Should You Hire Someone with a Bad Reputation?

Consider the resignation of Chris Spence, former Director of the Toronto District School Board, for serial plagiarism, the cheating and deception by Lance Armstrong, not to mention his creepy confession on Oprah, the corporate bribes paid to African dictators by Canadian mining companies in the form of “signing bonuses,” the phony memoirists, the degree embellished CVs of senior leaders, the sexual peccadillos of politicians and generals, and the fake online cancer victims. Are there no trustworthy men and women left among us?

While many of us can barely conceal our morbid delight in the self-destruction of others, whose downfall was the familiar mixture of hubris and stupidity, how many of us are willing to face our own dark side? Do we acknowledge our own tendency to cut corners, shade the truth, and mask our defects? In response, should we forgive those who have fallen? Do they deserve a second chance? Can they be redeemed? Judging by the success of Les Misérables it seems this is a question to which we all want the answer.

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