No doubt you have seen it happen before; the perfect first interview, the perfect candidates and the feeling that the search ends here.
Mr/Mrs. Perfect starts at our business and all is well, until it is not. Casual lateness creeps in, clock-watching begins, productivity drops and the existing team begins to realise a mistake has been made.
Unfortunately we cannot turn back the clock and right the wrongs during the recruitment process so all we can do is manage the current situation and plan to make sure it does not happen again.
Apparently it takes seven seconds to make a first impression, does it even take that long? When you hire staff it is very easy to become excited about people very quickly.
When we become emotionally invested in something, logic takes a back seat and we can miss key warnings. Fortunately, it is easy to limit the impact of becoming emotionally invested. All we need is a process!
Before interviewing begins you should be aware of:
Preparation is key (read more in this blog) and will help ensure your decisions are primarily based on the facts.
The interview process in particular should be exactly the same for each person you interview for each position.
Have you ever felt that you gave one candidate an easier interview? Ever forgotten a question? Walked out of an interview without sufficient notes to compare candidates?
It is easily done and I suspect that most people who have ever interviewed have made mistakes of this nature. You should be in a position to hand an interview pack over to a 3rd party who could analyse the notes etc. and help you make the decision without being present at interview. This is how Google does it and they are doing okay!
Of course emotions will play a part but do not let the fact that someone is a nice friendly person cloud the fact that their CV is patchy and their experience does not really match your requirements.
But we still have our recent terrible recruit!
In our experience the number one rule in this situation is this: communicate the problems immediately.
There is absolutely no proper reason for delaying it and there are many positives that come from conveying problems clearly and immediately. You may become aware of a temporary issue affecting their performance, they may immediately and permanently increase their performance or they may throw their toys out of the pram and leave.
Regardless of the outcome it will be more positive than allowing the situation to continue and resentment to build.
Performance management is an absolutely key function of great companies. Every employee’s performance should be monitored at all times, not just when they are failing!
Most of the companies I have been employed in only begin performance management when something is wrong. This immediately creates suspicion and a defensive attitude! If performance management is part of your culture you are able to readily identify problems and deal with them proactively.
If Mr/Mrs. Perfect cannot improve to the level your company requires you must act. We are not advocating unfair and regular dismissals by the way! It is just extremely important that your business has a team of people all pulling together, it is not fair on you otherwise.
This blog is written by Sam Edwards.
If you have any queries relating to the topic covered in this blog post please contact us today, it is not always easy to hire staff and we would love to help.