You Made a Bad Hire – Now What?

Posted: Nov 09  |  By: Parker + Lynch

The interviewing and hiring process is one that no one in upper management takes lightly. You want to avoid a bad hire at all cost. So you carefully weigh the education, work experience and references of each applicant. In the interview, it’s usually apparent when a candidate is the right one for the job. However, sometimes you will hire someone who turns out not to be a great fit for your company and its culture.

The bottom line is that bad hires cost your firm money and waste valuable resources. It’s important to act quickly to correct the error to protect your bottom line. Here are a few tips for how to handle that situation.

Be Honest and Sincere

All candidates for an opening feel that they are the right person for the job. As the hiring manager, you decide who is actually right for the job. If it seems like you’ve made a mistake, talk with the employee sooner rather than later. Note the performance gaps you see and how they can be addressed.

Accept Responsibility

Take responsibility for your errors in hiring. Apologize and let the employee know that it was your mistake in analysis that has caused the problem. Point out their strengths while letting them know why you feel that they are not a fit for the position. It can be difficult to admit your error, but it will be a lot easier for your employee to understand if you are clear about what you overlooked in the hiring process.

Consider Other Options

Look for other opportunities within the company and consider transferring an employee to another department, rather than terminating them. This is especially true if the employee has a good attitude and work ethic. While the specific position that they were hired for may not be their strength, they may still be assets to the company in another department. Any time you can correct a hiring error without disrupting the life and finances of an employee is a win for everyone.

Help Them Move On

If there are no openings within your company that are a better fit for them, refer capable and responsible employees to colleagues in other firms that may have openings. By helping them to move on with their career, you can lessen the blow that follows letting a bad hire go.

No one can get every hire right, but by learning to handle a bad hire situation with honesty and compassion, both you and your employee can move on without as little pain and loss as possible.