What To Do If Your New Hire Isn’t What You Thought

Has this ever happened to you? You hire an amazing person, but after several weeks, it’s obvious something isn’t going well. That person isn’t quite fitting in with the team, and performance isn’t what you expected. In fact, the new employee’s lack of performance is causing other team members to work harder to pick up the slack. If you’ve ever hired someone who was clearly struggling, here’s what to do. 

Review Your Training Process  

We all like to think our training process is wonderful, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Review the person’s training and determine whether they received an organized and thorough introduction to their role. Sometimes new people are thrown into the deep end without a lot of guidance, and if that happened, it’s a good idea to go back and review the basics before panicking. 

Examine Why It’s A Bad Hire  

If your training process was thorough and complete, you’ll need to dig deeper into the reasons why your new hire is potentially a bad hire. Did they misrepresent themselves? Did you cut corners in the hiring process and overlook or miss red flags? Is it a fit issue or a skill issue? Once you determine the reasons why things have gone south, you can determine whether the problem is fixable or whether you should part ways with the employee.  

Decide Whether Reassignment Can Help  

If the employee isn’t a good fit for the position but has the strengths and traits that would suit them well in other roles, don’t dismiss them. Instead, determine whether they will thrive in another position. You don’t want to lose someone who has a good attitude, is a team player and is culturally aligned with your organization. A “bad hire” can be worth keeping if they have the potential to turn things around in a new role or different department.  

If you choose to try moving them, clearly communicate expectations with a detailed performance improvement plan that lays out measurable goals and a timeline to meet those goals. Make sure they understand that if they do not meet those goals, they will be terminated. Document all coaching, progress reports and disciplinary conversations or actions to cover yourself against liability. 

There will be instances when bad hires just aren’t salvageable. If you’ve given them every chance to succeed and ruled out reassignment to a new role, it’s time to think about cutting your losses. 

Know When To Move On 

There will be times when the only option is to terminate the employee. These scenarios can include things like: 

  • The employee misrepresented themselves, their skills or credentials.  
  • The employee is not a team player. 
  • The employee disregards basic policies and procedures despite repeated warnings.  
  • Investing in improvement would cost more time and money than you can realistically afford.  

Avoid Future Bad Hires     

Partnering with a recruiting firm can help you avoid the cost and consequence of making a hiring mistake. A strong partner can help you craft effective job descriptions to attract the right applicants, narrow choices strategically, interview thoroughly and conduct effective background checks. They can also leverage their industry expertise, market knowledge and candidate pipeline to ensure that you’re only interviewing people who will ultimately be worth your time and money. 

If you are looking to improve the quality of your hires while controlling costs, contact the engineering recruiting experts at PEAK today.  



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