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5 Steps Every Small Business Owner Must Take to Recover From a Bad Hiring Decision

bad-hiring If your business-building journey has been anything like mine, when you realized that you were in the position to bring on a team member and take some administrative tasks off your plate, you were elated.

I literally remember my first hire.  She started out as my savior but quickly became my nightmare.  And, interestingly I’m clear why that happened, which is why when I got Shayne’s question, I knew exactly how to respond.

“Hi Darnyelle.  I’ve made a grave mistake in my business.  I was so “gung ho” to add my first team member that I did it and it was a rush and rash decision.  And now I’m regretting it.  My client service levels have diminished and I am cringing at the long-term effects of this decision.  How do you recover from a bad-hiring decision?”

Check out my response to Shayne’s question:

As I share in the episode, we are human so that means we make bad decisions all the time.  As Maya Angelou so eloquently says, “now that you know better, you can do better.”  So when you are faced with a bad-hiring decision, as soon as you identify it – don’t pass go, don’t collect $200.  Instead, follow these five steps:

1. Review your work for hire agreement.  This is an essential if you are bringing on team members.  Whether they are a 1099 or an actual employee should be decided with your legal and financial consultants in mind.  (Since I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV I’m sharing my experience and this should not be construed as legal advice.) You want to get professional legal help creating this document.  And when it’s time to let a team member go, you want to review what your termination clauses are.  As an example, in mine, we have a 90-day trial period.

2. Review your documentation about their results. You have been documenting each time you’ve had to provide them with feedback, every error they’ve made that had the potential to affect your clients and customers, right?  You want to review your documentation and provide them with a written performance appraisal.  Even though you’re severing your relationship, providing feedback will help them to become a better employee or team member for their next opportunity.

3. Consult your HR consultant and attorney.  You want to make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row BEFORE you approach your team member so that there is no backlash that could adversely affect your company.  So, be sure that you have someone you can speak with to get the best advice on how to manage the situation.

4. Identify the opportunities for improvement in your hiring process so that you make a better choice the next time around. After I fired an employee a few years ago, I developed an entire hiring process from job description development to the end of their first 90 days, and everything in between.  I added in several layers in the process and brought others in to participate with me so that I could ensure they were the right fit.  One of my secret weapons which I share readily with my clients is to ensure that your hiring process includes a skills assessment.  Literally test them on the job they are supposed to do for you.  If they can’t pass your assessment, they are likely not the right fit.  This one addition to my hiring procedure has saved me tons of money, time and energy in the past five years.

5. Make adjustments to your job description based on what you experienced with your latest fire.  Sometimes we don’t know how important it is to spell out what we need, don’t need, like and don’t like until we experience it and realize that it’s a big problem.  So, review your job description based on what may not have been clear in the first place to help you to get closer to a better quality candidate.

Because we live in a digital workplace, you can’t just take people at their word.  And I honestly prefer NOT to review resumes.  You need to remember that your business is an extension of your personal brand and if your brand’s perception is faulty because of a bad association, it can kill your marketplace livelihood.  So take your time.  Be slow to hire and quick to fire.

And, when you are looking to bring on a new team member, follow every step in the hiring process that you create.  When we cut corners we typically experience the opposite of what we were wanting.  As a bonus, I want to quickly share the process I use when hiring:

  1. Write job description for the position you’re hiring for.
  2. Create skills assessment pertinent to the position.
  3. Post job description on various sites including Craigslist, Hire My Mom and others.  I also get referrals from colleagues for the position as well.
  4. As applications come in, I review what they sent and designate those I want to interview.
  5. Contact those to be interviewed for a quick phone meeting.
  6. Early in the interview process, I have them take an assessment that validates if they’re the right fit for the position.
  7. Hold group panel interview – this can be live or virtual.
  8. Hold skills assessment interview and review their results and score them.
  9. Hold final interview.
  10. If all is well, extend offer for the position and establish the 90-day trial period.

Now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents?:   
Have you ever made a bad-hiring decision?  What did you do to rectify it?  What have you put in place to prevent the same mistake from happening again in your business?

©2014 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Speaker, Business Coach and Marketing Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises.com, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program for more clients, more income and more leverage in your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid When Unleashing Your Incredible Factor So You Attract More Clients, Make More Money and Gain More Leverage” just fill out the form below.

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