What do you do when you realise you’ve made a recruitment mistake?

Don’t Panic ! Keep calm and follow our advice, but whatever you do, don’t ignore your mistake!

Firstly, you are not alone, we have all done it – me included!  I’m not going to tell you about all the things you should have done in the recruitment process to minimise your mistakes, we can discuss that at a later date. Right now, what you need is a way to resolve this and fast!

I’m sharing our way of dealing with this quickly and swiftly and if you need any help or guidance with a similar issue, then just book a call with us here and we’d be happy to walk you through this process.

Step 1 – Deal with it quickly

Time is of the essence here. If you have recently recruited someone and they are still in their 3/6 month probation period and things aren’t going as well as you expected, you need to take action and deal with it quickly. You don’t want to wait until it’s the end of their probation period – that’s not fair on the person! So, take action to avoid the issue getting worse, or it impacting the morale of the team.

Step 2 – Identify what the specific issue really is

Is this about the quality, or quantity of their work?  Or is this about their behaviour? Once you’ve identified what the issue is, I want you to think about and write down some real life examples of the issue that you have experienced and then also think about and write down the impact of these issues – the impact could be that it affects the quality of service to your clients or that you are sending out work or a product that is not of a high enough standard, damage to your reputation as a business etc etc.

Step 3 – Give this feedback to the person to allow them to fix it

If you haven’t told the person that there is a problem with their performance or their behaviour, then they can’t fix it – so give them a chance to fix it! That’s means you must have a conversation with them, using your examples that you have written down, but also the impact that it has on others or the business or your clients/customers. The reason its so important to describe the impact to them, is that they may have no idea that what they are doing impacts others, so brining this to life for them, helps them to understand the importance of getting right, or fixing things.

Step 4 – Agree together how you can improve things

Ask the employee for their ideas about how they can improve things, if the ideas come from them, they are far more likely to accept them and make the changes necessary. However, if the ideas don’t come from them, then be prepared to discuss some of your ideas as to how things could be improved. Do they need to shadow someone else in the team who is particularly good at the things they are struggling with, or do they need some more training, or perhaps some different equipment?

Step 5 – Agree a timescale with them to review their improvements

Lastly, agree with them how long they need to make the required improvements – let’s say a month to two months would be reasonable. Then make sure you check in with them, on or before this date to review their progress. However, if something does go wrong in the meantime, don’t wait until your agreed review date, meet them as and when it happens to discuss it.

And finally………………………

If you are honest and open with people about their areas to improve, most people will certainly do their best to improve, they will want to do a good job, so hopefully by talking about it and agreeing a way forward with the employee, you will see the improvements needed.

However, if things don’t improve, then you may need to say goodbye, and it is better to do that quickly, than allow things to fester and take up too much management time and potentially start to damage the team or your business.

It’s never easy to say goodbye to someone, but when things are going wrong and there is no sign of improvement or ability to make the changes required, then the fairest thing you can do is to say goodbye, and we will help you to manage that conversation in a professional and compassionate way, just give us a call.