How to Recover from a Bad Hire

It’s no secret that a bad hire can end up costing your company dearly. Sometimes the search for the right candidate seems to drag on to the point where you believe any warm body will be sufficient. However, it’s best to put that mindset aside, because choosing the wrong person could result in more problems and costs in the long run.

There are many ways a new employee could turn out to be a bad hire. The new employee could have overstated their qualifications, turn out to be a bad culture fit, or in the worst instances, intentionally harm the business. If you feel you’ve made a poor hiring decision, here are some tips on how to recover from a bad hire.

Let Them Go Quickly

We’re in favor of giving chances, but if the same individual continually makes the same mistakes it’s time to consider ending their time with your company. Once you’ve identified a problem, attempt to fix it. If the individual does not remedy their behavior, let them go to prevent any further damage. In some cases, the mistake(s) made could be serious enough to warrant immediate dismissal.

Instead of letting the individual continue at your company, it’s best to part ways earlier rather than later – when you’ve invested more time and money into the employee. If it’s clear the employee won’t be meeting expectations any time soon, cutting ties with the bad hire before he or she makes an extreme impact on your company and/or employees is the wise thing to do. If possible, try to part on positive terms to avoid as much backlash from the employee as possible, and in some cases consider offering an incentive for them to leave (it will cost the company less in the long run).

Evaluate the Damage Done

After you’ve removed the bad hire from your workplace, it’s time to backtrack and review what happened during their time at the company. Essentially it’s time to evaluate what the former employee did and exactly what effect they had. For instance, did they cost the company money? Did they lose clients? Did their bad habits rub off on your other employees?

Once you’ve compiled a list of exactly what happened, it’s time determine how your business can recover from a bad hire. Will you need to implement re-training or team building exercises to your staff? Does a manager need to intervene to attempt to bring clients back? Did the situation reach the point of needing legal action? Figure out a course of action and begin following it to bring your business back to the state it was in prior to the bad hire.

Review Desired Next Hire Traits

If the role is imperative to your organization, you may need to find a replacement quickly. Yet, it is in the company’s best interest to re-evaluate what is desired from the next hire, and what exactly went wrong with the previous individual. Culture fit could be more important than you thought, or it’s possible that you’d prefer the next individual to have more advanced training. It’s important to hammer out the details of what you’ll be looking for before even starting the search process.

Read over the job description before beginning your search as well. Be sure that general expectations for the position are clear, and education, training, and skill requirements are outlined. If there will be any responsibilities added or removed from the position, alter them on the job description as well.

Avoid Future Bad Hires

It is impossible to recover from a bad hire if you don’t try to prevent history from repeating itself, and that includes tying up loose ends and being direct with expectations up front. While you cannot predict the behavior of another individual, being sure recruiting rookie errors are avoided will already weed out candidates who are not a good fit for your company.

Searching for a new hire can be stressful, costly, and time consuming. However, it’s imperative that the process is taken seriously to avoid repeating the situation. If your company needs some help screening candidates for your open roles, consider utilizing the services of a staffing agency such as us at Pascoe Workforce Solutions. Staffing agencies go through the process of finding and screening candidates (including background checks) to save companies stress and time in the hiring process.


Your company was not the first, and will not be the last to make a bad hiring decision. However, it’s important to be sure to learn from recruiting mistakes to avoid problems in the future. As a full service employment agency, Pascoe Workforce Solutions works to ensure that your hiring process is as painless as possible. Contact us today for more information or to help your company recover from a bad hire.