Made a Bad Hiring Decision? 6 Steps to Fix It!

It’s more common than you might think – the candidate you had such high hopes for just isn’t making the grade.

There are many reasons why a new hire might be under-performing, but a struggling hire doesn’t have to be a bad hire – and you don’t always have to move them on.

Here are six steps to finding a mutually beneficial solution!

1. Set a decent probation period

The probation period is there for a reason, so use it wisely. It provides a get-out clause for you and your hire, if things don’t ultimately work out.

Probation usually lasts between three and six months, and can be extended subject to contract.

2. Open the conversation

Have an honest and respectful discussion with the worker about the problems they face.

Perhaps they need space to deal with personal issues, or help settling into the workplace. Maybe they are confused about work responsibilities or processes.

During the pandemic, some remote hires missed proper on-boarding procedures. They may simply need more guidance on company protocols.

3. Assess the scale of the problem

Once you understand the problem, you can work out how serious it is.

Is it fixable within the probation period, and how much does it impact other workers? Can you see a long-term resolution?

If the problem is relatively minor – say, the hire lacks some practical skills – you can arrange some support and training to fill the gap.

If the worker has behavioural issues, however, you might not find a remedy. Where you see bad conduct, rudeness and unwillingness to learn, it might be worth moving them on.

4. Work out if the role is right

Maybe you find yourself with the right person in the wrong position.

Try to separate the person’s attributes and personality from their performance in the specific role, to see if you want to keep them within the organisation.

If they are a good cultural fit for your company, you may be able to use them in a role that better fits their skills and qualifications – working in sales rather than administration, for instance.

5. Re-check your candidate list

If all else fails, reassess the candidates on your original list. This is where it’s important to treat all your candidates with consideration.

When treated with respect, they are far more likely to be receptive if you contact them again to see if they are still interested in the role.

6. Prevent it happening again

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to selecting the right candidates!

Reassess and tighten up your entire hiring process to minimise the chance of bad hires in the first place.

  • Ask candidates to demonstrate practical skills at the interview.
  • Use more than one interviewer.
  • Seek team member feedback on prospective hires.
  • Carry out thorough reference checks.

Consider a professional HR company to help you find the most suitable candidates for your roles.