You Made A Bad Hire — Now What? Practice Self Reflection To Overcome And Grow


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You Made a Bad Hire — Now What? Practice Self Reflection to Overcome and Grow

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The opinions expressed by Entrepreneur members are their own.

We’ve all been there. You hire people, partner with people, or trust someone with the precious gift that is your business venture. And they let you down. After you’ve invested your time, money, and perhaps more importantly, your emotions into a relationship, what will you do when things go awry and you can’t take it anymore?


Asking for help can be daunting for most entrepreneurs. Invite a “stranger”? Hey! We tend to be independent people who can juggle multiple tasks and handle them all at the same time. Hiring someone to lighten our workload isn’t always easy.

So let’s see what you should do when that ugly speed bump pops up due to a bad hire and you have no choice but to face him head on. After all, ignoring it and hoping it gets fixed didn’t work in the last few weeks, did it?

In most cases, this situation arises from hiring someone who specializes in an area in which you have no experience, such as copywriting or technical integration with the back end. You’re reaching out to a handful of people asking for referrals. You dive into some calls, and more often than not, you hire the person you’re interviewing because you get along so well with them (and let’s face it, finding the perfect person is already hard).


Related: How to let go of control and hire an expert

They say the right things. They are full of energy and enthusiasm for your work, and you breathe a sigh of relief because the burden of responsibility finally was raised. You love this person and have high hopes for him.

You step forward, sharing information, having fun talking and laughing. You can’t wait for them to take on some of the workload and do everything the way you envisioned.

  • You have standards.
  • You have preferences.
  • You have a vision.
  • You pave the way to achieve your goals.

Their fee (or salary) is paid upfront and immediately (because you usually hate it when people don’t), and the wait timer goes off.


And then it happens. You face the reality that they don’t understand it. You still really like this person, but he does not seem to be able to give what you expected, or what he initially seemed capable of. The first time you missed. “It’s a learning curve,” right?

Perhaps it was a misunderstanding. You may not have been as focused on providing them with enough critical information to get the job done. Or maybe, just maybe, they weren’t capable to begin with. And it’s heartbreakingly disappointing.

At first it was quite difficult to ask for help. But now you don’t have the expected results, and on top of that, you’ve run out of a bunch of your hard-earned money, you need to find someone else and pay them even more of your hard-earned money. money to clean up this mess.

Your first reflex reaction is to send an email to this person to let out frustration and annoyance. Come on, you’re annoyed and offended, if you’re being honest. You personally and professionally invested in this person, and he let you down. Or did you let yourself down? It could be more disappointing!


So, what can you do in this current situation to save your mental health from negativity, intense remorse for throwing good money away, and reflective blaming and blaming?

Here are the three steps I take to deal with a failed recruitment:

1. Take responsibility

Your first step is to take responsibility for your side of the equation. This is the hardest pill to swallow because it is about the size of a submarine. But you have to swallow. You are the one who chose to work with the person in the first place. I know you want to blame someone else, but you can’t do that without taking some of the blame.

I call this the “Red Flag Count” philosophy. We all tend to drop more red flags than we should. We like someone, so we let the first handful of instinctive red flags go by without paying attention.

Then there are red flags that are not related to the internal instinct. This is when the behavior or actions are like neon signs flashing in front of your face. It’s just poor quality work. Period. You had expectations that were not met. It’s literally a red flag.

It’s time to stop missing so many of them before stopping the process and recalibrating.

But we like this person so much that we are distracted by their mutual love for their favorite series. Or perhaps the very thought of starting the hiring process over again is exhausting and undesirable. Who has time?

By the time three or more red flags have been tucked into the closet, your annoyance factor is just waiting to explode out of the way, at which point corrective recovery may be too late.

Related: The Real Impact of Bad Hiring on Your Business

2. Take a breath

Take a few of them. You need oxygen because this scenario is not easy to digest. But rest assured that there are ways to get something positive out of this seemingly hopeless and frustrating situation.

It would be helpful to remind yourself that this is not the end of the world. Stop for a few moments and remind yourself that if you can calm your body with deep breathing, your emotions will also calm down. A clear and focused mind is the best way to deal with any frustrating situation. Our emotions tend to distract and muddy the waters, causing logic and common sense to dissipate.

So, take a breath and accept that this is the picture you have allowed to be painted. The other person may be at fault for not delivering, but you also had a hand in it. As an entrepreneur, we must be realistic about our role in any situation. With this understanding and perspective, you gain the skills to grow. After calming down, you can move on to the next step.

3. Try to save the relationship

People are more important than the project. You will have ongoing projects or tasks, but as you get older, it becomes harder to find people you like.

I’m not saying you have to invite them to dinner every Friday night, but find a way to calm down and make sure you know – and they know – that you still respect them as people. It is not easy. Especially if you paid them and they didn’t deliver.

I may not have chosen this as a step in the process, but there has been so much open hatred and division in the world that we don’t need more. Another interesting point of view is how small the business world gets the longer you stay in it.

It’s amazing how paths can cross again later in time. My partner reconnects with people who lived decades ago and often enters new working relationships or joint ventures. The more you can salvage a relationship in the midst of a crisis, the more open doors you will have as your business grows. Just because something didn’t work out this time doesn’t mean it won’t come back to work later. After all, there was a reason you contacted and hired this person in the first place.

The time has come to bring the foundations of human decency back into the spotlight. What better place to start than with yourself? In the end, you are in trouble and you can get out of it.

RELATED: 6 Tips for Hiring the Right People

4. Acceptance and learning time

If you paid for a service, your money is gone. Nobody stole it from you and made you pay for it. There is always a moment when you need to face this decision and admit that you have made it and it cannot be changed. You can’t reinvent history, so why not learn from it? You decided to attract this person and paid him.

Your time is up (whether you paid or not). You can’t go back to that time no matter how much you watch time travel movies, sci-fi movies or TV shows.

Now you are sitting with your frustration and you need to make some use of it. The most important value you will gain is a lesson for life so you don’t make the same mistake again.

The best thing to do is to try to fix the situation and report what you think something went wrong. You should offer ideas on how to collectively work together so that your expectations are better met, making sure their expectations are met as well.

But in the end it didn’t work out. There is not much in life. The frustration of not getting what you want can hurt. Okay, maybe the sensation is more like a severe burn! But this too shall pass and it is best for you to let it go and move on (quickly) as you are fully armed with new knowledge and insight on how to prevent it from happening again.

Grow with the process

Think deeply, evaluate the process and see everything clearly. Accept your role in the situation. Focus on a deep understanding of what went wrong and why (or how), and grow stronger based on the painfully learned lesson. Remember to hold your head up high, proud that you put the other person’s humanity into the decision.

Additional note: if you hired someone to do a job and they categorically didn’t do it (as opposed to providing something different than what you expected or wanted), ask for a refund or a partial refund. This is also fair.

It is best to write a detailed job description in advance. Send it to the applicant or new employee and ask them to sign. Ask them to initialize each position. That way, you’ll have something that both of you can fall back on if there’s no delivery.

As they say, hit one page. Being on the same page beforehand clears the way for big flags of success, not red flags of trouble or white flags of surrender. Go get them!


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