What Is A Bad Hire and How to Avoid It?

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It is a universal truth that the defining characteristic of any professional is the overall quality of their work. We’d like to think that most, if not all, recruiters try very hard to ensure that they bring the best possible talent to the companies they represent, yet sometimes unfortunate things happen and they end up hiring someone who simply isn’t cut out for the job.

When a candidate is hired and they turn out to be less than expected, you have a bad case of bad hire-itis. It is one of the things that recruiters fear the most. A bad hire can tarnish their reputation and cost a hefty sum of money to their company since it means that they must start the entire recruitment process all over again and possibly jeopardize future business.

Types of Bad Hires

There are several reasons why a candidate may not turn out to be the worker you expected them to be. It is crucial that you are constantly in the lookout for red flags during the recruitment process to avoid going through the possibility of dealing with one of the following scenarios:

The Troublemaker: One of the worst nightmares of any recruiter is hiring someone who is disrespectful to their superiors and peers. Hiring a candidate with a bad attitude can cost you a lot of time and money; plus, some of the productivity and respect of your current employees. Imagine having to work with someone that talks back to you and just doesn’t take any constructive criticism, that kind of situation is bound to have an impact on yours and your staff’s overall productivity.

The most common reason why someone like this gets hired in the first place is their qualifications. It is common for some recruiters to pay more attention to the résumé of the candidate rather than their personal skills. A thorough and comprehensive evaluation can filter out all of these troublemakers and save you the drag of having to deal with them later on.

The Bailer: You find a good candidate that you like, you have your interviews with them and perform a thorough background check and everything seems fine, but a short time after signing the contract, they disappear. This is the type of candidate that probably had another job offer on the side and they were either more interested in the other one, but were waiting for something, or they got scooped up by a better offer.

You can’t expect any candidate to show up at an interview and just tell you that they are waiting for a better offer from someone else and you are just a buffer. In these cases, the best thing to do is be upfront and honest during the hiring process and ask about any other offers or positions they might be interested in. Be assertive with your candidates and give them good and constant feedback so as to keep them hooked.

The Inept: Whenever someone starts at a new job, there is always a learning curve; it’s only natural that it takes people some time to learn new things. But every now and then you cross paths with someone who just can’t get it right. At some point, someone who constantly messes up becomes an obstacle for the daily life of your company and you’ll have to let them go.

Like most recruiters, you probably want to hire someone who is self-reliant and can work with minimum supervision, even if they are part of a team. Having someone in your staff that is constantly asking for help from their co-workers will prove to be quite detrimental to the performance of your team.

The Scam Artist: As the name suggests, these are people who lie to get what they want from you. You have a candidate with an amazing résumé, this guy’s done it all, it’s the perfect candidate for you and you know they will fit in perfectly in your company, but once you hire them, you realize they have no idea what they’re doing. You just got bamboozled!

The best way to avoid falling victim to these people is to test their skills before you decide to hire them. A good test or trial period works wonders to weed these con artists out. Furthermore, keep in mind that when a résumé seems too good to be true, it probably is.

You can try all sorts of methods and techniques to ensure that you never have to deal with a bad hire. Sadly, no matter how airtight you think your process is, there will always be someone who manages to slip through the cracks. What you need to do is learn from your past mistakes and take every incident as an opportunity to refine your recruitment process.

Eduardo Rojas / NEUVOO
Content Marketing Editor