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10 Signs You've Hired The Wrong Person

Is the new guy Mr. Negative? Does he shout at the espresso machine? Look for these warning signs before you make the hire.
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(Source for all images: Pixabay)

Newly hired… newly fired?
The interview process went smoothly. Then the trouble started. Turns out that new hire wasn't the enthusiastic, clever, and charismatic person you were expecting. And things got progressively worse.

A bad hire can cost a company valuable time, customers, and money. Of course, the negative impact on the bottom line varies by organization, the employee's role, and the length of time your new worker is allowed to make a mess of things.

In a 2012 CareerBuilder survey, 69% of employers said their company had been "adversely affected" by a bad hire during that year. Of these, 41% of respondents estimated the cost of the bad hire was over $25,000; 24% said it cost them more than $50,000.

A bad hire hurts a company in manifold ways: He or she can degrade employee morale, hinder sales, lead to legal issues and costs (e.g., a sexual harassment lawsuit), and cause clients to take their business elsewhere. And after you've given the bad worker the boot, you've got to factor in the cost and time to train a replacement.

There are three main reasons a new worker is fired, or quits voluntarily, within the first 90 days of employment, according to recruiting firm ReWork: They're not very good at their job or they're hard to work with; they learn something about their new job, boss, or company that leads them to resign; or they get a better offer from another employer.

To avoid these outcomes, an employer should take several essential steps during the hiring process, according to Shane Rasnak, Rework's director of marketing. These include running thorough background checks of candidates, and having finalists talk with team members to catch potential personality clashes. The company should also be up front with finalists about what their day-to-day work responsibilities would be like.

Still, it's not unusual for companies to hire the wrong person. Why? According to the CareerBuilder survey, the main reason is simple: An employer needs to hire someone quickly and rushes the decision-making process. Another common cause is that the company's intelligence on the candidates is incomplete or inaccurate. And then there's the shoulder-shrug response. One in four employers aren't sure why they hired the wrong person, instead chalking it up to "sometimes you just make a mistake," the survey found.

Think you've hired the wrong person? We've outlined 10 key warning signs of a bad hire, so read on. Your next move is up to you.

Jeff Bertolucci is a technology journalist in Los Angeles who writes mostly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, The Saturday Evening Post, and InformationWeek. View Full Bio

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SamRay
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SamRay,
User Rank: Strategist
1/11/2015 | 10:07:32 PM
C# Corner article
A couple of your ideas are much like ones in the article "Top 10 Things You May Not Say To Your Boss" in the C# Corner (c-sharpcorner.com) web site. I do not know which came first. Your "That's not my job" is like "That's not part of my job" and "At my old job..." is like "At my last job we did it this way". You might also find the comments for that article interesting.

Mahesh and I collaborated on the article "Top 8 Things You Should Not Say To a Developer" in C# Corner.

As for "That's not my job", do you not allow the person whose job it is to complain? Do you really expect someone to do something they are not qualified to do if there is someone that is qualified and is being paid to do it? You proably meant to say that a person that does not do something they are legitamately asked to (and should) do then that is a clear problem but I think the way it was said can be easily misinterpreted.

As for "At my old job...", do you not want to get the benefit of someone's experience? You (your employer at least) is probably paying for the experience. Sure, if someone dwells on the past and does not want to do things the way your organization needs it to be done then that could be a problem but if you are not open to ideas then that could be a problem.

 

Note to editors of this site: I wish you had provided a warning that links are not allowed instead of notifying us after the fact. How about disabling the dialog we get when we push the links button?
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 7:51:24 PM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results
@Technocrati -  "The job of the manager to mitigate and move constructively forward."  Exactly.  

But funny how most managers - especially in IT -  don't realize this - I'm guessing because possessing the type of people skills that would allow you to pull this off are at odds with what makes someone a good tech worker.  

Does anyone here work for a former techie turned manager that is stellar on both fronts?  Inquiring minds want to know!
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 2:06:22 PM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results

@vnewman2    Well said.  Really this is simple stuff.   Mgt 101 as you mention and the fact that we are discussing the basics shows how difficult this problem is.   Often managers have little managerial experience when they get their first "big break" and then they go into CYA for the rest of their going no-where career.  

 

I have seen this at every company, the person in position of responsibility who just is good at "acting responsible" but when it comes down to it they always show that they are in over their heads.  

But ironically they don't often loose their jobs - they are more apt to use whatever means they can to stay where they are at.  Scruples and Morality were probably lost in college - if they even have that.

I just recently experienced this first hand (again),  and while not every employee is "optimal" - it is the job of the manager to mitigate and move constructively forward. 

 

That next step usually never happens.

tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 9:56:53 AM
Re: re; Re: an average hiring process yields average results
My current job has a six month probation period. It is daunting to think about especially in this job market. Unfortunately most states are "at will" so you work at the company's pleasure. Then again the employee is also free to leave when they want to as well.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 9:43:31 AM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results
Agreed you have to work with the new person. It is in everyone's best interest for this person to succeed. Especially since today companies take their time in hiring a person.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 9:39:44 AM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results
Management is the problem most of the time! They need to ensure that the new hire is a success and do everyting they can to help them succeed. But a key item to look for in the hiring process is how the new hire will fit into the culture of the new company. They could be bright, outgoing and witty but if your company culture is to have quiet insecure introverts, that could be a mismatch. Some companies want their managers to micromanage, others take a hands off view and let you sink or swim. It is really wide open today. 
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 9:31:52 AM
The Interview Process
Given that the interview process today is so legnthy it is hard to imagine a company hiring a bad fit. But since we are all human, it does happen. Most of these tip offs are about negative people. Usually you can spot that during a thorough interview process.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2015 | 12:47:48 PM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results
@freespirit - it is much easier for those, especially in management positions, to be unable or unwilling to look within themselves to see if they are part of the problem.  There's a Farsi saying my friend uses that translates to: "You have sight for others but are blind to yourself."

Part of the reason is when you run the show, you call the shots, so in theory if someone doesn't act the way you want them to, it's your perogative to get rid of them.

But an insightful manager will be able to identify the people who have potential and cultivate it in such a way it suits the individual and the company.

My personal example is that my boss will give my coworker a task like completing a printer refresh by Jan 31 - our lease for this equipment is up and said printers have to be sent back by that time.  So, that's the task.  He's the kind of guy who will say to himself - this is easy, can be done in one day - so he will leave it to the last minute.  She will turn into a stress case and badger him about it and complain he's not doing his work.  In my opinion, if she wants him to do the task a certain way, she needs to tell him, 'By the end of the week Jan 9, I expect you to have 4 printers replaced.  Then email me the serial numbers.  Then I want you to update the inventory sheet.  By Jan 16, etc..."

You can't give someone a task that general and expect them to do it the exact same way you would.  It's like MGT 101 and I don't understand how you get to be a manager without knowing this.
freespiritny25
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freespiritny25,
User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2015 | 11:01:10 AM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results
@ Li Tan Very true. I worked under poor management before and my manager used to complain to me that the entire department was full of "idiots" that "don't get it". Clearly, she had no insight as to how she had contributed to the lack of structure and approptiate training in the department. 
freespiritny25
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freespiritny25,
User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2015 | 10:58:23 AM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results
@ Laurianne I agree, you can usually tell within a couple of weeks!
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