The Only Thing Worse Than Making a Hiring Mistake Is Not Catching It In Time
Getting through the hiring process can be exhausting and time-consuming. We’ve been there and we get it. You found someone with a great resume, who has most of the skills needed, and seems like he’d be a good fit with your company culture. Yet once he starts work, you notice things are…off. The harsh reality is sometimes the person you saw in the job interviews isn’t the same person who ends up working for you. Granted, it’s important to recognize the learning curve in effect and everyone deserves a fair shake. But at the same time, failure to recognize signs of a bad hire can have far-reaching consequences for your workplace, affecting everything from productivity to morale.
But how can you tell if you’ve hired a bad employee? Check out this list:
Signs of a Bad Hire
1. Mistakes are Occurring Regularly
As we said before, there will be a learning curve. That’s to be expected. But what shouldn’t be tolerated is making the same mistakes over and over again.
First of all, make sure your new employee is getting the necessary training. If that’s the case, and the same mistakes are occurring regularly, that is a sign of laziness or incompetence. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for his future (especially if you’ve already talked to him about being more careful).
2. Requests for Special Privileges
The work schedule was laid out in advance and contracts were signed with that understanding. Yet suddenly during the first couple of weeks, your new employee is asking for special privileges.
That’s a red flag.
If everyone else works Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and that was clearly conveyed to your new hire, then it’s a real problem if he’s already asking for a four-day workweek or leaving work early every Wednesday. If there was a problem with the schedule, it should’ve been addressed during the interview. Besides, catering to a new employee while forcing existing workers to stick to what was in place, is going to create big problems.
3. Beware the Complainer
You want employees who speak up when they have something important to say, but no one likes someone who is constantly complaining.
If you’ve just hired someone and all you’ve heard from him in the first couple of weeks is how everything is terrible, the company is lacking, and the coffee in the break room isn’t up to par, it’s possible you’ve made the wrong choice. Constructive criticism is fine as are suggestions, but those are much different than complaints. If your new hire is just bringing up negatives without bringing any solutions or positivity to the table, he probably isn’t going to last very long or have a good impact.
4. General Decline in Office Morale
On the flip side, maybe your new hire is happy but everyone else is miserable.
Creating a harmonious and productive atmosphere is an important part of the hiring process. Unfortunately, one bad hire can pollute the entire organization. So if everything was working fine before, and suddenly your existing employees are unhappy and productivity has dropped because no one is getting along with the new guy, that’s a real issue. There are two sides to every story, so make sure you talk to both groups. But if you’ve hired someone and suddenly your workplace is an unhappy, unproductive place, it might be because you’ve hired the wrong person.
5. Unwilling to Adapt
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
You go through the painstaking hiring process and finally decide on someone. But when you bring them in, instead of acclimating to your business and how you operate, all you hear from your new hire is “Well this is how we did it at my old company.”
Remember, there’s a difference between having trouble acclimating and being unwilling to adapt.
While good ideas from other places can always be implemented, employees also shouldn’t be of the mindset there’s only one way to do things. This isn’t his old company, it’s your company. And you need to make sure you’ve hired someone who can adapt and be fluid or else you’ll need to restart the hiring process.
6. “Not My Job”
Good morale is worth its weight in gold.
Even in sports, great team chemistry can lead to championships. It’s no different in the working world. If you’ve got a good thing going and all of your workers like each other and enjoy coming into work every day, it’s vital you hire with that in mind. If the balance has been upset and the only change is the new hire, you need to think about excising said new employee from the situation. Happy employees are more productive employees.
There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve hired a go-getter only to find out that’s not the case at all.
If anything, the first few weeks of a new employee’s tenure should be a time when he’s trying to impress. A stellar employee will come in and try to make a positive mark right away, going above and beyond to do so. So if a new employee arrives and turns down work, says no to new projects, or develops a habit of saying “that’s not my job,” consider the alarm raised.
So now you know the signs of a bad hire. Great employees will always try to impress, while problem employees either don’t take initiative or shirk responsibilities.