How to avoid hiring the wrong person?

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Have you ever hired the wrong employee? Are you sick of constantly ending up with bad hires? Sometimes you can’t tell that the candidate isn’t suitable until they start working for you. While other times you can avoid hiring the wrong person. Check out how below.

Female worker and her male co-worker sitting at the table in office environment discussing how to avoid hiring the wrong person

Businesses try to avoid hiring the wrong person at all costs. They realize this can be a costly mistake that impacts managers, other employees, and even customers. Hiring the right person for a job is a crucial task for any organization. The success and growth of a business depend heavily on the talent, skills, and dedication of its employees.

However, we’ve all experienced the consequences of hiring the wrong person—the loss of valuable time, money, and productivity. Fortunately, there are strategies and practices that can significantly reduce the risk of making a costly hiring mistake.

Let’s delve into the art of avoiding the wrong hire. Let’s explore proven techniques that can help you build a reliable, high-performing team. From refining your recruitment process to evaluating candidates effectively. We’ll guide you through the steps to make informed decisions and increase the chances of finding the perfect fit for your organization. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to choosing wisely when it comes to hiring!

What is a bad hire?

A bad hire refers to an employee who, after being hired, fails to meet the expectations and requirements of the job or does not align with the company’s culture and values. It typically refers to a situation where an employer realizes that the selected candidate is not suitable for the position, either due to a lack of necessary skills, poor performance, behavioral issues, or a mismatch between the employee’s qualifications and the job requirements.

Manager reviewing new hires work to see if they are a bad hire

Characteristics of a bad hire may include:

  • Incompetence: The employee lacks the necessary skills, knowledge, or experience to perform the job effectively. Thus leading to subpar or unsatisfactory work.
  • Poor performance: The employee consistently fails to meet performance goals, targets, or deadlines despite adequate skills and qualifications.
  • Cultural misfit: The employee’s behavior, attitude, or work style does not align with the organization’s values. Moreover, it doesn’t align with team dynamics or work environment. Thus causing conflicts or disruptions.
  • Lack of motivation or engagement: The employee displays low levels of motivation, commitment, or enthusiasm toward their work. Thus resulting in decreased productivity and a negative impact on the team.
  • Communication problems: The employee struggles to communicate effectively. Therefore leading to misunderstandings, errors, or difficulty collaborating with others.
  • Ethical issues: The employee engages in unethical or unprofessional behavior. Behavior such as dishonesty, violation of company policies, or mistreatment of colleagues.
  • High turnover or conflicts: The employee frequently clashes with coworkers, supervisors, or clients. These clashes lead to strained relationships. Moreover, they can increase turnover or create a toxic work environment.

Bad hire examples

Let’s give you some examples of a bad hire:

  • Someone lied to you on their resume or during the interview process. They were hired under the assumption they have the necessary skills. Turns out that on the job, they make mistakes and don’t complete projects on time. You may also realize during a training session that they achieve below-standard results.
  • You hired an individual who instigates drama. Someone who likes to manipulate and cause conflict. Other team members may feel uncomfortable working with him or her.
  • Perhaps the employee you hired is lazy. They don’t have the motivation to do their job. You may notice that they don’t show up to work or they show up late. Maybe they don’t turn in tasks on time. Moreover, they may look for others around them to do the work for them.

What are some common reasons companies hire the wrong person?

Let’s explore some of the reasons why a company may hire the wrong people.

Interviewer bias during the hiring process

Interview bias during the recruitment process can unfortunately cause hiring the wrong person. Most of the time hiring managers don’t even realize their own bias and end up overlooking great candidates. A hiring manager may have a picture of their ideal candidate in their head. This type of candidate shows up the seem to have similar interests as the hiring manager and matches the image they created in their mind. The hiring manager decides to hire them. Sometimes it works out, other times not so much.

Business partners working in office trying to fix their job descriptions

Poorly curated job description

You need a great job description to entice the right person. A poorly created job description may cause you to hire people that are not up to your company’s standard. Also, you may have a limited number of people that you can hire because top-quality candidates may be unsure if they fit your job description. And therefore, they don’t apply.

Your candidate lies about who they are & what they can do

Most candidates will have lied about something on their resumes. Moreover, during the interview process, they may have embellished some things to get the job. But in the end, the truth always comes out. The only issue with that is that the truth may come out after you hired them and they are already on the job.

