In reading Ecclesiastes 10.5-6 the other day, I was struck by how this directly talked to business owners who hire people in their business. This verse reads as follows:
There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler: Fools are put in many high positions while the rich occupy the low ones.
It’s not a far stretch to equate the ruler with the business owner and fools as (potential) employees. What this passage clearly teaches is that hiring a fool for a position of management and/or influence in your business instead of a non-fool (called “rich” in this verse) is an “evil” and an “error”.
Download our Free “Screening Questions to Avoid Hiring Fools” tool.
So, what is a fool? The Bible outlines this for us and tells us the characteristics of a fool:
- Does not believe that God exists, Psalm 14.1 (and 53.1)
- Mock God, Psalm 74.22
- Rebellious, Psalm 107.17
- Despise wisdom and discipline, Proverbs1.7
- Hate knowledge, Proverbs 1.22
- Complacent, Proverbs 2.32
- Talk too much, Proverbs 10.8 and 10.10
- Say things that invite trouble, Proverbs 10.14
- Spread slander, Proverbs 10.18
- Lack judgment, Proverbs 10.21
- Find enjoyment in screwing other people, Proverbs 10.23
- Do not listen to advice, Proverbs 12.15
- Quickly show their annoyance, Proverbs 12.16
- Blurt out whatever is on their mind, Proverbs 12.23
- Detest turning from doing wrong, Proverbs 13.19
- Their friends suffer because of the fool’s actions, Proverbs 13.20
- Mock at making amends for sin, Proverbs 14.9
- Hotheaded and reckless, Proverbs 14.16
- Full of talk, but they don’t work hard, Proverbs 14.23
- Spurn their parent’s discipline, Proverbs 15.5
- Do not accept advice, Proverbs 17.10
- Love to give their opinions, Proverbs 18.2
- Quick to quarrel, Proverbs 20.3
- See danger, but they don’t change course, Proverbs 27.12
While there are many more verses about fools in the Scriptures, this list gives us a starting point for characteristics that you shouldn’t hire on your staff. Hiring a fool represents poor stewardship for your business.
Now, does one need all of these characteristics to be classified as a “fool”? No. Do we not all have these characteristics at one time or another? Yes. But the point is this: the more one has these characteristics, the more likely it is that one can be discerned as a “fool” in Biblical terminology. So, the question becomes this: How do you assess for these characteristics during the interview process?
Well, I’ve listed out some questions and ideas to use to help screen against these characteristics:
|Characteristic||Potential Screening Question|
|Do not listen to advice||
|Quickly show their annoyance||
|Do not make amends for something they have done wrong||
|Big talk, small work||
|Love to give their opinions||
|See danger coming, but don’t change course to avoid the danger (most likely because they believe they can overcome the danger or they minimize the danger’s “dangerousness”)||
|Quickly show annoyance and/or anger||
|Friends suffer from the fool’s actions||