Even the most finely tuned hiring process can go sideways sometimes and lead to a horror story bad hire. Most companies treat bad hires in one of two ways: firing or avoidance. Neither of these makes for an effective first-choice strategy. Firing assumes that the person can’t be corrected or used well in some other capacity. Avoiding the bad hire problem perpetuates the issues. So, what can you do about those bad hires?
If you hired someone, it means you thought they could do the job and mesh well with your company culture. Without undervaluing the importance of skills, that culture fit is often difficult to find and a critical factor in retention. For underperforming employees who show a good culture fit, it’s usually worth exploring the possibility of reassignment. Consider the skills they do excel at and whether those skills fit another role in the company. If you can get that employee in the right position, they may still thrive.
Takeaway: Sometimes, a person is a bad hire for a position, not for the company. Consider other places you can use that employee.
Set Performance Goals
Underperforming employees may not always understand the full range of performance expectations. Before letting someone go, consider setting up performance goals for them. This does several things for you. It communicates clearly to the employee what you expect from someone in their position. It gives them a chance to raise their game to the level you expect. You also give yourself some cover for letting them go if they really can’t meet expectations.
Takeaway: Replacing an employee soaks up resources. It’s better to give an underperforming employee a chance to improve before firing up the hiring process again.
In some cases, the best course of action is to fire a bad hire. Anyone who lied about their skills, for example, should be fired immediately. New employees who get into repeated verbal altercations with coworkers need to go. Employees who can’t meet their demands of the position should also be fired. Once you make the decision, the hire isn’t working out, don’t procrastinate. The sooner they’re gone, the sooner you can find someone better suited to the position.
Takeaway: Treat firing as a necessary evil, but one that you commit to when it is essential.
Every company faces the occasional bad hire. Someone who looked good on paper or interviewed well underperforms or doesn’t integrate into the company culture. Before you fire them, consider alternatives like placing them into a different position or setting performance goals. These options can help someone find their footing at your company. Once you decide to fire someone, though, commit and follow through on it.
Need to replace a bad hire? Joynus can help you find candidates with the right skills and the right culture fit.