You‘re excited about a new employee you hired who came highly recommended. They start, you introduce them to co-workers, clients, upper management, board members.
Then a week or two or six go by and even though at first you don’t want to admit it, you realize you’re not seeing the progress or perhaps the skills, or maybe the work ethic you expected. So how can you tell if you should try to save the new hire or just cut your losses?
First, you should rule out that the problem is not something that can be corrected with more training, better tools, and clearer goals. So that’s your starting place.
But there are some problems that no amount of coaching or resources will fix, and the sooner you decide whether this is the case, the sooner you can pull off the Band-Aid.
Here are three red flags:
They have issues with attendance, tardiness, availability or general reliability. If a new hire is unable to show up as scheduled, has to leave early or cannot be counted on to be where and when they say they are going to be, (while they are new!) that’s an early indicator of a problem. These things usually don’t improve over time.
They lack an essential skill or attribute for the job. An assistant who forgets details. A sales person that won’t return calls promptly. A customer service rep that’s easily rattled. These employees lack an essential skill to succeed in those roles. Could these skills be taught? Perhaps, but you shouldn’t have to remediate the skill that you hired someone to do.
They are unpleasant, disagreeable, overly assertive, demanding. I group these under “business etiquette” skills. If they seemed fine during the hiring process but as the days pass they are unable to engage and interact with others on a daily basis in polite way, that’s a deal breaker.
Deciding to let anyone go is always difficult, but deciding to let a new hire go adds a psychological hurdle -not only because you were emotionally invested in their success- but because it’s an admission that you made a hiring mistake. But give your-self a break, we’ve all done it. Retrace the steps of your hiring process and see what you can learn for next time.
Originally published on HR Box blog.