10 Signs You've Hired The Wrong Person - InformationWeek

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1/6/2015
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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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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2015 | 2:35:23 PM
Re: Hard to see these issues in interviews
Oh, I am sure that's what the lawyers would say. But ethically, is it the right move?
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2015 | 2:25:46 PM
Re: Hard to see these issues in interviews
@Lorna I would guess the lawyers at the company would tell that person that s/he doesn't have to answer that kind of question and can just cite company policy for the refusal.  
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2015 | 2:23:03 PM
Re: Hard to see these issues in interviews
Yes, exactly. Often, the hiring HR manager will ask about a former worker, "Would you rehire?" A simple "no" isn't something one could be sued for (at least, I don't think so).
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2015 | 2:19:43 PM
Re: Hard to see these issues in interviews
@Lorna Some companies will never give someone a bad reference. They're afraid of being sued for ruining the candidate's career. I've also heard of companies that don't want to be held responsible one way or the other, so they will only confirm if the person worked at the outfit. 
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2015 | 2:16:55 PM
Hard to see these issues in interviews
People tend to be on their best behavior in interviews, and in today's litigious society, it's tricky to get references (whether official or found through social media/other contacts) to be totally frank about an applicant. Worst case, the references might be desperately hoping someone hires this turkey to get him out of their company.

How much do people use back channels to get the real scoop?
mpochan156
IW Pick
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mpochan156,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2015 | 12:23:04 PM
an average hiring process yields average results
What was really distressing was the statement that some companies are "in a hurry." That ensures problems... UNLESS... they design a more efficient Hiring Process. And they will repeat ' we don't have time.' Well... you have time to blow $50,000 on the mistake ? Engage someone else to do it that has experience with IT people. DO NOT expect the average HR department to do it. (not a popular opinion)->  They should be handling the mechanics the hire AFTER they clear the improved process.

We were a rapidly growing business app software company and needed two people a month. Being engineering-minded, we worked the numbers backwards; to get one GREAT hire , we would need to interview 5, review 25 and sift through 50 - 75 if we did an open market ad. 

We re-built our previous Hiring Process ( which was processing 1/4th that number ) and smartly distributed the workload across our teams. We also educated our teams in how to review, interview. We created a new numerical scoring system that focused on the technical skills, people skills and the business acumen, not the usual generic HR stuff. We made each of the final five take an exam ( THAT weeded out several potential 'poor fits' ). The final five was made aware that IF they were hired, they would be on Probation for six months and would have to work out of it. ( that also got rid of a few 'poor fits' ). We also laid out the process in a flowchart and spreadsheet to calculate the time allowed for the hiring tasks for everyone to follow. And we did cast nets in our networks, personal and business.

It worked very well. It can be done. And it will save money and angst and lawsuits. 

Mike

p.s. I love it / cringe when I hear tech startups who just got funded say " we need to hire 140 in the next month." Do they realize how many people they will have to process to get the best ? No. They usually just hire anybody close to the criteria, and then waste time un-hiring them. 
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 11:04:39 AM
Re: Self-sabotage
What's even more disturbing than getting rid of the person is KEEPING him/her. The hiring manager things, hopefully they will fit in, and lose the one or two things that are causing problems. Nobody shows up with all 10 of these problems, usually it's just one or two. Sometimes is does work out, most times no. Sometimes they transfer the person because the company has made a committment to them. It's a strange, strange world.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2015 | 10:40:02 AM
Self-sabotage
Every scenario is unique. There are times when it's the company's fault for misreading a candidate who may be talented but a bad fit. And companies often do a bait and switch on what a job really entails, which can be frustrating for anyone. But if a candidate did well enough in the interview to get the gig, one assumes it's a solid match. This is when self-sabotaging comes into the picture. If your negative traits and poor communication skills get the best of you, you're in trouble. The common thread that runs through this slideshow is that if you're too cynical and not a team player, you're going to have trouble keeping a job.
delphineous
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delphineous,
User Rank: Strategist
1/6/2015 | 10:12:28 AM
Lost premise
The teaser for this article states "Look for these warning signs before you make the hire." - the entire article is after the fact signs; just as it is titled. I'm satisfied with the article and have seen numerous instances exactly as described. It's a shame the teaser editor is so lame!
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