How to spot a poor hire within three months

  • June 18, 2018
 

Business owners and managers regularly bemoan poor hires that cost them time, money and hassle. If you can recognise them early, it can save a lot of spilt milk!

Of course, the trick is to avoid this by implementing a thorough interview process in the first place. However, not even the most stringent hiring procedure is full proof and you can still be lumbered with a bad apple occasionally. In that event it’s all about damage limitation, identifying the problem and acting, quickly. If you can recognise that someone isn’t going to work out in their first few months or weeks, you can avoid a lot of the associated costs and disruption.

Only recently we had a candidate who had been brilliant throughout their interviews turn up drunk on their first day. It’s not always that easy to spot though…

So how do you notice a poor hire before it’s too late?

1. Be prepared to admit that you may have got it wrong! We all like to think that we are experts at recruiting but when a Methodist minister with a penchant for crystal meth and orgies with rent boys becomes Chairman of The Co-operative Bank then you really do have to wonder! It is easy to keep making excuses for a new hire rather than admit you have made a mistake to attempt to save face. Try to garner the opinion of others and trust your gut feel.

2. Produce a proper job description stating the key things you expect them to do and make sure they have the skills and training to be able to do them.

3. Ensure that you have communicated this to the new recruit so that they have a clear understanding of what you require from them. Aligning expectations on both sides is absolutely critical for any employee but especially so at the outset.

4. Now measure their performance against this criteria on a weekly basis, just leaving them to get on with it is not enough, iron out any problems or misunderstandings as you go and assess any training needs that are required.

5. Be robust in your assessment and don't be afraid to admit that they might be a bad hire, being a nice person doesn't score any points, we need evidence of results both in performance and attitude. If it is not showing now when they should be at their most alert, you are not going to find it later.

6. Look out for warning signs. The first few days and weeks are the most stressful of any new job and it’s very important you check in with new hires to see how their managing. Try to remember your first few days, what would have helped you? Speak to colleagues and ask for their opinion of how the new hire is settling in, often people will be too proud or scared to admit they’re struggling. A great way to avoid any problems being masked is to go for a drink at the end of the week, somewhere off site.

So, in summary, if you have aligned expectations, agreed a job description, ensured the right level of support and training is in place and asked for regular feedback and your team still say you have a problem, the chances are it’s probably not the right fit. You need to take swift action for the employee’s sake as much as your business.

Need some help in recruiting for a marketing role? Contact a member of our team today.