How to Keep a Bad Hire from Getting Worse

It’s happened to all of us. There is a job opening, you do your due diligence in the hiring process, and you find the perfect candidate. You put them through the process, every step of which they passed with flying colors! But despite your best efforts, something is not right, and in fact, is bordering on very, very wrong. What do you do?

When you make a hiring decision, you are making a major investment that is more than just a compensation package. As I talked about in my previous post, turnover is expensive, but is keeping an unproductive employee more costly than replacing them? It depends…

First, make sure they’re not struggling due to a mistake on your end. Did you give them the proper training? Did you accurately describe the position to them during the hiring process? Have you made yourself available for questions?

If you haven’t properly trained an employee or just threw them into day-to-day tasks that they weren’t expecting, it’s no wonder they’re struggling! If they are making mistakes that can be fixed by training, take the extra time to train them. They might take longer to learn than you had anticipated, but don’t give up on an employee if there is still hope of fixing their performance.

Second, make sure you are communicating with the employee about their shortcomings. If they’re unaware of your expectations, they will never be able to improve. By keeping the lines of communication open, you are helping them understand exactly at what level they need to be performing.

If you know you have done everything you can and they are still underperforming, not showing up for work, are disrespectful, or are just all around a bad seed, you might want to part ways. If you have followed the appropriate training procedures and have been open with them about their shortfalls, the separation should not be a surprise for them.

In the long run, keeping an unproductive, unmotivated employee who will not be in line with your business objectives will always be more expensive than turnover. Of course, using employment tests before you hire them can help minimize problematic and unproductive employees.

Do you have a difficult employment question? Ask us!

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