hiring the wrong personThe difference between hiring the right people and hiring the wrong people can literally mean a team that supports and fosters your success or a team that sinks your ship.

Having to hire a new employee for your small business, no matter if it is your first secretary or your 10th cashier, means that your business is growing, you are delegating, and you are having a big-picture mentality, all of which are great things. But hiring someone new can be daunting no matter what stage of business you are at, especially when introducing a new person to the work environment can easily change the dynamics. Hiring the wrong person is a lot like giving your business cancer; it can start small and barely noticeable but quickly evolves into a soul sucking disease.

The stakes can be high when you are recruiting, and the rule of thumb in the industry is that the wrong employee can cost you upwards of 3 to 4 times his or her annual salary. This means that a $25,000 employee can cost you $50,000, and a $75,000 employee can end up costing your company $150,000. You also have to factor in the cost of lost business, a lost opportunity cost, potential customers and momentum, and once that happens you have to start all over again looking for a replacement. Don’t sink your own ship. Here are a few ways to avoid this problem before it even starts.

Hiring Too Quickly

One of the biggest mistakes many employers do is to hire a new person after only one interview. It can be tempting to rush the interview process, because you’re short on time and desperately need the additional help. However, hiring the wrong person is far from helpful. Having the person come in a few times gives you a chance to see if they present the same way each time, and you may get a different feeling about them once you see them again. Meeting on a separate occasion will give you ample time to see how you really feel about a person or at the very least detect any red flags.

Believe me, if there are any red flags no matter how insignificant they might seem at the time, do yourself a favor and move on to the next candidate. I can speak from experience on this subject. I totally botched a couple of early hires for my business; one of which turned our close knit office environment into a place of fear and anxiety. Morale was down, production took a nose dive, I actually dreaded coming into my own office to face this individual each day. Then I would go home and lose sleep worrying about what damage would come next. What did I do wrong? I tried to make something that was clearly broken work, because it was much easier to make excuses in the beginning rather than cutting out the disease before it spread. Hiring the wrong person costs much more than just the price of a salary – act quickly.

When the perspective employee is in for the second interview, ask him questions that are different from last time, but similar, to see how consistent the person is. If the person seems to be uncomfortable with how the process is going, drag it out even further. You want to make him or here understand how crucial it is for you to hire the right person for the job, and will want someone that can follow your cues and be on the same wavelength. These are things that make it tough to fight the right hire from just one interview.

Talking Too Much About the Job

During the primary interview, you want to try to feel out the candidate. If you spend too much time talking about the work involved and what the person will be doing, you will miss out on this great opportunity. Instead, talk about the philosophy your company has, and its culture. Tell the prospect how important it is for him or her to be a team player. Hire the person that seems interested in the workings of the company, and is excited about getting involved, not the candidate that seems bored and wants to rush through the interview process. This will ensure that you hire the right person for the job the first time, and will save you money in the long run.

Google and Facebook are Your Friends

We’ve all heard the stories about employers checking Facebook profiles to weed out potential problem candidates. Right or wrong there’s a reason that they do that. Insight into a person’s personality can tell you a lot about their true nature and how it will impact the work place. Often times true personality can be buried in interviews. While most people view Facebook profiles as a personal and private arena, many people leave their profiles open for all to access. While peeping on someone’s Facebook page does seem a bit creepy to me at the very least you should run several Google searches on the applicants’ name. You’d be surprised what can come up even when their background check comes through squeaky clean. In some instances you might even find previous lawsuits against previous employers. Ya, you’d want to dodge that bullet.

What Should You Do if You Hire A Bad Seed?

Act Quickly to Stop The Spread of Disease!

Yes, I know it sounds harsh, but avoidance is the enemy when red flags start popping up. If you hire the wrong person, chances are you will start recognizing this within weeks and almost certainly within 90 days. Act quickly with corrective actions for anything such as; attitude, work ethic, job performance, and insubordination. Don’t be cruel, but let the individual know that they are underperforming or their attitude is not appropriate for the workplace. Document all corrective measures and then move quickly to terminate. No, it’s not fun to fire someone, but it’s even worse to allow problems to fester and spread throughout the workplace. Cut out the cancer now!