The Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne is facing a PR crisis after a fake job ad was placed on job search website Seek, advertising for a new CEO. The ad detailed behaviour that accused the current CEO of self-centeredness, ignorance, disconnect with mission, disrespect, and a lack of communication. The job ad has since been taken down, but is still viewable on Google Cache. The story has been circulated on prominent news websites, and popular talkback radio as well.
This isn’t a situation that is unique to the not for profit sector - there are many tales, both true and of the urban myth ilk, that report employees doing similar things in retaliation for workplace dissatisfaction.
So what can we learn from this?
These are the top three concerns highlighted in the job ad - concerns that a healthy and functional NFP will address regularly through staff surveys, open management discussions, efficient internal communications and collaborative work teams.
As for the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, the Board need to seriously consider the allegations in this fake job ad. They may all be false, and nothing more than the ravings of a single disgruntled staffer. Or they might all be true, and representative of more endemic issues in the organisation. Either way, the Board needs to investigate these claims from a purely due diligence perspective as they are ultimately responsible for the performance of the organisation.