Redeeming a Bad Hire – How to Make the Best Out of Hiring the Wrong Person

Redeeming a Bad Hire - How to Make the Best Out of Hiring The Wrong Person

As a hiring manager, there are times when you add the wrong person to your team. They might not fit with the company culture, have the relevant qualifications for the role, or get along with their colleagues. Rather than let the person go, you may improve the situation through ongoing communication or placement elsewhere in the organization.

Follow these guidelines to potentially improve the results of making a bad hire.

 Determine Why Things Are Not Working

Consider specific reasons why the person is a bad hire. Perhaps they lack the skills needed to perform the work or misrepresented their expertise. Finding the root of the problem lets you know whether it is fixable.


Collaborate on a Plan for Improvement

Talk with the person about your specific concerns regarding their performance. Include where they seem to be on track and where they need to make some adjustments. Find out the reasons for the performance issues and how they can be resolved through additional training or coaching. Work together to clarify your expectations and create an improvement plan. Include deadlines to see the results.


Consider Placing the Person in a Different Role

If the person fits with the company culture and works hard, consider finding them a more suitable organization. This can be less costly than letting them go and having to go through the hiring process again. Run a skills assessment to determine what the person excels at. They may be a better fit with different job requirements and be more productive in a different position.


Evaluate the Costs of Keeping the Bad Hire

The adverse impact that a bad hire can have on team members and the business may make the offer of ongoing training or an internal transfer impractical. The costs of reduced engagement and productivity, along with increased interdepartmental conflict and potential turnover, may be high. Bottlenecked work, suppressed innovation, and friction among coworkers can take years to fix. Missed deadlines, a decline in work quality, and increased pre-and post-meeting discussions to compensate for the person’s underperformance can be more costly than replacing the person. If this is the case, it may be best to let them go.


Develop an Exit Plan

If you decide to let the person go, make the transition as smooth as possible. This may include negotiating a mutually beneficial plan that gives a sense of personal control while supporting the team as you find a replacement. Consider offering severance pay to help everyone move on more quickly.


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