New employees require a learning curve and time to get acclimated, but if it’s become apparent that your new hire has issues beyond the standard adjustment period, you need to tackle the situation head-on. The longer you wait to deal with a bad hire, the worse the outcome will be, including morale for the rest of your team, productivity issues, and finding a replacement promptly.
So you made a bad hire, now what? Here’s how to recover from a bad hiring decision and move forward:
Share Your Concerns
It likely won’t be the most comfortable conversation, but the first step in dealing with a bad hire is sharing your concerns with the employee. Be direct and objective about the specific issues that are indicative they won’t be a successful fit. Avoid making them feel defensive by having clear examples to support your claims. Once you’ve shared your concerns, the new employee will get the heads-up that they either: need to improve (and quickly) or start job searching since there’s a significant chance it’s not the right job for them.
Provide Specific Expectations
If you aren’t ready to let the bad hire go and want to give them a chance to perform better or change their behavior, be completely transparent. Provide specific expectations on what results you need to see and in what time frame, as well as the consequences if they are not met. If the time comes and goes without improvement, you can feel confident in your decision to part ways, and the employee will not be caught off-guard.
Avoid Delaying a Decision
Once you know that you’ve made a bad hire and it simply won’t work out, act quickly. Avoid delaying a decision – it’s more respectful to the employee to let them move on promptly and not waste their time. Plus, by taking swift action, there’s still a chance that your other candidates who were in the running may still be interested or job searching.
Learn From Your Mistakes
After you’ve fired a bad hire, set aside time for reflection. What exactly went wrong with that hire, and what could you do differently in the hiring process to prevent it from happening again? Aim to learn from your mistakes and improve your decision-making process going forward.
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