A job candidate wows both you and the hiring manager in the interview, but fails to live up to expectations on the job. Is it time to cut your losses and fire the person, or is there more the manager can do?
The quandary: Do you have a bad employee with a knack for giving interviews? A talented worker who just doesn’t fit in? Or, are all the pieces there but more needs to be done to help the candidate succeed?
Those are tough questions to answer. Here are seven factors managers should consider when deciding to fire or keep trying:
- Were our expectations too high? When candidates give really knock-out interviews, managers may expect a miracle on a new hire’s first day. It’s possible you’ve still got a very good employee — just not one as spectacular as the manager had hoped.
- How’s our training? If the person has the right soft skills to be successful (leadership, work ethic, etc.) but needs more technical expertise related to the way your company does things, extra training might help develop a star performer.
- Can someone else help? Sometimes, new hires have trouble learning the ropes because they don’t respond well to a particular supervisor’s teaching style. If that’s the case, a veteran employee or one of the new hire’s peers may be able to serve as a mentor and get the ball rolling.
- Has the employee gotten valuable feedback? When new hires struggle, it’s key for managers to offer criticism — but if any progress is made, managers need to acknowledge that, too. If improvements are made but go unacknowledged, the employee will likely get discouraged and stop trying.
- Is the right attitude there? Managers can fix a skills deficiency, but there’s very little they can do about bad attitudes. If the employee isn’t even trying to make things work, it’s probably time to let him or her go.
- Would the employee do better in a different department? Even if employees aren’t working out in the jobs they were hired for, the company might still be able to use their skills somewhere.
- Does this happen often? If disappointment with a new hire has occurred in more than a handful of cases, it might be time for the company to examine the effectiveness of its hiring procedures — interviews, orientation, training, new hire evaluations, etc.
Of course, if things still look grim after weighing all those factors, it’s best for the company and the employee to cut ties sooner rather than later.
What about your organization? When have you found is the right time to let a poor-performing new hire go? What should managers do first? Share your advice and experience in the comments section below.