How not to hire a bully (Guest commentary)

Bullies carefully conceal negative employment histories and unwanted personality traits
By Patricia Spindel
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 08/07/2008

There are three things managers most need to know about psychological warfare in the workplace — its symptoms; how it affects their employees, their departments and the organization; and what they can do about it.

Many managers find this a difficult issue to address. It is made more difficult by “he said, she said” situations, employees’ silence and inability or refusal to discuss the issue, by the shame felt by those being targeted and by the cleverness of workplace harassers.

Sometimes managers can be targeted by more senior managers or by those who report to them. There are a number of steps that can be taken during the hiring process to ensure bullies don’t make it in the door.