Focus on Resilience: How to Recover from a Terrible Hiring Decision
It happens to the best of us sometimes. Even long-established hiring managers and experienced HR pros sometimes miss the red flags that could have prevented a hiring mismatch. And sometimes a bad hire doesn’t just mean a less-than-perfect cultural fit; it actually means you’ve taken on a criminal, a scam artist, or worse. What now?
If you’re beginning to suspect that you’ve made a poor hiring decision and your new employee is headed for disaster, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Recover From a Bad Hiring Decision
- Don’t panic. But start putting a termination plan in motion, and do it quickly. The longer he stays on your staff, the harder it will be to contain the eventual fallout.
- Do your research. It may feel like closing the barn door after the horse is gone, but if there’s any chance you may be jumping to conclusions or overreacting to a simple mistake, take a few minutes to investigate. If you suspect he lied on his resume, make a few phone calls and find out for sure. If you suspect he’s stealing from the till, take a deep breath and a closer look.
- Cover your legal bases. Most employee contracts are at-will agreements, so you can terminate whenever you like for almost any reason. But maintain documentation and protect yourself from accusations of discrimination. He has to go—there’s no doubt about this. But you don’t want your company’s financial footing and reputation to fly out the door with him.
- Contain the damage. Your bosses and shareholders may be annoyed with you, since poor hiring decisions cost money and time. But just own your mistakes and move on. Efficiently and quietly clean up any messes the exiting employee left behind and be sure that you don’t make the same error twice as you begin the search for a replacement.