Episode 201: HR Hitman?!

In the first episode of our second season, Paul sits down with Jennie to talk about hiring a hitman to take care of your usual HR issues. Why fire someone and handle that awkward conversation yourself when you can just rent a hitman? (Just kidding!) Paul and Jennie will inform you about when it’s best to outsource for HR – all while avoiding renting out a hitman and winding up in jail


Voice Over: You’re about to listen to another episode of What The Hell Just Happened?! Join Paul Edwwards and his guests as they discuss and sometimes even solve some interesting HR problems. 

Paul: And… I’m gonna go off the rails sometimes and talk about whatever I want. 

Jennie: Hi, Paul. 

Paul: Hi, Jenny. Director, head of compliance and all things compliancy here at CEDR.

Jennie: You sound thrilled to be talking to me.

Paul: Well, because you guys, I mean, we for everybody, this is kind of an ambush situation. Most of the time I don’t really find out what we’re talking about until a few minutes before. So I have a little bit of prep time, but in this case, they won’t let me have my laptop or anything. They’re like, “no”. So.

Jennie: Yeah, well, you know, usually the compliance team talks to you about really boring, you know, compliance, illegal topics, so.

Jennie: Surprise. 

Paul: Surprise. 

Jennie: We’re not doing that.

Paul: Are we talking about ribs, barbecue?

Jennie: No-

Paul: No,  Okay, all right.

Jennie: Sorry. OK, we’re going to talk about the good and the bad and the right way in the wrong way to outsource and use remote H.R. services. 

Paul: Oh.

Jennie: But I have to get you there first.

Paul: Oh… this sounds self-serving! 

Jennie: It is, however, let me tell you how I got to this topic.

Paul: OK? 

Jennie: So a few days ago, I was listening to a True Crime podcast. You know, as you do.

Paul: Uh huh.

Jennie: And so they told this really interesting story about a woman who got convicted of a bunch of charges for trying to hire a hitman to kill her ex-husband.

Paul: Okay.

Jennie: Totally relates to H.R. I can see it in your eyes.

Paul: I can see that.

Jennie: So what she did, she went online and Googled trying to find the hit man and lo and behold-

Paul: Really?

Jennie: -there is a website called Rent a hitman dot com.

Paul: Oh, I know where this is going.

[Jennie laughs]

Jennie: And so she- short version of this is this guy created this website as like a project when he was in grad school. Website was just sitting there and one day he checked in on it and.

Paul: Wait a minute. He got a form fill? 

Jennie: Yes.

Paul: He got a form fill.

Jennie:There’s a form fill to fill in if you would like their services. 

Paul: Oh, nice. 

Jennie: And he happened to check it after forgetting it for a few years. And he actually had requests for his services. And so people who seem to have legitimate requests for hiring hitmen, he responded back to them, confirmed they really did want to do this and then he had provided that information to the police. 

Paul: Uh huh. 

Jennie: Because he was not actually providing a hitman service. And instead he’s saving people’s lives, which is nice, right?

Paul: Yeah. And and convicting stupid people.

Jennie: Exactly.

Paul: So they- they went to her house and arrested her for just being an idiot. It’s just like we’re here from the idiot patrol. 

Jennie: Yeah. 

Paul: You’ve committed an idiot felony.

Jennie: Yes.

Jennie: And once he found out that people were actually doing this-

[Paul laughs]

Jennie: -he really beefed up this site and-

Paul: He made it really good.

Jennie: I mean. It’s pretty obvious it’s a joke.

Paul: Uh Huh.

Jennie: But he still gets people submitting requests. 

Paul: Wow. 

Jennie: So part of him beefing up the site. Well first, we’ll just throw in a HIPAA pitch here. Everyone needs to do some HIPAA training. 

Paul: Okay.

Jennie: Paul, what does HIPAA stand for?

Paul: Oh, my God. It’s it’s it’s a it’s a really large animal. 

[Jennie laughs]

Paul: It floats in rivers. 

Jennie: Yes. 

Paul: In the Amazon. It’s a-

Jennie: Hippo.

Paul: Oh, that’s a hippo.

Jennie: Yeah. HIPAA!

Paul: Hippo Compliance.

Jennie: Shockingly you know, remember what this is. It’s the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1964.

Paul: You can’t even say it.

Jennie: No, no one can.

Paul: I knew that, by the way, everybody. She just blurted it out before I could say it

Jennie: No one really knows what HIPAA stands for or what it does. See people throw the word around. So this guy used that to his advantage, and he can sell these services by saying that everything’s confidential because they are HIPAA compliant.

[Paul laughs]

Paul: They’re HIPAA compliant.

Jennie: They comply with the hitman information privacy and Protection Act of 1964.

[Paul laughs]

Paul: Sweet!

Jennie: So he added some credibility to the site.

Paul: You know my concern is is that they’ve hired him and I’m wondering is he an independent contractor or not. Is he an employer and he’s been a contractor.

Jennie: Of course you would think that 

[Jennie laughs]

Paul: Yeah. I mean underneath the analysis he’d be an independent contractor. 

Jennie: Contractor yeah. 

Paul: Because they’re not in the business of killing people when they get in touch with them. 

Jennie: Correct.

Paul: And so for he is providing a known service for them which does not really, you know, can’t be associated with their business. 

Jennie: Yeah.

Paul: Yeah.

Jennie: Well one of the very, very real testimonials on the site.

Paul: Well, she’s going to issue like an I9. No, not an I9

Jennie: A W- not –  a 1099.