Your hiring managers have a poor interview process

You need to have a strong and standardized interview process. Your interview questions should give you an idea as to the person you are hiring. Also, it should help you gain access to what skills they have and don’t. If you are hiring software developers you should also have a solid way to evaluate their technical skills. Many tech companies evaluate technical skills with the help of live coding or a technical assignment.

Coworkers figuring out new ways to gain more information about potential candidates

You didn’t gain enough information about the candidate

You failed to gain enough information about the candidate early on and therefore, ended up with a bad hire. Here at Swyply, once we analyze CVs, we send out forms to our top picks. These forms give us more information about the candidates. This way we don’t waste time if someone isn’t right for us, or we are not the right fit for them.

A simple form can help you find out a lot about a candidate. You can find out information such as:

  • salary expectations
  • type of employment contract they are looking for
  • the working experience they have
  • what type of work format do they expect (remote, in-office, hybrid)
  • engagement model (full-time, part-time, etc.)

And so much more. This way you can gain a clear picture of the candidate before you go into the interview process. You can interview candidates that are a good match for you. This way there are fewer surprises.

5 ways you avoid hiring the wrong person

Now we can cover 5 ways you avoid hiring the wrong person.

Define your ideal candidate & be clear about what your company needs

The first step you need to take is to identify the right candidate. You need to be sure of who you are looking for. Many companies make this mistake and therefore, end up hiring the wrong person. You want to start off by creating a list. List some of the things you consider to be the most qualified for this job. Determine which traits you want for this particular job. Also, make sure to identify the difference between must-have skills and nice-to-have skills. There are certain skills that you can go without, while others are necessary to do the job.

During the interview process also make sure to talk about the project the candidate will be joining. Moreover, talk a little about the team members they will working with closely, Also, set clear expectations when it comes to you how your company works, engagement models, project management styles, etc.


Consider reworking your existing interview process

If your interview process is not working the way you would like, perhaps it’s too long or the questions are not in-depth. It’s time to rework your interview process. There are some 👉 must-have interview questions for software developers 👈 that will help hire the right candidate for the job. You may also want to consider your interview process in terms of duration. Maybe it’s too long or too short.

Use IT staff augmentation services to hire top talent

Another way you can avoid hiring the wrong person is by using IT staff augmentation. IT staff augmentation can help provide you with the software developers you need for a specific project or time frame. When you use IT staff augmentation services you can hire pre-vetted developers to work on your project. This way you avoid hiring the wrong person. Not to mention you have more flexibility than with traditional hiring. Swyply, as a staff augmentation vendor offers a guarantee period.

Our guarantee

Also, here at Swyply, we offer our customers a 👉 14-day risk-free trial period 👈. During this time you can test out the developer(s) you hired. You can see if they are a good fit for your team. Moreover, if their hard skills and soft skills meet your needs. If not, then you have some options thanks to our guarantee.

  1. Your first option is to switch your current coder for a new one
  2. Your second option is to end our cooperation

You don’t get this type of flexibility without team extension models.

Co-workers discussing employee performance growth

Experience isn’t always a good predictor of future performance

Don’t strictly focus on the experience of a potential candidate. Previous experience is not always a strong indicator of future performance. Relying solely on a candidate’s past experience as a developer may not accurately determine their future success or performance in a new role.

While experience can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s skill set and knowledge, it does not guarantee their ability to adapt, learn new technologies, or perform well in different work environments. Other factors such as attitude, problem-solving skills, teamwork, and continuous learning may be equally important in assessing a developer’s potential for success.

Follow your gut & intuition about a candidate

As a hiring manager, you usually have a good feeling about potential hires or a bad feeling. Don’t ignore it. In some cases, it is obvious that someone could be a wrong hire. Here at Swyply, our Head of Human Resources usually within the first few minutes of talking with someone gains a sense of the type of person they are interviewing. A big part of recruitment & the interview process is intuition, so don’t ignore it.

Give yourself enough time to make a decision

Do not rush hiring decisions. When we rush our decision-making, we tend to make mistakes. Moreover, we tend to overlook candidate red flags. Give yourself enough time to evaluate candidates and compare your options. This way you can hire a qualified candidate, not someone who is just so & ends up costing your company money.


