Golden rule: Never burn your bridges

As a line-manager of one the top performing companies in South Africa, I receive many CV’s a month. Having been in the IT business in Cape Town for 15, you realise that Cape Town is actually a very small community as far as IT companies and IT professionals go.

Its quite common that you’ve worked with somebody before.  You’d be stupid to leave on bad terms or create a reputation for yourself that could damage your chances of employment down the line.

Two incidences are worthy of mention:

Pitch for work on your first day

One high-profile candidate accepted an offer in one of the previous companies I worked for, signed on the dotted line but simply failed to pitch on the starting date.  That same CV is back on my desk this week.

Don’t sue, unless you REALLY have a strong case

The other incidence doesn’t involve me but it certainly could later.  A software developer is suing a very high profile company for discrimination and unfair termination of employment.  He goes into great detail (much of it petty detail)  and wants payment of something like R70 000 000 for compensation of dignity and loss of earnings.

When this CV makes the rounds a few years later, what are the chances of somebody employing him for trying to “topple” a large company on flaky grounds.  (I used the word “topple” because that’s what he says he’ll do on his website.)

If he wins the case I guess he’ll never have to work again.  If he doesn’t win the case, he might never be able to pay the counter lawsuit.

Facebook is a wonderful tool and has helped me get 2nd opinions on potential candidates many times. I have many friends on Facebook, especially in the IT business. So simply typing in the candidates name, tells me which friends we have in common.

Turns out this person only has 24 friends on facebook.   Not many by any standard. Doesn’t say much about how many people want to be his friend.

I’m dying to mention this person’s name but because this is a high profile case, I probably shouldn’t and don’t want to damage the poor soul’s reputation even more.  He could well try to sue the pants of me!

There is a website with full detail of how he was discriminated and even publishes the legal document.  I’ve tried googling the site but it isn’t listed. Maybe he wants it that way.