September 10, 2009

When companies err in hiring the right candidate

A lot of gyaan is already floating around about the various mistakes that are made during hiring etc., but this piece is about how to deal with the mishire (mistake) when it is inside the organization.

Infant mortality, new-hire absconding are two primary indicators to the company's management that there's been a hiring mistake. Once realized, it's an impulse reaction by managers to find some way to get rid of the candidate and them him out of their team if not fire them. Well, here's the first thing, the hiring managers and recruitment team need to realize - "it's your mistake and not that of the candidate!"

The second type of mishires are identified over a period of time, when the candidates are exposed to production and their capabilities are put to test in live environment. Well, then again, it's an impulse reaction by managers to get them out of the system. Hmm.. yet again, "it's the hiring team's mistake, not the candidate's."

It's really important for any manager to understand I don't mean to this fact, that it's the mistake made by the hiring team, and not candidate. Having said that I don't mean to say live with it, cos one can't just keep the problem and think of performing optimally.

So, what's the action plan?
  • The hiring manager should have a communication plan in place to inform the newly joined about his misplacement and set expectations right.
  • Reassess, take a stock of the wrongly hired employee's skill set and the mismatch
  • Accordingly, either initiate a Performance Enhancement Plan, or
  • Look within the organization for any vacant job positions for right fitment
  • When no opportunity for utilizing the candidate exists, engage in a discussion to separate the employee without penalizing him
Be sensitive to the fact that:
  1. It was your mistake, not the candidate's
  2. Your mishire is within your system, and you may incur damage internally and even from outside.
In all actions taken, while being mindful of the of the cost involved, be fair. What else is a better impression of a 'good-employer', a title which all corporations vie for.
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