4 common signs of a bad hire

4 common signs of a bad hire

Employees are often the drivers of a business's success, so effective hiring is crucial to ensuring your company meets its goals and mission. When you make a bad hire, it can end up costing you money, time, and resources. Studies show that the cost of a bad hire can amount to 30% of their earnings in their first year, which is no small amount. Here are four common signs of a bad hire, along with ways to address the situation and tips to ensure future hires are good employees.

Low-quality work and productivity

One of the first signs that an employee is a bad hire is their work quality. For companies in product or service-centered markets, subpar work can mean a lack of customer satisfaction, which can reduce sales and customer retention over time. Poor employees can hinder your business, especially if you hire someone for a specific role and they struggle with their new responsibilities or demonstrate poor work quality.

In addition to underperformance, producing low-quality work can cost your business money, time, and general productivity. An employee's lack of effort may affect other departments, slowing down projects regardless of whether the employee is directly or indirectly involved.

A continuous negative attitude

If you notice a new employee has a negative attitude at work, this may be a sign of a bad hire. While everyone can express their frustrations about working sometimes, frequent complaints about the company or job duties can suggest an employee has a generally negative attitude. A negative attitude can develop into bad workplace habits that affect everyone else's productivity and comfort. For example, a bad hire may begin disrespecting shared areas, blaming others for mistakes, and gossiping about coworkers.

Furthermore, a person with a negative attitude may find it challenging to be productive. Their negative mindset can affect how they approach their work, causing them to complete projects more slowly than necessary or with less diligence and care than you want. 

Signs of untruthfulness

Catching an employee acting dishonestly can be another sign of a bad hire. Honesty is essential to building positive relationships in every industry, and it's important to trust your employees and colleagues. Dishonest behavior can include:

  •  Lying on a resume or application
  • Misrepresenting daily responsibilities and effort
  • Behaving significantly different from the interview. 

For example, a bad hire may present themselves as very professional during an interview and then act like an entirely different person at work. Consider monitoring new hires to see if their personality, manner of dress, and communication style remain consistent after they secure the job.

Instances of being dishonest can reduce a staff's overall trust in each other as well, since they may become suspicious of all new hires after one colleague demonstrates questionable behavior.

Obvious signs of stress

Jobs can cause almost anyone to feel stressed in the workplace, but it's important for your company's health and the general work environment to ensure everyone knows how to manage and respond to their stress effectively. A bad hire may show signs of stress frequently and allow it to affect their colleagues, customers, and clients. For example, if your new employee feels overwhelmed by their daily duties, it may mean they lack the proper skills or temperament for the role, regardless of what they said during their interview.

Another method you can try when correcting for a bad hire is giving actionable, focused feedback about why their performance is unacceptable.

How to manage a bad hire

If you think that you made a bad hire, there are some actions you can take to remedy the situation. For instance, Charlie HR suggests effective methods for responding to a bad hire include talking with the employee about the specific issue or reassigning them to a new department or position. Another method you can try when correcting for a bad hire is giving actionable, focused feedback about why their performance is unacceptable. Feedback can offer your employees a chance to improve their productivity, attitude, or other metrics that can ease the situation.

How to avoid making a bad hire

To avoid making a bad hire, take extra time during the hiring process to ensure you consider all aspects of the job and the candidate. For instance, carefully craft a detailed job description that lists every element you're looking for in a candidate. Also, allow time for multiple rounds of interviews to ensure you get to know each person well before making a decision. Considering how the candidate may fit into your company's culture rather than only focusing on whether they can technically perform the role can also increase your chances of making a great hire.

Another technique is to consider candidates holistically rather than focusing on one or two great qualities that make them appealing. A broad approach can help you avoid hiring someone without knowing their employment experience, reputation, and how they may perform in the role. For even more help with finding the perfect candidate, you can use our Pay Per Resume and Pay For Performance tools.

See more tips for ensuring you make a good hire:

Questioning a recent hiring decision? Read how to recover from a bad hire at a small business.

Learn the importance of background checks to prevent bad hires.

Looking to make a great hire? Learn how to find good candidates in today's job market.

If you're looking for an employee with specific skills, you can learn how to improve your skills-based hiring efforts.

Want to attract quality candidates? Learn how to write effective job descriptions.

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