Regrets of a Bad Hire

Are you aware of the actual consequences of hiring the wrong person? So, the new employee hasn’t met the expectations, in fact, they have performed poorly. Okay, you made a mistake, it’s not the end of the world, and you can just hire someone new to replace them, right?

However, the underperformance of the new hire can have significant negative effects, such as wasted time, loss of clients, and substantial financial implications, potentially ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dirhams. On average, the cost of a bad hire can fall between 62,000 AED to 881,000 AED, depending on the role. Therefore, it becomes crucial for the company’s success and overall stability to address this issue promptly and effectively.

Furthermore, there are other expenses to consider, including:

1. Lost time supervising the hire: When a new employee underperforms, supervisors and managers have to invest extra time and effort in guiding them.

2. Recurring training costs: Training expenses can accumulate over time and negatively impact the company’s budget.

3. Damaged reputation: Underperformance can directly affect the company’s products or services, leading to negative feedback and tarnishing the company’s image.

4. Lower company morale: Underperformance creates frustration and demotivation among existing employees.

5. Reduced productivity levels: One person’s shortcomings can affect the productivity of an entire team, causing delays and inefficiencies.

What constitutes a bad hire?

According to the Harvard Business Review, a person who leaves a company (either voluntarily or through termination) within the first 18 months is considered an unsuccessful hire. Making the right hiring decisions has become even more important in the current scenario, with a scarcity of candidates possessing desired skills and intense competition due to a limited talent pool.

The warning signs to watch out for include:

1. Doing the bare minimum: Assigned work is not completed on time or up to the required standard.

2. Complaints from other employees: Ignoring company values, the team feeling that the new hire is not contributing enough, and errors in their work.

3. Losing clients.

4. Regularly arriving late.

5. A mismatch in personality compared to the interview stage.

6. Ask yourself if the new employee fits into the company culture and if they are delivering what you need. If you have doubts about the hire, it’s likely not going to work out.

7. Is it the employee’s fault or the flawed hiring process?

Who should be held responsible? Is it an unfortunate selection of an unfit candidate, or is the hiring procedure itself flawed? Allowing sufficient time for new employees to settle in is important, especially when they have relocated for the position and need to establish a new client base. This transition period may extend up to 3-6 months. If the new employee’s adjustment period exceeds the norm or if there has been a pattern of underperforming hires, it is highly likely that the fault lies with the hiring process itself.

You need a proven, structured hiring process that covers everything from the job description to the interview stage and personality evaluations. How proficient are you at checking references? This step is essential as it helps filter out potentially unreliable employees. Although it may require some time and effort, this rigorous process will be advantageous in the long run, saving you from discovering issues later on (and avoiding significant costs).

Pay attention to the initial warning signs, such as an inadequate CV. Are there any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes? Is it compelling, coherent, and concise?

During the interview stage, be vigilant about the candidate’s personality and behavior. Do they speak negatively about their previous employer? Are they only concerned about employee benefits? If alarm bells start ringing, take note.

Here are a few more ways to improve your hiring process:

1. Prerequisites: Candidates should come prepared to the interview to demonstrate the skills they won’t be trained in.
2. Structured interview with standardized questions for each candidate: The candidate should understand the required skills for the specific role.
3. Competency-based assessments.
4. Panel interviews for a more comprehensive evaluation.
5. Scenario-based and behavioral questions.
6. Cultural fit evaluation: Assess work style and adaptability to different cultures. Define the qualities you’re looking for and see if the candidate exhibits them.
7. Consider working with a Talent Partner: Entrust a professional to find the perfect fit for your company.

It’s important not to rush the hiring process. Even if your team is taking on more work than usual, a bad hire is not the solution. Ultimately, a company’s success depends on its employees. Investing time, effort, and resources into the selection process is crucial for finding the right fit for your team. By making careful and informed hiring decisions, your company can thrive in a productive working environment.

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