It happens to even the most seasoned and experienced hiring manager: sometimes a bad hire will slip through the cracks. It stinks, but the best you can do is identify mis-hires as soon as possible, determine the appropriate next steps, and not make the same mistakes in the future. Read on to learn why bad hires can sometimes happen, and what are the earliest signs of a misfit.

It’s the best feeling in the world when you finally find the perfect candidate to fill a job opening that’s been vacant for far too long. At last, you are able to cross something off your list and not have to worry about it again! That is, until a few weeks down the line when it becomes obvious that the new employee just isn’t working out.

It’s not ideal, but bad hires do happen. Sometimes it will be obvious right away, and other times it will take months to notice. But who is to blame? Of course, you’d like to point your finger at the employee who isn’t living up to your standards, but more often than not, it is the result of poor hiring practices.

The first thing that you want to do is ensure that the employee has been properly trained, and gone through all of the appropriate on-boarding. After all, they can’t be expected to follow your organization’s processes and procedures if they are unaware of them.

There are three key identifiers when it comes to determining whether or not someone is a good fit. Of course, you can – and should – try to get a sense of these factors during the hiring process, but some things can only be analyzed once the person has taken on the role. Take a look at these identifiers early into the employment of new hires to double check that it is a good fit. If not, you’ll need to decide if there’s room for improvement, or if you need to dust off that job posting.

  1. Quality of Work: This is the first thing you should be looking at. Is their work up to par with your company standards? Does it match what you saw during the interview process?
  2. Teamwork and Communication: Next, take a look at how they are getting on with the full team? Do they work well with others? How about when it comes to mentoring or taking criticism?
  3. Overall Attitude: This might be the most telling sign as to whether or not the new employee is a good fit within the organization. Does their attitude lift the organization up, or drag others down?

Bad hires happen. And they happen for a lot of different reasons. As a hiring manager, you need to make sure that you are avoiding some of the most common pitfalls, because a bad hire will ultimately be your responsibility to deal with.

It’s important to make sure that the right people have been involved in the hiring process. It doesn’t matter how much you like a candidate if you aren’t going to be the one working with them directly. It can sometimes be difficult to find the time on everyone’s calendar to vet a particular candidate, but making this a priority can save a lot of time and heartache in the future.

But a lot of mistakes happen even before you have candidates coming into interview. Start with the job posting. Does this truly reflect the needs for the position? What about the background and required skills? One of the biggest mistakes that lead to mis-hires is having incredibly stringent requirements. Remember, many skills can be learned on the job by the right person. Prioritize things like attitude, work ethic, and personality. The rest will follow!