10 Signs You've Hired The Wrong Person - InformationWeek

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1/6/2015
08:06 AM
Jeff Bertolucci
Jeff Bertolucci
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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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Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
1/7/2015 | 9:25:16 AM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results
I completely agree with you. Sometimes the manager just complains that the employee is not qualified to the position. But actually the problem lies with manager - either the wrong hiring decision was made and the guy was given an unsuitable job, or the manager is lack of essential management skill to explore the potential/competence of the employee.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
1/7/2015 | 12:44:45 AM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results
What happens if the problem isn't the new hire but rather is the management making the hire? I'm in this predicament now. My coworker just requested a transfer because him and my boss just don't see eye-to-eye. I know the problem lies with her. She's a micromanager and terrible communicator but I've learned how to work around these issues. I've been there only a year and this is the second person to transfer out of that position. Obviously she doesn't see herself as the problem and apparently upper-management doesn't either. Everyone else loves the guy - he has great technical skills. It's a shame to see him go. I guess my point is that sometimes it's not the new guy's fault, it's that the old guard needs a-changin.
mpochan156
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mpochan156,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2015 | 10:01:39 PM
Re: re; Re: intense... wouldn't take the deal
Intense ? Sure. Rewarding ? Absolutely.  Fun ? You bet. Wild ride ?  woooooooooooo.

Everyone hired ( after the day we implemented it ) was on probation regardless of age, experience, skillset. Everyone also took a test. We the co-founders took tests too. 

Did some people not take the deal ?  Of course. And that meant they didn't fit our culture and intensity. 

Pennsylvania is a 'terminate-at-will' state, so that means probation is ok too. 
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 8:03:50 PM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results
I agree, if a solid foundation already exists in an organization then, a bad hire will cause damage but the team will manage to make the best out of a given situation.

Generally, I feel that the best teams are also the most welcoming and they try to accommodate a new comer.

 
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 7:15:41 PM
Re: re; Re: an average hiring process yields average results

@Mike    Sounds like you have a really intense environment.    Not sure I would take the deal.  Six months of probation ?    I think that probably should be on a case by case basis.  

Not sure that is legal though, but most companies tread that line anyhow.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 7:12:05 PM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results

It seems to me that one of the questions to ask is why the hiring process so difficult ?   Are candidates not qualified ?  Or does HR really understand what they are looking for in the first place ?    It is probably a combination of many things of course, but this adverserial relationship is counter - productive at best.

 

It is HR's job to stop those at the gate who are obviously not a decent fit, it is easy to see ( at least for me ) whether someone will be a good fit in the environment during the interview.    

Often this important element of filling positions is badly missed by would be managers.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 7:05:50 PM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results

This whole process of weeding out those that make a good fit really does take a lot of time.   Looking at this from a start-up perspective - I can see it taking at least two years to build a strong foundation of suitable colleagues.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 7:03:11 PM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results

"...you have time to blow $50,000 on the mistake ? "

 

@ Mike       You make a number of great points, and I understand and support most of them, but I have seen many companies blow much more than that.

mpochan156
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mpochan156,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2015 | 4:52:35 PM
re; Re: an average hiring process yields average results
months 1 - 3 were getting the person acclimated and evaluating their basic skils. Months 3 - 6 went into whether they could grasp the industry domain and be highly productive ,and they were assigned to a Customer.

Also we did Performance Reviews every 6 months ( compensation every 12 ) and our Results-Sharing program computed every 6 months ( Results, not Profits ... but that is a whole other story ) 

Mike
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2015 | 2:38:50 PM
Re: an average hiring process yields average results
6 months probation? I am curious if you see anything in months 4-6 that would not be clear in months 1-3. Thanks for the insight.
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