It’s an exciting time within any organization when we grow.
As entrepreneurs and leaders we aspire to increase our teams and add talent within our workplace. In fact, we often speculate that the very core of the entrepreneur’s role is to be a “Job Creator.”
For any leader, HR professional, or other hiring manager, you are familiar with the trials and tribulations of recruitment. Finding great talent that fits into your culture is no easy task.
With all of the predictive tests, pre-employment verification, reference checks, and of course our self proclaimed expert people skills we would expect that we would make a great hire every time. Never (rarely) do we make a hire and say to ourselves, “Gee, I’m not so sure.”
Of course we’re sure, if we were not sure then why in the world would we make the hire in the first place?
Many times the success of an organization, especially a smaller business comes down to making more strong hires than weak ones. Of course strong and weak, similar to good and bad are subjective, but anyone that has done substantial hiring has their way of describing this…The goal in most organizations is to get it right more than we get it wrong.
So what happens when we don’t get it right?
It isn’t so much a question of if, but when this will happen. The causes can be many things. Even in the most stringent hiring processes sometimes the chosen candidate just doesn’t work out.
In small business for instance we often make the mistake of hiring “Too Close To Home.” This is the phenomenon of hiring a friend, former colleague, or neighbor because we believe it is easier than going through a full recruitment process. Often times following this method allows for the foundation to be there and the mystery not to be, the idea of hiring among friends can just as easily backfire. When it doesn’t work out it creates an incredibly awkward situation.
In larger organizations there are also a plethora of events that lead to a bad hire. Everything from the wrong recruiting platform, to the wrong interview questions, to a lack of time to go through the abundance of resumes.
Nevertheless no business is exempt, bad hires happen, so what do we do?
This may come across as a bit brazen, but I’m going to make the conclusion here simple. When you as a leader begin to sense that the hiring decision was a bad one. Acting quickly is the only remedy. And by acting quickly I mean an immediate notice for the person to right the ship or more likely a notice of termination.
I offer this with substantial empathy in mind as someone that has allowed bad hires to linger for too long costing both time and money. Sadly, the lingering has never led to a great change in result or in a change of my initial gut feelings.
One thing that most leaders have is a gut intuition. We have that sense for when something is going well and when something doesn’t. What many of us also have is substantial empathy which can lead us to hanging on too long. While empathy is acceptable, this behavior is not. We lead therefore we must act.
So I leave you with this conclusion:
When it doesn’t work out you must remedy it quickly…(Action to right the ship)
By remedy I mean change the situation…(Reassign, Terminate)
As leaders we must recognize that our empathy to a few…(The bad decision, hire)
Can become a burden to the many…(Everyone else that is carrying the weight)
When your gut speaks…listen (Learn from your past experience)
When it doesn’t work out in your organization, what is your course of action?