The recruiting process can be tricky. Nothing truly guarantees that the candidate you hire is the right fit for the position. As a recruiter, you can do what is in your power to avoid hiring the wrong candidate but it is also important to know what to do after you’ve hired the wrong one.

Recognize your mistake

After you’ve realized you have hired the wrong person, it is important that you recognize your mistake. Oftentimes, recruiters, because they want to save their pride and image, do not admit that the candidate they have hired was not the right fit for the position. Instead, they keep them around and let the team pay the consequences of their bad decision. Delaying in hopes that the employee will change and magically learn the skills, will only make the situation worse. Keeping the wrong hire around will affect the whole team and eventually the company’s image and finances. The sooner you recognize your mistake, the quicker you will be able to take the necessary measures to make up for it.


There are a few things that indicate your employee is not the right fit:


–       The employee does not seem to know how to get the job done

–       He/she is always asking other colleagues for help

–       Your employee has a hard time respecting deadlines

–       He/she is embarrassed to tell you they do not know how to do something

–       Your customers are complaining

–       Your staff is complaining


If you notice these signs, it is important to acknowledge them as early as possible and consult your HR department to figure out what to do.



Hiring the wrong candidate is not only bad for the team but also, it is putting your new hire in an embarrassing situation. The whole team will know that they are not able to deliver the work. This will affect their ego and they will see their time at your company as a bad experience they want to forget.  Take the time to talk to them in private and recognize that you have made a bad decision when hiring them for this specific position. Do not forget to mention that it is not about them. The candidate probably has qualities and strengths that would be perfect for another position and you might have gotten carried away by their charisma. Try recommending them to other companies for which they will be a better fit. We all make mistakes and recruiters are not exempt from this. The important thing is to know when to apologize and end things on a good note. Also apologize to some of your employees who might have suffered from the new hire’s incompetency. Doing so will show your team that you value them enough to make sure you create an environment that will motivate them to be the best version of themselves.


Consult your HR department

Letting an employee go is not easy. It is important for you to work with your HR department in order to discuss the best ways to proceed. Before letting them go, see if this is really the right decision. Some employees only need some training in order to acquire the qualifications it takes to get the job done. Also, it is possible that the new hire has not felt integrated enough. There are different factors that could explain why they have failed to feel equipped to get the job done. Your HR specialists will be able to analyze the situation and see what is the best thing to do from there on. Do not do or say anything before consulting them as they will have a better sense of judgment of the situation.


Take the time to figure out why you made the wrong choice

The best way to avoid committing the same mistakes is to take the time to see why you made these mistakes and what you can do differently next time. Take the time to replay the interview in your head. Did you get carried away by their personality without considering their lack of experience? Did you ask the right questions during your interview? Did you truly take the time to analyze their body language and more? These are all questions to ask yourself in order to be more prepared when interviewing candidates who will replace the bad hire. You can also ask your team what they think went wrong and ask them their opinion on the qualifications the right candidate should have. Involving your team in the recruiting process will help you avoid making the same mistakes.


Do not wait till it is too late to recognize a bad hire. Take advantage of the 90 days probation and take the necessary measure if ever you think you will need to replace your employee.


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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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