What Happens When A Great Interviewee Turns Out to Be A Bad Employee

November 16th, 2016 Comments off
business, people, fail, paperwork and technology concept - businessman with laptop computer and papers working in office

Hiring employees is a risky business. The entire hiring process is designed to prevent a bad hire from slipping through, yet most employers say they’ve made a bad hire in the past. So how does this happen and, more importantly, what do you do to correct the mistake of a bad hire?


How Bad Hires Happen

You’ve probably already come to accept that some job seekers lie on their resumes and applications. More than a third of employers who have made a bad hire say it was because the candidate lied during the application process.


However, employers aren’t always completely blameless. In some cases an employer may be so eager to fill the open position that they’re willing to overlook potential problems with the candidate. It’s also not uncommon for candidates who are particularly skilled at the interview portion of the hiring process to slip through without much scrutiny in other areas, including cultural fit and whether they are capable of performing the job.


How to Prevent a Bad Hire

There are a number of things employers can do to avoid hiring a potentially toxic employee. Following up with references and actually drilling down to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate, rather than simply confirming titles and dates, can go a long way.


Splitting the interview into several stages is also an effective blockade against bad hires. While the first round of interviews may be relatively brief, as candidates get closer to landing the job, stretch it out a little more. After all, you’re hiring them to work with you all day every day, not in one-hour spurts.


It also helps to get more people from the team involved in the interview process. While a skilled interviewer may be able to put on a convincing enough act to win over one interviewer, fooling an entire team is less likely.


How to Remedy a Bad Hire

Still, bad hires do happen, and in many cases letting them loose simply isn’t an option. So what can you do to make the most out of a bad situation?


The answer is almost always communication. Make your expectations as a manager clear and specific, and don’t shy away from letting the employee know when he fails to live up to them.


If behavior is the issue, make it clear what specific behaviors need to be changed. Telling an employee that he needs to start showing up on time will be more effective than asking him to improve his attitude.


If the employee isn’t living up to expectations in terms of skills and quality of work, plan extra time in his projects for additional feedback and collaboration. You may also want to work with the employee to find relevant classes or training programs that may help get him up to speed.


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The 5 Biggest Costs of Making a Bad Hire

May 25th, 2016 Comments off
What's the real cost of a bad hire?

I love it when talent advisors and HR practitioners exclaim they’re in the field because “I love people!” It becomes interesting when you ask, “Does that mean EVERYONE?” Then you hear the awkward pause as someone comes to mind who makes them eat their words. Don’t get me wrong — I think HR should love all people, but we’ve all made decisions about hiring someone that unexpectedly went wrong.

The challenge in recruiting, sourcing and hiring people for your company is that you want a “win” every time. It’s a great goal to have, and one you shouldn’t step back from. The reality is that we’ve all made a “bad hire” before, and the impact of those decisions is far-reaching — particularly in a small business.

Though I don’t think anyone ever intends to have a bad hire, it happens. But have you ever stepped back to see what the real cost is in those hires that go south? There are tangible dollars and cents that can be calculated, but even more costs come along with a person who doesn’t work out. In a small business, this is magnified because there are fewer employees who make up an organization. If it’s not addressed, it can be crippling in many ways.

Here are the top five costs of making a bad hire you are sure to see:

1. Daily impact on employees.

It goes beyond the immediate department in which employees work. While that particular department may see a more pronounced negative effect, the impact of even one bad hire can send shock waves throughout the culture of your entire company. Having this bad hire continue in their ways will eat away at the daily experience your employees encounter.

2. Loss of retention.

People don’t normally think about this aspect of a bad hire, but your performers may leave your company if they feel this is the type of person you’re willing to bring on to work with them. I’m not talking about someone who is simply a “bad fit,” because they may be able to find another role in your organization. I’m talking about someone who just doesn’t do the job well overall.

3. We become jaded.

Once we have our focus turned and we look at the negative side of employees, it becomes ingrained in how we lead. We tend to become disheartened after a bad hire experience, and we think everyone we bring in after them will also fail. It just isn’t true, but the pendulum of negativity is hard to swing back to being positive and confident once we go down that road.

4. Hiring managers question our ability.

The relationship between HR and hiring managers is only as good as the last hire you had. That may not seem fair, but it’s a reality. While this reality can be a factor that helps build your relationship, one bad hire can make things extremely tenuous. It’s a real challenge.

5. The cost of hire becomes a barrier.

HR is already seen as a cost center in organizations. It is a facet of who we are and what we do, but when bad hires happen, that cost is put into the spotlight. The implications of this are more serious than tangible costs alone; making bad hires can affect our reputations and be a deterrent to all the good work we regularly provide.


Don’t: be freaked out about these hidden costs. Do: Reflect on how deeply a bad hire can cost you personally and as an organization. When you do this, you’ll step back and be diligent in doing your best so this rarely happens. Your decisions have both short-term and long-term implications, so make your hires count.


Get more ideas on how to make sure you have the right plan in place to hire great people: Sign up to get CareerBuilder’s free Small Business Recruitment in a Box toolkit delivered to you.