When a New Hire Just Doesn't Work Out

Posted by SRA Admin on Mar 30 2016


You’ve interviewed, hired someone new, and they’re ready to start on Monday. Great! Just one problem: what happens if this new hire is not what you were bargaining for? This awkward situation can, and does, occur across all industries, including natural industry jobs. Hiring and firing represent a significant amount of time and resources for your business.

To avoid making the whole situation worse, follow these steps when a new hire is just not working out the way you hoped.

Identify Shortcomings

First, figure out why this new hire is failing. Don’t rely on water cooler gossip. Instead, analyze their work and attitude to discover what about them is not up to par. There could be many things that are causing this worker to fall short, such as a lack of professionalism, insufficient training, negative attitude, etc.

These potential pitfalls are easy to identify. If your employee had a stellar interview, but now is showing up late every day and their work is full of typos, they are suffering from a lack of professionalism. Or maybe this employee is unable to fulfill tasks due to a lack of knowledge and experience in natural industry jobs. If the work ethic is there but the skillset is not, then you know they are not entirely qualified.

It could also be the case that the employee fibbed on their resume, and now their lacking skills are evident. It could also just be a negative attitude that is clashing with corporate culture. It can be difficult to discern this kind of problem in a job interview, where most people will put on a happy face to land a position.

Whatever the issue is, you need to get to the bottom of it before you can start trying to fix things.

Set a Realistic Goal

Now that you understand why a new hire is not meeting your expectations, it’s time to be open and honest with them. No one likes an ominous call into the boss’s office, but an honest conversation about improvement is necessary if you want to keep this employee and avoid another trip down the long and arduous hiring path.

Make a realistic goal with a deadline, and give your employee the chance to turn things around. If their work is subpar, let them know they have a month to ditch the typos, or you will have to let them go.

Reinvigorate their work ethic by reminding them that professionalism is essential to career growth in your company. If they need more training, consider having them shadow you, or another senior employee until their work improves.

Since firing and hiring a new employee is a laborious a process, weigh that effort against what it will require getting your new hire where they need to be. Chances are it will take fewer resources to properly onboard the new hire, but if they fundamentally are not a good fit, it’s best to let them go. Like a Band-Aid, fire them neatly and cleanly as not to waste any more of their time, or yours.

Prevent Future Hiring Mishaps

Nobody likes being the “bad guy” when it comes to hiring and firing. To do less of each, make sure an effective hiring process is in place to avoid and ideally prevent any future issues. If you do end up firing a new hire, be sure to have a thorough debriefing with the hiring team that addresses why this candidate did not work out.

Your hiring process should also be evaluated, should this situation ever occur. For instance,try adding a skills assessment if you are ever unsure of a candidate's qualifications. To avoid setting a new hire up for failure make sure you have a proper onboarding process so they can quickly and easily assimilate with your company. Many businesses implement a 90-day interim period for new employees to see if they are a good fit. A trial period indicates right away that if new hires do not meet expectations, they will not be kept.

Also, to avoid conflict, make sure you understand your state’s labor laws before firing a new employee. Many executives violate labor laws without even realizing it. For example, some states require employers to pay all unused accrued vacation time on an employee's last day. Documentation and communication are your best defenses against a labor dispute.


Firing an employee is never fun, but consider the increase in productivity you will gain from an employee who is properly qualified. The right people in your business significantly affect your bottom line. If a new hire is not what you were expecting, remember to identify the problem, create a reasonable goal for them moving forward, and let them go if need be. Being open throughout this whole process is the best way to avoid a labor dispute. Don’t waste time hoping your employee will resign on their own, keep this blog in mind and watch your dream team come together.

Topics: management, hiring, hiring mistakes

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