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This question is a follow up to this question.

A new colleague of mine is on his trial period before being accepted on as a full time employee. As he will be a part of my department HR has asked for peer reviews how the rest of us work with him. He is young and just graduated from University, he is cocky in his skills and he gets on my nerves quite often. I try to overlook these feelings and we keep a polite if not cordial working relation.

Unfortunately he has been making waves. My workplace blur the line between blue-collar and white-collar employees, many of those in my department used to work on the floor but a degree is not uncommon.

My colleague has a condescending way of speaking, likely he is not aware of this. As I am often down on the floor chatting and working with them I get parts of the scuttlebutt. He has been in conflict with at least one of the more senior colleagues on the floor, I could later confirm this after some gentle proding. There are other rumors as well but I can't confirm those. On the other hand, in my department there is more leeway with "excentric" characters and he is perceived more neutral with a slight bias towards the positive. I suppose it helps that he keeps to himself.

I am hesitant what to do as he occationally rubs me the wrong way but at the same time people with his education are needed in the company. I can't comment on the quality of the work he does as we haven't worked together but it is probable that I will be paired with him for future projects. I am not looking forward to it.

Question: How honest should I be in my appraisal and should I weigh in what the scuttlebutt says (only when I can confirm it)?

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    Can you suggest to HR that they should also include people working on the floor in that review? – Mołot Mar 8 '17 at 8:52
  • "I find him abrasive and difficult to work with" – Snowlockk Mar 8 '17 at 9:07
  • "the same time people with his education are needed in the company" ‹ it is possible to get the education without the attitude. Reopening the position is a pain, but a bad attitude/cultural fit can end up being worse.. – HorusKol Mar 8 '17 at 20:56
  • I have no seen him integrate with himself in the company and in fact seems to show a callous disregard as to whether his actions create friction with others with whom he comes in contact. – Chris E Mar 8 '17 at 21:49
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As he will be a part of my department HR has asked for peer reviews how the rest of us work with him.

If you and others have problems working with him, I think that's exactly the kind of feedback HR wants. Just be prepared to justify any criticism and be 100% professional. Don't mention rumors you can't back up with evidence. Maybe the issues can be worked out, but they are still there. You should probably also mention that you can't comment on the quality of his work and leave that to others.

Hopefully you're not the only reviewer. If this guy rubs everyone the wrong way, it'll show as long as all the reviewers are honest.

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How honest should I be in my appraisal and should I weigh in what the scuttlebutt says (only when I can confirm it)?

You should be extremely honest in your appraisal. But you should provide only facts and your own observations. You should never include rumors or the observations of others - let them provide their own feedback.

I can't comment on the quality of the work he does

It sounds like you have already reached a conclusion without having enough direct experience.

Try to hold that in check, and not pre-judge. There will be plenty of time to collect your thoughts once you are actually asked for your appraisal.

If you go into it with a more open mind, you might find that your perception changes once you have more direct contact with him.

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The workplace is one of the areas in life where we need to be professional, to manage the expectation of working with people we may not get on with or "like".

In this case, whilst he is someone you don't like being around personally, you have to make it clear that all observations you are making are based on facts. It can be easy to try and conjure something from these feelings you have, but it's very important that you maintain your professional distance with a review that is honest and factual. If he uses vulgar language in conversations, then "good communicator, although has once or twice used expletives when none were required." would be a good way of stating that.

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