How much is that bad hire really costing your business?

The US government estimates the cost resulting from a poor hire as much as 30 percent of the initial salary of workers. The cost to the employer for bringing on employees of $80K is about $24,000 each year. This can affect the bottom line for businesses. Moreover, a recent study revealed that 34% of CFOs are concerned about hiring poorly-performing employees.

What factors should be considered in making a hiring decision?

There are certain factors that should go into your decision-making during the hiring process. Let’s take a look at them in detail, below.

Hard skills or technical skills

The first thing you need to look at is the candidate’s hard skills. Check out their resume and during the interview process, evaluate if they have the necessary technical skills. Also, make sure to test their technical skills to ensure that they are at the level you need.

Soft skills

Another very important aspect to evaluate is soft skills. In fact, in the tech industry, a rising trend in hiring is the emphasis on soft skills. There is a growing importance of checking interpersonal skills. More business owners understand the need to eliminate toxic work culture.

Don’t discount attitude

During the recruiting process don’t ignore a candidate’s attitude. A good attitude and a can-do attitude can go a long way. Someone who is hungry and wants to work can often do more for you and your company, than a candidate who is only motivated by money.

One way to build up excitement around your project is to tell candidates what they will be working on. Unfortunately, many employers fail to fill in potential hires on the project, so they don’t really know where they will end up. Building positive buzz can also help show a candidate’s attitude.

Group of young business professionals having a meeting

Company culture fits

When hiring you want to find a developer that will fit in with everyone on the team. You want to make sure that the way a person views the day of work, remote work, and project vision aligns with yours. Moreover, you want to make sure that your company culture and the values of a candidate also align.

Bad employees may cause frustration and anger among other staff members. This may result in a toxic work environment, which will inevitably ruin your company culture. This is why it’s important to view the person as a whole and see if their personality traits are a good fit for your existing employee morale.

Experience & potential growth

The biggest hiring mistake employers make is to hire a candidate solely on talent skills and experience. Often times it’s easier to train technical skills but making someone an effective team player is not an easy task. You also need to look at potential growth. Does the candidate want the opportunity to grow? Are they willing to expand their skills? If yes, they can bring more to your company. Also, can the role go beyond what is currently set out and how will the candidate deal with that?

Cheerful young colleagues sitting in office coworking discussing how to avoid hiring the wrong person

TL;DR: Summary of how to avoid hiring the wrong person

A bad hire refers to an individual who lacks the necessary skills, experience, or cultural fit for a given role within an organization, resulting in underperformance or a negative impact on team dynamics. Such hires can lead to decreased productivity, increased turnover, and overall disruption to the work environment.

Common red flags of a bad employee include consistently missing deadlines & displaying a lack of accountability or responsibility. Also, exhibiting poor communication skills, demonstrated a negative attitude, and failed to collaborate effectively with teammates. These behaviors can indicate a lack of motivation, professionalism, and the potential to undermine team dynamics.

Companies struggle to hire the right employees for a number of reasons some of which include:

  • Interviewer bias during the hiring process
  • Poorly curated job description
  • Your candidate lies about who they are & what they can do
  • You have a poor interview process
  • You didn’t gain enough information about the candidate

Ways to bypass bad hires:

There are some strategies that you can implore that will help you avoid hiring the wrong person such as:

  • Define your ideal candidate & be clear about what your company needs
  • Consider reworking your existing interview process
  • Use IT staff augmentation services to hire top talent
  • Experience isn’t always a good predictor of future performance
  • Follow your gut & intuition about a candidate
  • Give yourself enough time to make a decision

Hiring a bad hire can cost your company money. In fact, it is reported that a bad hire in the United States costs around 30 to 40 percent of an employee’s annual salary. That’s no small fee. Some factors that every employer should consider during the hiring process include aspects such as:

  • Hard skills or technical skills
  • Soft skills
  • Don’t discount attitude
  • Cultural fit
  • Experience & potential growth

Have you had an experience with a bad hire? Tell us about it by 👉 dropping us a line 👈. Let us know what are some of your tips and tricks to avoid hiring the wrong person. Perhaps you want to try hiring software engineers using 👉 IT staff augmentation 👈? Let us know, we can help you extend your team.

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