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Signs the New Employee is a Bad Hire

Imagine investing so much money and time on recruitment only to have it be a bad hire. Here are some signs to look out for and tips on how to save your skin.

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Imagine investing so much money and time on recruitment only to have it be a bad hire. Here are some signs to look out for and tips on how to save your skin.


Have you ever hired someone and realized a few weeks or months later that you made a huge mistake? It has happened to the best of us. It's not uncommon to meet applicants who are "lions on the CV, but cats in person." Candidates frequently go over and above to impress during the recruiting stage, and even assessments cannot guarantee that you are selecting the right individual.

How much does a bad hire cost? According to a Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) survey, one hiring mistake could cost up to five times the bad hire’s annual salary. In addition, research from The Harvard Business Review concluded that some percentage of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions.

Small businesses are frequently victims of bad hires since they have limited recruiting budgets and are often in a hurry to employ, causing them to make the wrong choice. My friend recruited a person following a three-week recruiting procedure. Three days later, he went away with his work laptop and never returned.

So how can you spot a bad hire? Here are some signs to look out for -

The new hire can’t seem to pick up the pace - To be clear, every new hire needs enough training and time to master their new position. It is also the employer's responsibility to give the appropriate onboarding experience. The amount of time and training required will differ depending on the position, team, industry, degree of expertise, and other factors.

What we're talking about here is a new recruit who has been given every opportunity to learn and every tool to succeed yet is still struggling.

Where are the skills you were promised? - Sometimes the employee who shows up for work appears nothing like the person you met during the recruiting and onboarding stage. While it is normal for job seekers to put their best foot forward when applying for a new job, lying is not acceptable.

Although good interviewers can measure the amount of mastery of certain abilities, it is always possible for a candidate who lacks the proper skill level but is an excellent communicator to slip through the cracks.

Negative energy - Yes, it takes time for a new employee to integrate into a team and develop trust and rapport with coworkers, but it's difficult to justify maintaining a new recruit who is in open or persistent disagreement with numerous team members or who is quick to blame others for their own errors or poor work. Conflict and blaming may have a detrimental influence on productivity and contribute to low morale.

The negative consequences of a bad hire frequently extend beyond their job performance to the team or department to which they are assigned, particularly in the case of a managerial position.

Already ghosting - These are the new employees that arrive late, leave early, or disappear during the day citing personal reasons, or who immediately request vacation time without crushing any goals.

Because remote work is becoming more popular, it may be more difficult to track and explain the reason for an employee's absence than it was when everyone was in the office. However, if you know for certain that the new recruit is leaving work early, arriving late, missing meetings, or just not showing up, these are signs that the employee isn't taking the job seriously or doesn't have the work ethic to thrive in your organization.

Can’t take the heat - "Are you able to work under pressure?" "Have you ever worked in a fast-paced environment?" - Both of these are fairly frequent interview questions, and most applicants reply yes! Everyone has bad days now and again, but if your new worker appears to panic every time they are given a new task or tight deadlines, then their ability to handle pressure may be lacking.


Should you train or fire? How to deal with a bad hire

Terrible hiring may often be salvaged, especially if the difficulties are related to work performance. If you are prepared to offer the employee the necessary information, coaching, training tools, and other assistance to help them better, it is generally worthwhile to try to help them. Of course, if they are unable to improve or admit their shortcomings, you may need to realize that it is time to go your separate ways.

The best way to address a terrible hire situation is, of course, to avoid making recruiting blunders in the first place. Do the following to avoid the significant expense of a bad hire:


  • Take more time during the hiring process 

  • Trust your guts and make informed decisions

  • Get advice by involving coworkers 

  • Ask scenario-based questions during interviews

  • Focus on facts not aesthetics - don’t be swayed 

  • Go for a balance of experience and culture fit


Do you need help getting it right the first time? We can help! Simply click this LINK to learn more.

Written by

Eseosa Osayimwen

Excited about creating content that drives revenue, build trust and tells stories.

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