No one likes to admit they made a bad hiring decision. However, as a hiring manager, it’s always possible you will fail to hire the right person for the right job.
What makes it harder is that you’ve invested lots of time and energy into a long and arduous interview process. However, hanging on to a bad hire isn’t going to change the person! While there are times it will not be a clear-cut decision to reassign someone or let them go, it’s important to never sacrifice your business, great employees or customers by keeping someone who cannot or will not do the job.
First … Get Real about Your Decision
- Admit it. Denial isn’t helpful and will hurt you and your company’s reputation the longer you hang on to the bad hire.
- Create a professional development plan. For example, if someone has limited outside sales experience, have them shadow several top salespeople. Then, the sales manager should go with them on calls. Well-defined sales indicators (e.g., number of calls, appointments, presentations and new customers) and a qualified assessment can uncover where to focus coaching efforts.
- Talk candidly with the person. Many times, she or he did their best to land the job interview without truly understanding the job requirements. This is a good time to review expectations. For example, cold calls are a norm for outside salespeople — something good salespeople enjoy and others despise.
- Evaluate them for a different position within the company. Use or review the qualified assessment to determine what you missed when interviewing the candidate. What did you assume? What did you ignore? Did you make your decision based solely on the interview without including the assessment results (which should be 1/3 of the hiring decision)?
- Talk with HR and/or legal before terminating them. When you fire someone, make sure to include a key employee during the exit process as a witness. Be sure all passwords and proprietary information are collected immediately. Keep in mind that no exit interview is required.
- When termination may be the best solution:
- – The employee misrepresented his or her skills.
- – The employee has excellent skills but is a terrible team player.
- – The employee does not follow basic company policies, despite warnings.
- – Theft or drugs are involved.
- – It would cost more money and time to invest in the employee than your company can realistically afford.
According to Insperity, the average U.S. employer spends about $4,000 and 52 days to hire a new person. A bad hire will diminish management, co-workers and customers’ confidence and hurt your P&L. Find out the real costs you incur when a bad hiring decision is made by using the Hiring Calculator. This will help you understand the need to improve your hiring practices.
Second, Review and Improve Your Hiring Decisions
After firing Candidate #1 and before contacting Candidate #2, take a candid look at your current hiring process. (Hint: One great idea is to bring in an objective facilitator to strategically review your hiring process and, if necessary, build a new one.)
Consider the following:
- Use an ATS system that pushes job postings to many sites to attract more qualified candidates.
- Review the job description and rewrite it to attract better candidates.
- Share the rewritten job description and get agreement before restarting the hiring process.
- Use qualified job fit assessments to better understand candidates’ natural strengths and weaknesses.
- Deep-dive into candidates’ responses to better understand the quality of their skills. (Note: Just because they have skills doesn’t mean they will use them.)
- Conduct complete due diligence and use a qualified core value assessment. Remember, over 70 percent of resumes contain inaccuracies. For example, it’s critical to validate the name of previous employers and job titles, actual base salary and actual dates of work, etc. Read Hire Amazing Employees for additional insights.
- No one wants to admit their personal biases override common sense. But studies have shown we make decisions within 4.3 minutes of meeting a candidate and spend the rest of the interview validating our biases. Stay out of this trap.
- Prepare for the interview. Winging an interview today is simply rude, and many job applicants will say no to the job offer if you are unprepared.
- Conduct several interviews with more than one top candidate. Candidates today are savvy and will often say what you want to hear rather than the whole truth. For example, asking, “Are you familiar with QuickBooks?” and having them say yes does not mean they know how to use it. Instead, say, “Tell me about your proficiency in using QuickBooks.” Then, deep-dive into their responses to determine actual skill strength.
Acting wisely and quickly will improve your hiring decisions and make the difference in attracting and retaining great employees.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2017
Need a speaker or facilitator for your company’s executive group? Have issues to address? Conflicts to resolve? Contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that works!
Jeannette Seibly is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant. Do you have a hiring system that needs to be updated, really updated? Are you willing to make simple and effective changes? Check out her website , or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.