Despite holding multiple interviews, checking references, and testing their skills, your new hire isn't working out quite as you expected. In fact, it's a downright disaster. Staff are complaining, deadlines are being missed, and the culture you've worked so hard for is starting to crumble.

No matter how vigorous your recruiting and on-boarding strategy may be, you can never predict how things will turn out. And now, you're the one to blame. Enter hiring remorse.

There's nothing more disappointing than when you have high hopes for someone and it's not working out. Perhaps he's just not meshing with the team as well as you had hoped, or he embellished on his resume, overselling his skills. Either way, you have to do something about it.

The obvious solution may be to fire him. In some cases, this is exactly what you should do. However, not everyone is worth giving up on. So before you ask someone to pack up his desk, consider these strategies to see if it's an employee worth salvaging.

Set a deadline.

The three-month trial may have come and gone, but sometimes it takes longer to see whether or not a person is worth keeping on the team. As long as it's not costing you in lost clients, falling revenues, or disgruntled staff, then perhaps extending this trial period will give you better clarity.

This could range from six months to six weeks. However long you need, just be sure to make the final call once time is up. The last thing you want is a toxic employee lingering just because you're still waiting to see if he'll come around.

Consult with your staff.

Your current team is the portal to the ins and outs of what's happening. If you haven't done so already, schedule regular check-ins with the new hire's direct managers and colleagues to find out their thoughts on the new employee.

Don't just ask about how well he's doing his job; ask how he accepts critical feedback. Teamwork is an integral component to productivity and employee retention, so be sure to inquire on whether this new hire is supporting (or hindering) the team dynamic. It's also important to note whether he's willingly taking on new work or resisting direction from their managers. 

Be upfront.

Chances are you're not the only one feeling uneasy. It's extremely unlikely your new hire is oblivious to the challenges of his position. Now's the time to really step in as a leader and schedule ongoing meetings to tackle the issue at hand.

It's your responsibility to provide honest feedback. If you've noticed he can't keep up with the work or isn't jiving well with the team, have a conversation. Start off asking open-ended questions to get his feedback. Once he's expressed his feelings, you can start doing the same.

Be a matchmaker.

It's not easy being the new kid, especially if you're joining a team that's been working together for years. Cliques, inside jokes, and nuances that only come with years spent working together are all surefire ways to make someone new feel like an outsider.

Like any relationship, there needs to be chemistry. Teamwork can only happen with synergy. If the new hire isn't a cultural fit, perhaps the bigger issue is that he hasn't had a chance to get to know the staff on a level outside of emails and morning hellos in the elevator.

Take a look at your onboarding process. Do you offer mentorships or a buddy system when a new person starts? What about a team outing, lunch, or even happy hour to welcome the new hire? If the answer is no, you may not be giving new hires a fair shot at getting to know the current staff on a deeper level.

Develop your new hire's skills.

What if you've hired someone that fits in perfectly with the culture, but her professional skills are not up to par? In this case, too, you'll want to think twice before you give her the boot -- personalities are one of the hardest things for leaders to manage, so a person who can step in like a childhood friend is not someone to quickly cast off.

Schedule a one-on-one and let the new hire know her skills need developing. If time and budget allow, offer to provide training to bring her up to speed. This can be done either during work hours or in the evenings. If it's the latter, this would be a great way to see how dedicated she is to the role and see if she's wiling to put in the extra time.

Published on: May 22, 2018
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