Your Role in Helping a Coworker Do a Better Job is Not Your Responsibility Even if You Feel It Is

Dear Office Mom,

I have an unusual situation. I recommended a freelancer at work who turned out to be terrible. I contacted the freelancer and went through his credentials. He seemed on the up and up. I secured his resume and passed it along. My boss and another person interviewed him and he was hired. Later, I got a call from my boss saying his work was not up to par.  I suggested reviewing his work and giving feedback to see if he might improve, and she agreed. I discovered that he lied on LinkedIn about current work he was doing, and I shared it with my boss, as she was considering hiring him full-time. I apologized for having recommended him. She ended up hiring him for another role anyway. Some time passed and his  work is very poor quality, with clients calling out errors. I urged my boss to send his work to me so I can check it, but apparently she doesn’t seem to value quality This is not a job I plan to be in much longer, but I do want to help while I’m here. Any advice?
— Jen
Image Credit: Pexels

Image Credit: Pexels

Dear Jen,

Based on what you shared, I have some work advice that may help you with this situation. If you are feeling a sense of responsibility for this freelancer’s hire or subsequent poor performance, don’t. Two others made the hiring decision. You offered a solution to your boss to try to salvage the situation, which was a good call. You acknowledged your discovery about LinkedIn, and she continued to hire him for a different role.  Not a wise move in my opinion. Now, ironically your boss is allowing the freelancer to do poor quality work, and it sounds like you’re the only one concerned about it.

I’m guessing that while following up on the freelancer you worked more hours in the process, and it may have been stressful too. I understand you want to deliver quality work and keep others happy, but your boss should be stepping up here. It’s too bad she isn’t. I don’t know what your options are other than to just say to hell with it and stay in your lane. If you do that, the boss may come around as the errors pile up, or she may not. Either way, I think your best approach is to step back, stop worrying about it (if you can) and bide your time.