The Most Important Warning Signs of a Bad Hire


As leaders in the recruiting industry, we know how important it is to employ the right questions and techniques to find the jewels in your candidate pool. However, despite your best efforts, there will be times when a bad employee manages to slip through the screening process and land on your payroll. When this happens, the reduced morale and lost productivity can quickly become costly. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, a bad hire costs an average of 30 percent of the employee’s first-year salary[i]. For a new hire with an annual salary of $50,000, this can mean a $15,000 loss to your company.

Here are the most important warning signs of a bad hire:

Warning #1: Bad Attitude

Your new hire was smiling and friendly during the interview process but now does not get along well with others. This can be a huge sign that you may have a bad new hire on your hands. Additionally, behaviors like attendance problems or overuse of social media are also red flags.

If you have not observed this behavior yourself, do not rely on the rumor mill. Take some time to speak with the supervisors, managers and staff that work directly with the new hire. Once you have enough information to validate your concerns, it is time to initiate a neutral discussion with the employee.

Warning #2: Lack of Interest

New hires are often excited about their new positions and buzzing with questions. If you have a new hire that does not seem to ask any questions, this can mean they are not interested in the position or do not understand the job.

No matter which of these instances is the case, this situation should be monitored closely. If the employee is simply afraid to ask questions, take some time to make sure they feel comfortable coming to you or an immediate supervisor. Employees that do not communicate well may negatively affect productivity and morale. New hires that attempt to master their job on their own can create other issues.

A bad new hire will happen every now and then. Making sure to address this problem swiftly is key. Allowing a new hire to poison your work environment can lead to many more issues down the line.