The cost of a bad or under-performing hire is usually a lot more than their salary. When considering the toll that a bad hiring decision takes on your company, you must not only examine bad performance, but also the frustration that they cause their coworkers and the customers that they can alienate. If a new hire is still asking everyone within earshot for help with the day-to-day 6 months into the job, chances are that 6 more months’ floundering will have them just about where they are now.
The best course of action when dealing with a bad hire is to sever ties as soon as possible. It might be frustrating to start the job process all over again, but getting rid of these employees quickly will save you a lot of time in the long run. According to Dr. John Sullivan, HR thought leader based in Silicon Valley, there are a few ways to get problem employees out the door with very little fuss. The first option mentioned in the ERE article is known as a “no-fault divorce”. It involves offering a poor performer several months of pay and a good reference to resign after the first 6 months of employment. This way, the new hire can either bow out or face their annual review 6 months later, receiving a bad reference if they are still found to be lacking.
Several of the other methods that Dr. Sullivan mentioned fall under the category of extended onboarding and mentorship for new employees. The idea here is to at once provide employees with a greater chance to excel in their work as well as identifying the poor performers from early on. Think of it as a simultaneous evaluation and education process for your new employees. Remember, no matter how much you may want your hiring decisions to work out, the reality is that people are easy to misjudge on interview day.