We have all been there. You find yourself doing more than a million things — trying your best to meet all of your obligations, while staying ahead of the curve. Meanwhile, back in the office a member of your team (a key assistant for example) gives little notice and moves on to another role. Because of limited time at home base, you have to delegate some of the responsibility for sourcing and interviewing applicants to someone else. Clearly this is not an ideal situation. However, it is unavoidable.
A leading candidate emerges. Certainly, you have had the opportunity to review the resume and hatted briefly with the applicant. But, you haven’t had the opportunity to really probe the details face to face. The bottom line is that you are not entirely comfortable with the decision to hire — although you cannot really put your finger on the issue and form a credible objection. So, the decision is made and the individual is hired.
Time passes and you find the new hire in front of you, ready to be on-boarded onto your team. But, after a short time a glaring problem becomes obvious , and you suspect they are simply the wrong person for the role. Your mind begins to race forward to impending disaster.
What now? Are they relegated to the status of another “bad hire”? Will your team suffer?
You might find yourself secretly hoping their tenure with your organization is a short one. However, I would like to suggest another route. Challenge the “gut” feeling (which by the way could be off-base) and take the high road. Give them every possible opportunity to become a contributing member of your team. The costs of a “bad hire” can be sizable, not only in terms of lost effectiveness —but in lowered group morale. It is in your best interest (and that of your entire team) to salvage the hiring decision.
Here are some ideas to maximize the situation:
- No grudges allowed. Examine your emotions in this situation and don’t let them cloud your better judgement. Put the brakes on your doubts immediately – a positive outcome never comes from a place of negativity.
- Do not share your skepticism. Do not share your concerns to the rest of your staff — relay only your confidence in their new team member.
- Make the vision crystal clear. Be sure the details about the “culture” of your work group are well communicated to the new hire. Discuss group “mores” such as dress, meeting protocol and chain of command.
- Take a deeper look at their skills. Gather all the information possible considering strengths and weaknesses. What can you emphasize that will make them an integral and productive contributor?
- Train them. Don’t throw the new hire “to the dogs” without the proper know-how. Be sure they are prepped and properly trained to succeed.
- Engage. Engaged employees are more productive. Ask them who they would like to become “work-wise’, through their new role. Let them know that you are there to help them grow and gain meaningful experience. Through this process there will be a higher probability of developing a bond with your new hire.
Not every talent decision is a clear success story right out of the gate. But we should make an effort to give each and every relationship a decent and fair chance to succeed.