Oops, Bad Hire!

BadHireSo, the interview went great. The candidate was solid. All the right qualifications, great collaboration skills, and an awesome communicator. It wasn’t until the new employee got through orientation and on to the floor that you started worrying that you’d made a big mistake. Now what?

According to The U.S. Department of Labor, the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the individual’s first year potential earnings (U.S. Department of Labor, 2003). An article at humanresourcesiq.com asserts that there are three key factors that increase the cost of a bad hire: rank and position in company (salary), length of time the bad hire is employed (salary), and the amount of time and resources spent training a bad hire.

The first step is to assess what makes the hire “bad.” Don’t automatically assume the fault is that of the employee.

  1. Ask yourself: Is it a matter of poor orientation or inadequate training? Perhaps you could turn this around in a short amount of time.

  2. Have a conversation: A lack of communication may cause confusion, causing a hire to seem like a poor fit. Sit down and talk about it.

  3. Empathize: Identify any roadblocks that may be hindering them from meeting full potential.


So, how can you avoid bad hires in the future? Here are a couple pointers that can help you avoid such issues:

  1. Focus more on what value each potential hire can add to your company rather than where they went to school and who they know.

  2. Ask questions that assess strength of character and how each candidate will fit into your company culture.

  3. Assess how the new hire’s personality will compliment or clash with others on the team. Some hiring managers conduct personality assessments to prescreen candidates as part of the application process.

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