Hiring & Recruiting

Save Time and Money: Avoid Bad Hires

In part one of this article, we noted that bad hires are costly—not only in monetary terms but also in employee morale and possibly productivity. Today, let’s take a look at some ways to avoid bad hires.

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Avoiding Bad Hires

Here are a few quick tips on avoiding bad hires:

  • Be clear in the job description. This is especially important if the people involved in the hiring process are removed from the day-to-day needs of the role—which is often the case for HR team members and recruiters. If you’re not the person whom the new hire will be directly working with, it’s less likely that you’ll know instinctively what skills are needed, making it even more important to be on the same page with the hiring manager in terms of what skills to screen for. Be sure to get the job description updated often, and get it approved by the new hire’s manager before posting the job.
  • Conduct skills assessments before making job offers, whenever appropriate. This can reduce the chance the new hire will not have the skills he or she is presumed to have.
  • Consider implementing a more robust training program to make up for skill shortages before they’re problematic.
  • Don’t be in such a rush to fill a role that you’re willing to overlook red flags. Sometimes leaving a role vacant is better than putting the wrong person in the job. Bad hires can cost a lot in terms of diminished morale and other problems—much more than the more obvious hiring and training costs.
  • Be careful not to let a dearth of good applicants make a mediocre one seem great. When the best applicants are few and far between, it can seem like someone who’s actually not qualified suddenly looks great on paper—solely because he or she is all you’ve got.
  • Give new employees the tools they need to be successful. Ensure they have updated equipment, software, etc. Give them the necessary training right away. Introduce them to team members. Be sure to let them know whom to contact with questions. Give them what they need to help them do their best.

If it’s too late, and the bad hire is there, you may still be able to salvage the situation. Consider having a heart-to-heart conversation and finding out what the person thinks of the role and what he or she needs to succeed. There may be a simple issue of misunderstood expectations, or you may be able to quickly ascertain that there’s no way this is going to work out in the long run—cutting ties quickly in that case can be better than trying to force a situation that is doomed to fail.