equipment that can copy $5 bills. His denial of the position hints at the fact that he knows it would not end well for the company or himself if he were to accept the position.
An employer may not have Hummels and copiers to make counterfeit $5 bills, but what comparable risks exist? Passwords? Theft? Access to client accounts? Access to financials?
What intangibles are also at risk? Workplace violence? Lowered morale? Poor customer experiences? Poor performance? Diminished productivity? Poor accountability (what might a Jimmy McGill do when he’s supposed to be making sales calls?)
What damage could a Jimmy McGill do to your organization?
No, we really did not pay for this segment, but we thank them on behalf of all employers who will benefit from it.
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About the Author
Zuni Corkerton is the Founder and President of RefCheck® Information Services, Inc., a human resources-based firm that focuses on providing stellar employers with in-depth–not generic–background-screening services. She founded the company in 1986, when as director of employee relations for a regional bank she found that hiring blind was not a sound business option. She needed solid, objective, job-related background information on the bank’s candidates. RefCheck® helps employers to perform their due diligence in the selection process in order to protect their employees, and to protect their organizations from the risks inherent in the selection process: employee theft, workplace violence, and negligent-hiring and negligent-retention allegations. Adherence to federal and state laws is of paramount importance to the company.
Please call Zuni at (800-510-4010, x 12) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a free, confidential analysis of your current screening practices, and to determine how RefCheck® can help you to mitigate risk, protect your bottom line, create a safer work environment, and improve hiring.
Notice: Nothing in the material provided is intended to be or should be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are strongly advised to seek legal counsel. The author is not an attorney, and the information provided is for informational purposes only. Neither the author nor RefCheck® is engaged in rendering legal advice.
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