Made Bad Hire

​Have you ever made a bad hire? Sleepless nights spent worrying about how you will manage performance, how the team will cope while you find a replacement, how your hiring decisions reflect upon you, and what you could have done differently?

21% of new employees don’t make it through the probation period, which disrupts team morale, leads to decreased productivity, downgrades customer service – all of which can result in profitability taking a hit.

A bad hiring decision is enough to make any leader lose their confidence when it comes to employing new team members, which can lead to procrastination or avoidance - resulting in the hiring manager overcompensating by themselves or the team taking on a greater workload.

So how do you overcome the fear of making a bad hiring decision the second time around?

Be specific

It may seem obvious, but it can be easy to overlook cultural fit and soft skills when a candidate was so technically capable. The reality is, no matter how capable their technical ability may be, if they are not a team player or their values don't align with the culture, then this will cause issues down the track.

Also, many hiring managers are now prioritising “skills of the future” as a benchmark for new employees such as resilience, influencing skills, adaptability, flexibility and a growth mindset which is wise to consider in your must-have skills list. Popping your requirements into a checklist is an objective way to measure how a new candidate stacks-up but keep in mind that your gut instinct should play a role in your decision making too.

Also, if you are aware of your specifics, make sure you interview effectively to evaluate those skills. Having a robust interview process will be invaluable to getting it right.

Don’t settle

There is an overload of work and a shortage of candidates, so you settle for someone who is 90% right for the job. You knew at the time they had some areas of development but hoped that with time and environment, those would become a non-issue.

According to Claudio Fernandez- Araoz, author of Great People Decisions and “The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad, soft skills are the hardest to coach. So, unless the candidate’s shortfalls are technical and they're open to training, it is likely that 10% will become a more significant problem with time. If they aren't able to collaborate, this will upset the rest of the team; if they are a procrastinator, this will have big impacts on progress, if they need substantial supervision, this may take their business leader away from essential tasks.

While no human being is perfect, you need to fully understand the trade-off that 10% is having and put a plan in place from the outset or hold off on making that offer.

Use a professional

Whether internal or external, professional recruiters are a valuable business partner. They will deeply understand the needs of your business, ask all the right questions to make sure you are clear on your requirements and will have a feel for your needs and personal style.

They have an eagle-eye when it comes to technical skills, soft skills, growth and cultural fit and know how to effectively interview to get an accurate picture of a candidate rather than relying solely on a resume.

Career recruiters also know the whos-who of your industry and can scout out the best talent from the market. They will have made many successful placements in your industry, so have a much larger pool of data to draw upon when measuring one candidate against another.

They also know how to evaluate a personality to make sure they are the right fit. Their job is about matching, and it is crucial they know as much about you as they do about your candidate. Best of all they have as much vested interest in a successful hire as you.

While some employers find recruiters fees cost-prohibitive, a professional, sharp recruiter is worth their weight in gold as the cost of a successful new team member (or a bad one) far outweighs the recruitment fee.


Freelancers have dominated the creative arts up until recently, but many other professions are following suit with 43% of the workforce predicted to be contractually employed by 2021. Self-employed contractors treat their job as a business and have a very different mentality and expectations to a full-time employee.

Often these staff have honed a particular skill, have broad experience across their workplace, are fresh from their flexibility and value the "client" type relationship with their employer. They stay on top of their game and are eager to please.

While the rate may be a little higher, there are no on-costs, holiday pay or training costs. Contractors tend to be far more productive as they know they're on the clock and can be replaced relatively quickly if they don't perform to your expectations.

Labour Hire

Labour hire firms provide you with vetted, trained experts often at short notice. The employee works just like a regular team member, wears the company uniform and will use the company's tools and resources. The direct employee-employer relationship will continue; however, the labour-hire firm is responsible for hiring, performance managing, insurance and payroll. Labour hire is a perfect solution if needing multiple team members or project-based staff.

Often these employees have been exposed to multiple companies throughout their career, so they bring fresh new approaches and are adaptable to different ways of working. They come into an organisation enthusiastic and willing to work, which can lift the morale of the entire team. The ability to bring team members in on this basis at short notice can also help prevent the current staff burning out - which is always a risk when there have been job vacancies for a period.

Get in touch with Trojan

If you would like to make sure your next hire is a sure-fire success, consider a trusted recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and get advice from the experts in labour hire, permanent and contract recruitment. With a little professional help, a successful new hire may be contributing to your team faster than you imagined.