Paul: A 1099 at the end of the year because you know, paid services and he needs to be paying taxes.

Jennie: That Is a good question and we should submit to him that he should add information about that to the site.

Paul: I am going to his website.

[Paul  laughs]

Jennie: Oh, it’s amazing. Well, there is a very, very real obvious testimonial on the site. 

Paul: Oh, nice. 

Jennie: “My business schedule is too busy to get my hands dirty with human resource issues. So I consulted with Rent a Hitman, and they handled my disgruntled employee issue promptly while I was out of time on vacation. Gracias Rent a Hitman”

Paul:I, I, I’m trying to think, can we at this where do we put this in our services? It’d be very expensive.

Jennie: I mean, is it that unusual that you’d think a manager is so confrontational, avoidant that they’d rather hire a- get a hit job?

[Jennie laughs]

Paul: Well, I have on more than one occasion, had a doctor asked me to come fire the employee for them.

Jennie: Exactly.

Paul: And you’ve heard me tell the story. 

Jennie: Yeah

Paul: And he was like, I was like, doc It’s just too it just cost too much. And he was like, how much is too much? This was ten years ago. And I said, well, you know, three days travel, yada, yada, 12 grand. And I gave him a number that I thought that he, you know, I gave him that outrageous number because I wanted him to back up and do it himself.

Paul: And he said, OK, I’ll do that. And then I’m like, no, no, no-

Jennie: No, no, no.

Paul: -and that’s it was a joke. Yeah. But that would make me kind of a hit man.

Jennie: Well, exactly. And I think-

Paul: Except no one would die

Jennie: No one would die. But so that brings me back to what should you outsource to an H.R. company? And the reason why we won’t fly someone out to do this for you shouldnt have a third party who doesn’t even work at your business be handling directly that conversation with the employee.

Paul: Exactly.

Jennie: Isn’t that a perfect segue away from my True Crime podcast?

Paul: It was really, really good. Jenny, that’s really well thought out. So you know that you made the point. This is one of the reasons we are not in love with third party employers. They called all sorts of things that I think the typical term that you hear the most is a p.e.o. the way it’s sold is that you’re kind of you’re kind of outsourcing, which we don’t love.

Jennie: Right.

Paul: We believe in in-sourcing. You’re kind of outsourcing all of your H.R. And the question, you know, comes to mind is, well, how are they going to be the ones who communicate your strategic H.R. Business planning and you keep people fired up and involved and engaged and everything, as well as be the ones that are going to do the other parts of your H.R.

Paul: And the answer to that is a resounding no.

Paul: I mean, think about what it would feel like to work at a place where someone from offsite calls in on the phone and fires people

Jennie: Yeah.

Paul: Or someone you’ve never even talked to or only seen strolls in and sits down and chewed somebody out and issues a corrective action and walks out of the door. I mean, these are not the the best circumstances to to work under for an employee.

Paul: So, i mean, i’m sure there are varying levels of it, but we really don’t like the third party outsourcing thing. That that being said, we like the term insourcing, which is you find support which trains and educates you and and supports you to understand what your obligations are and what some of the possible ways you can solve the problem with an employer.

Paul: And then you go do it as a manager or as an owner. That’s the model that we work in. So when you when people call for everybody who’s listening, when people call in for our solutions in or a lot of times they think they’re calling on a compliance call. Well, you are because if you call from San Francisco, we have to maybe solve a particular problem one way then if you’re in, say, South Carolina.

Paul: So in that way, there is some compliance to it because it’s laws and regulations that kind of regulate everything that we do with an employee. But on the other end of this service that we provide and that we, I think, really we set a very high standard, if not the standard is we’re also have done this 150,000 times before over the last six years. And we’ve seen different solutions work and not work. And we can often give you not just one or two options, but three or four ways that you might approach problem.

Jennie: Yeah.

Paul: Yeah. And that is not outsourcing.

Jennie: Correct.

Paul:That is using, you know, using help. I mean, if you’re listening and you’re a member or if you’re not a member, I don’t know if you’ve ever paid attention to the hero story. You know, this is something they teach and literary school and it’s how Star Wars was built. And it’s just the thing you follow. We’re not the hero. And you are. If you’re the listener, you’re the hero. Our job is to support you in your journey. And we know your journey is ever changing. And challenges are different every day. But anyway, I can’t- that’s that’s our self-serving pitch for CEDR.

Jennie: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So better we do this yourself. Don’t make somebody… get help so you know how to do it, right. But don’t get some third party in to come do this. Who also then can’t handle the drama in the office that happens after you’ve murdered one of your employees.

[Paul laughs]

Jennie: or, you know, taken a hit on them.

[Jennie laughs]

Paul: Yeah, we are not going to come kill any employees and it’s just how it’s it’s it’s it’s crazy. I’m speechless. OK, all right. This is our system. What the hell just happened in H.R. We found a website with a testimonial that said that the guy did a great job handling an employee issue, and the guy was supposedly a hitman.

[Jennie laughs]

Paul: I can’t wait to go find the website.

Jennie: So it’s great.

Voice Over: Thanks for joining us for this week’s episode of What The Hell Just Happened? do Paul a favor; share this with your network. If you have an HR issue or a question, you’d like us to discuss on this show, send it to podcast@WTHjusthappened.com. For more HR advice and insights from Paul and his team of experts, you can also join the private Facebook group, HR Base Camp, or visit HRbasecamp.com. Make sure you tune in next week. And remember: better workplaces make better lives.

Oct 25, 2022

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance based on applicable local, state and/or federal U.S. employment law that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.

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