Hiring the wrong person for a job can be a costly mistake. Hiring mistakes cost money, lower employee morale and keep your company or department from meeting its objectives. When you realize you've made a bad hire, it's important to quickly deal with the situation and get your company or department back on track.
Spotting the Bad Hire
Good managers always pay attention to the state of morale in their departments. When morale seems to drop after a new hire, it's time to pay attention. Watch for increased errors or complaints from customers, other departments or even the new hire himself. If the new hire presents a persona different from what you saw in the job interview, if he spends a lot of time defending himself and blaming others or if he keeps focusing on how he did things at his old job, you may be seeing a sign that the person you thought you hired is not the person who showed up to work.
Dealing With the Bad Hire
Once you realize you've hired the wrong person, don't wait for things to get better. Deal with the situation as quickly as possible. Check your notes and paperwork from the interview and hiring process to see if anything the new employee said at the time contradicts things you've learned since then. Make sure you have all the information you need from co-workers regarding any problems, and consult your human resources department or attorney regarding legal ramifications of firing the bad hire. Move quickly to get your department or company back to normal.
Avoiding the Bad Hire
The best way to deal with a bad hire, of course, is not to make a hiring mistake in the first place. Involve other managers and co-workers in hiring decisions when possible, especially when technical qualifications are involved. Develop a metric to help you in future hiring decisions. Analyze the cultural fit of your workplace and figure out how best to communicate it to job candidates to make sure you're hiring people who are likely to be happy in their new jobs. Look for job candidates who are enthusiastic, smart and ready to hit the ground running. Make sure you follow up with all references, and be willing to ask tough questions before saying yes to a new hire.
So many factors go into any single hiring decisions that it's not surprising that a bad hire slips through once in a while. When this occurs, moving swiftly to rectify the situation sends a message to your long-time employees that you are aware of the mistake and that you have their backs. After removing a bad hire, remedy your hiring processes to make sure you don't repeat the same mistake.
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