You Hired a Wrong Person. What Now?

You advertised your position, went thru the interview process, followed the checklist and checked off all the checkboxes. You feel good but there is this nagging feeling that something isn’t right. You ignore it and make a job offer. After two weeks or so, your new hire starts. You introduce the new hire to your team, take him or her to the lunch and generally feed good and relaxed.

Couple of weeks go by and the nagging feeling you felt before making the offer is coming back strongly. You realize something isn’t right but still can’t figure out what? Another week goes by and you’ve slowly started to realize that you hired the wrong person. But it is still too early so you ignore it.

Another couple of weeks go by and it is now evident that your new hire is not going to work out. You see the same frustration in the new hire too. Despite their best efforts, they realize that they are having a hard time fitting in. Your other team members notice it too and are becoming increasingly frustrated. Vocal members of the team have started the proverbial water-cooler talk.

You don’t know what to do, so you just ignore it and hope for the best. After another month or so, it is certain that your hiring mistake is having an impact on not only the team productivity, but also team morale. Now you are alarmed and wonder where did you go wrong and also what to do now?

It is difficult to admit you made a hiring mistake, especially if you followed the prevailing hiring practices in your organization. Nonetheless, for the sake of your team, you must act and must act fast.

You try to find another position for the new hire, try to relocate them and work with them so they can fit in. Sometime your herculean efforts will pay off but more often than not you are wasting your time, your effort, frustrating your team and cutting their productivity. Not to mention, your new hire is just as miserable. They want to make it work, they want to please you and are trying everything they can, but they just can’t measure up.

The sooner you realize your mistake, admit it and let the new hire go, the better off everyone including the new hire will be. I realize it comes off as a bit cruel, but ultimately you are going to come to that conclusion yourself after wasting countless hours and at the cost of your team morale and productivity.

I have been there myself. I hired a wrong person and tried everything I could to accommodate him. To his credit, he did too. But eventually I realized that it will not work and had to let him go. To my surprise, when I told him of my decision, he actually thanked me and said he is so relieved. I asked him why didn’t he just quit and he said “he didn’t want to let me down”. I helped him find another position and he couldn’t be happier.


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