Four tips on how to avoid bad hires

  • Date published: 29.11.2022

A bad hire is demanding for both employer and employee, and sometimes very costly. Follow Capus partner Jonas Rambæk advice to avoid hiring the wrong candidate for the position.

You advertised the position, selected qualified applicants, interviewed and tested and finally landed the candidate. The contract was signed, the candidate is in place, and everything is in perfect order. Or is it?

All too often we experience a mismatch between employer, role, and employee. In some cases, the employee is performing poorly, resulting in conflicts and a poor working environment. In other cases the employee feels that the job they agreed to in the recruitment process is something completely different from what the job turned out to really be about.

How do you this from happening again? Experienced recruiter Jonas Rambæk has four pieces of advice for you.

1. Prepare a job analysis

Before you start the recruitment process, you should prepare a job analysis. The job analysis lays the foundation for the recruitment process and helps employer and job seeker to get the most correct picture of the position. The job analysis should contain:

  • Purpose of the position. What purposes and needs should the position cover?
  • Tasks. Which tasks are assigned to the position and how are they to be accomplished? Which subject matters does the position cover?
  • Competence requirements and position level. What are the requirements for education, work experience and qualifications? In which organizational level is the position placed?
  • Selection methods. How will you ensure the best possible objective assessment of the candidate? Structured interviews in combination with tests and/or case resolution are often a good combination.

2. Give a complete picture of role and workplace

Accepting a job that turns out to be something other than what was agreed upon is a bad starting point and demanding particularly for the new employee. To prevent this from happening, the employer needs to give a correct picture of the role and workplace early in the process. In conversations with potential candidates, it should therefore be clarified:

  • What is expected of the candidate and why
  • What challenges should the candidate be aware of?
  • What’s the working environment like?
  • What’s the role’s decision-making mandate?

A clarification of expectations from the start contributes to:

  • The employer can better assess which candidate has the experience and motivation needed for the role
  • The candidate has the information needed to assess whether the position is of interest

3. Ensure a good onboarding

A common mistake employers make, is not giving new hires enough support the first few months on a job. many people make is not following up on new employees. The result can be a low performance employee, or low job satisfaction on behalf of the employee. 

Employers can avoid this by having an onboarding program, with sufficient training and insight into the new position and the organization.

Therefore, make sure to prepare a routine for what the employee should learn the first weeks or months in a new job. Also ensure a good onboarding process with objectives and expectations. Assigning a sponsor who is given special responsibility for the new employee can also be a good idea.

4. Evaluate the hiring process

When a hire goes wrong, you should always do a good evaluation of the hiring process. Here are some possible reasons that either alone, or in combination, may contribute to a bad hire:

  • The recruiting manager has little or no experience in HR and recruitment
  • The company doesn’t have an HR department, or there was a lack of support from HR in the recruitment process
  • No reference checks and background checks were carried out
  • Expectations to the position and candidate were not clarified during the recruitment process
  • No testing or case resolution was performed, so the employer didn’t get to know the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses well enough

Do you need help in the next recruitment process?

Our consultants have extensive recruitment experience from both the public and private sectors. Get in touch for a non-binding conversation about how we can help you with recruitment.