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Dealing with a Poor Hiring Decision

HR professionals and hiring managers have all made a poor hiring decision. The hope is that you improve with time.  Trying to understand what you did wrong and how do you fix it?  If you hire enough, you will, without fail, make a poor hiring decision at some point in your career.  It is going to happen.  Make peace with it, at the same time, do not be afraid to deal with the poor decision. 

As with all bad decisions in life, there is usually a price to pay. That is no different when it comes to hiring the wrong person for a role. 

After a lengthy interview process, you have finally found the right person to fill your open role.  Six months down the road, you are now questioning that decision.  It is perfectly normal to do so.

Before you write-off your new employee, ask yourself a few questions: 
  1. Were they properly trained?
  2. Were they assigned a mentor to guide them?
  3. Do they fully understand the expectation?
  4. Is there a spot in your business where they may be a better fit?
  5. Have you met with them or asked the functional leader to meet with them?  You may find out the cause for concern is something very easily corrected.
If you determine that your newer hire is truly a poor fit, for whatever reason, do not delay in taking action. 
  1. Start with a conversation with the employee. 
  2. Begin to lay the foundation of what may lead to a separation.  
  3. Help them understand what is expected of an employee in your organization, both technically and culturally.  
  4. Have periodic check-ins with the employee, every 1-2 weeks.  During the check-ins, discuss what may or may not have improved. If you see improvements, state it. If you do not, be honest.  

This process is a performance improvement plan and all conversations with regards to performance should be documented.  It should be shared with the employee. Oftentimes, the employee may begin their job search.  They do not want to be left unemployed. In these cases, it makes it less dramatic if a separation needs to take place.  However, there are many employees that will continue to try to improve so if they are not making the mark, it is important to be candid with them. A separation should never be a surprise.

The worst action you can take is no action.  A poor hire brings no benefit to you, your organization, your other team members and the employee.  Make the change. Cut your losses. Move forward. Always move forward.

If you or a team member need assistance with a separation or assistance preparing the conversation or process, please reach out to me at Kristin@HRCreativeConsulting.com