What to Do When You Spot a Bad Hire

John Krautzel
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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.


Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Jeanne this site is for the the employer and the employee. We try to cover both sides of the coin so you will read some articles on here that are more directed to the employer. However, it's good to read both sides so that you can get a feel for what the employer goes through, too. This article gives you a little bit of insight as to what the employer goes through, too and let's you know that you don't want to be that bad hire and therefore how to avoid it - or what employers look for. We have thousands of articles on our sites that deal strictly with the job seeker. Hope that they are helping you on your journey.

  • Jeanne L.
    Jeanne L.

    I apoligize, though this is not an appropriate report for a Job Search Website. I am looking for jobs and and I do not like this report on this site. Job seekers need encouragement, not discouragement. This site is not just for employers, but also for the employees. Many times the employees' rights are ignored and forgotten!

  • Confidential U.
    Confidential U.

    Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Find the job that fits the employee you hired. If he or she has an excellent work record and you felt they were a fit in the company then stick with your gut feeling and use his potential to better his performance and your overall outcome in production. Takes a little time but is well worth it in the long run. The more you work with him or her the more they will work with you.

  • Troy Beard
    Troy Beard

    It works just like that..

  • Lee Duhart
    Lee Duhart

    I agree. You won't know until you hire them. It's like being in a Department Store and you see the perfect Suit you have no idea how it will fit until you try it on.

  • JOB L.
    JOB L.

    The ONLY way one can REALLY see if a person is the wrong person or the right person is to try them out; possibly on a free-lance or short contractual basis.

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