How to Move Forward After a Poor Hiring Decision

How to Move Forward After a Poor Hiring Decision

As business leader, you want to build your organization, which requires that you make judgment calls about the best possible candidates for various positions. While fantastic hires are wonderful assets that help to grow your organization, bad hires can drag it down, costing the company unnecessary money and potentially eroding the brand. If you are panicking because you are beginning to see that your newest employee does not seem to be performing, here are what your next steps should be.

Identify the problem

A general assumption that a particular person is just a poor hire does not define the specific problem. Why is the person a poor hire? It is important for the employee’s superiors to carefully evaluate the situation and determine the reason for the issues. For example, is it personality conflicts, lack of understanding of the job description or inadequate training?

If the hire appears to be a hard worker but is not functioning well in their current position, then it may be possible to resolve the problem internally. Some employees might benefit from retraining, educational seminars about their position or modifications to the workflow—such as allowing an introvert more opportunities for individual work rather than focusing nearly exclusively on group projects. Other employees might just not be a good fit for their role, but might be able to benefit the organization in other positions. If reassigning them would be a possibility, consider that option as well.

It is important to go through this step as quickly as possible, so you identify the real problem and address it in a substantive way. Although there is a high cost to turnover, inefficient and poor-performing employees will also cost the company money, so don’t let issues perpetuate, hoping things will get better on their own. Whether the situation is resolved internally or by letting the person go, resolve the situation as quickly and efficiently as possible.   

Determine why the hiring process did not uncover the poor prospect

Regardless of the reason that the new employee is a bad fit, businesses must uncover the problems in their hiring process that resulted in the poorly matched employee. For example, see if the prospect was hired without enough experience or if their personality did not fit well with the broader company culture. Use this as a learning opportunity to improve the hiring process so that future hires are much better fits for the goals of the business.

Reducing turnover can help organizations minimize spending and enable smoother operations. One study found that the average cost of turnover was 21 percent of the employee’s annual salary—so avoiding these costs when possible will always be favorable to the company’s bottom line.

If the situation cannot be resolved, let the individual go

Although it can be challenging, and even painful, to fire someone, businesses cannot afford to have poor employees on staff just to be nice. While organizations should seek potential resolutions before reaching this decision, if it becomes clear that the employee is not going to be able to adequately complete their tasks, then it is time to cut ties. When letting the person go, it is important to do it in a manner that is as respectful but clear as possible.

Make a new hire

Once the situation has been resolved one way or the other, the organization may need to move forward and start the process of hiring a replacement. This process should be completed as efficiently as possible, making sure that the hiring team reflects on the lessons learned through the past experience. The team should make sure that the job description is in alignment with the company’s culture and expectations so that history doesn’t repeat itself.

Organizational growth can be a real challenge because new staff can have a big impact on both revenue and the company’s brand. When you realize you’ve made a bad hiring choice, it requires the ability to carefully evaluate, diagnose, and take action to rectify the mistake, as well as a willingness to learn from the experience.