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I interviewed one candidate. He was a petroleum engineer in the desert site. After 3 minutes of interviewing and checking his code quality, without concern of his background at all, he failed.

One month later he comes back again and joins my team under my frontend buddy, not directly under me. He is hiding behind my colleague and using CEO connection.

I used to ask him his motivation to become a software developer. Surprisingly, his answer was "I would like to stay with my girlfriend".

Problems:

  1. Unable to perform even basic tasks without high levels of assistance
  2. Poor English
  3. Lack of focus
  4. Always has a phone call in the office. Everyday!
  5. Always arrives late to work

... etc.

Question:

Working with him is not only spoon feeding, but also chewing.

How can I convince him to find another career that is the best fit for him?

Staying in here just sit in and let the sunrise and sunset is damaging my colleagues morale too.

  • 3
    Next month I am forming in a new team with new company. – Sarit Mar 21 at 8:23
  • This is my 3rd situations in my life. Thank you for your response. – Sarit Mar 21 at 8:27
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    Can you just sideline him and ignore him. Stop wasting time teaching him if he wont learn. Assign him a task to "learn technology xyz" and he can sit and surf internet all day without bothering you. – vikingsteve Mar 21 at 12:33
  • 1
    Please add the country involved, your nationality, and the employee's nationality. Middle-east work culture is quite different than mine! – axus Mar 21 at 14:44
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    @axus I would add details here. Because I don't think it is a major concern. I am Thai living and grown up in Thailand with almost western culture. But genetically pure Chinese. This is Thai startup. He also has Chinese ancestor and Thai nationality. – Sarit Mar 21 at 16:33
63

How can I convince him to find another career that is best fit for him?

You can't. Given the description:

[..]using CEO connection.

there's nothing much you can do. Despite being rejected by you in the interview, he managed to find a way into your team - that's indication (not a good one though) enough. Time for you to either

  • Find yourself a better workplace. (The option I'd go with)
  • Suck it up (sorry, it sounds harsh, but one of the options) and let them continue, have periodic performance monitoring and document it, wait for them to fail, and then let management take care of it.
  • 18
    When they fail, they will "engineer" it so the OP gets the blame... via CEO connection... – Solar Mike Mar 21 at 8:19
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    @SolarMike or, maybe the management will not care about the failure..at all. – Sourav Ghosh Mar 21 at 8:21
  • Yeah I'd worry about the possibility of taking the fall for them--moving somewhere else does sound like the better option if it's a reasonable possibility. – bob Mar 21 at 18:15
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    @SolarMike: Not if OP documents things properly. As in, raised X on [date], upon which we agreed with step by step improvement plan with milestones to be reviewed at [date], [date], etc. Milestones not met by [date], [date], etc. Rinse and repeat for issues Y, Z, etc. Redo an improvement plan or two. At some point the documentation is overwhelming enough that even being the CEO's buddy won't help -- or at the very least the CEO will go OK I'll put him on another team and/or not blame OP for failing. – Denis de Bernardy Mar 21 at 20:00
  • @DenisdeBernardy "selective evidence" is also an issue - they will produce the bits they want... Saw one victim being blamed and forced to take a psych test... Just to keep someone on... – Solar Mike Mar 21 at 20:06
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I am going to assume that you can't reason with him, and you are using "convince" as a euphemism. As a leader, you can't "convince" people to leave.

Doing so is called constructive dismissal and is illegal in a lot of places.

You need to treat them like you would any other employee. Sometimes managers get handed people they don't want to deal with. That's life.

You need to separate out the misconduct from work-quality issues. Refusing to work, lateness, are related to misconduct, and need to be handled differently. When it comes to work-quality, you need to develop a plan for them to get the skills required to complete their job.

When/if the CEO steps to tell you to relax your standards on them, that's when you do so. You also make it clear that he is a burden on the team. If the CEO is happy with that, that's just something you'll have to accept, or look to get a job elsewhere.

  • 13
    That is absolutely not what constructive dismissal is, that is crazy. – Davor Mar 21 at 13:40
  • 1
    @Davor I took a bit of an interpretation around "convince" – Gregory Currie Mar 21 at 13:51
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    Refusing to work and lateness sound like performance issues to me. I don't know why you think they wouldn't be relevant. – Yay295 Mar 21 at 14:36
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    @Yay295 Sorry, I wasn't clear. I didn't mean separate out to discard. I should have said categories. – Gregory Currie Mar 21 at 14:37
  • Constructive dismissal - "the changing of an employee's job or working conditions with the aim of forcing their resignation." / "In employment law, constructive dismissal, also called constructive discharge or constructive termination, occurs when an employee resigns as a result of the employer creating a hostile work environment. Since the resignation was not truly voluntary, it is, in effect, a termination." – DxTx Mar 24 at 22:31

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