It would be marvellous if all recruiters had a crystal ball to tell if a candidate might be a potential disaster waiting to happen, or if they were the perfect hire. Spotting a bad hire is not easy. It does take some experience in the area of recruitment to see the signs before making a bad hire. But if you have a sneaking suspicion that the candidate you just offered a job to, or the latest new hire, is not going to work out – the time to act is now.

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) shared that the cost of a bad hire can be high, in fact it could cost the company as much as five times the bad hire’s annual salary! Consider that a bad hire brings the rest of the team down, leading to poor morale and productivity. The bad hire can also be a legal risk to the company. There’s no room for taking chances like this.

How can you spot the signs of a bad hire?

Learn from our expert recruiters what to watch out for. Here are some of the most common signs of a bad hire:

  • The employee has increasingly missed deadlines or produces shoddy work
  • The employee tends to be late to work, and offers a lot of excuses
  • The employee likes to point the finger of blame at other employees
  • The employee has a general bad attitude or disdain for clients and co-workers
  • The employee has trouble fitting in with peers or seems “checked out”
  • The employee is easily distracted or often found engaging in non-work-related activities
  • The employee complains a lot about their job on social networks
  • The employee no longer cares about their personal hygiene or appearance
  • The employee starts having conflicts with other employees
  • The employee continually brings personal matters to the office
  • The employee’s skills are markedly less than what they were indicated during the interview
  • The employee’s name, past work history, or references are questionable

If you notice some of these signs, it’s a good idea to take swift action before the employee starts causing real trouble in the company. Use the correct disciplinary process to notify the employee that they are being put on probation for the above behaviors or problems. Document everything. Put a plan of action into place to observe and mentor the employee. If the above issues continue, terminate the employee as soon as possible.


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