People make mistakes – including bad hiring decisions. It happens. The interview went well, the candidate said all the right things, and they seemed like a great fit for your organization. Then things go awry. It becomes apparent the candidate may have oversold how much experience they have or they don’t quite have the skill set you anticipated.

turn a bad hire into a good one


Some hiring mistakes are obvious right away, while others take some time to come to light. But it is how you handle the situation that makes all the difference.

The good news is some bad hiring decisions can be reversed into good ones. Sometimes when you get lemons, you make lemonade, right?

If you find yourself in a position where you’ve made a hiring mistake, use these strategies to turn it into a positive situation:


1. Coach Shortcomings

The degree of disconnect between a candidate’s abilities and the job requirements will give you an idea of what you will do next. Can you coach them on their shortcomings to close the talent gap? Could you see the employee growing into the role in time? If so, formulate a plan to ramp up the employee. The reality is some people take more time to get acclimated than others.

2. Consider Reassignment

A person may not be working out in the job they were hired for, but this doesn’t always mean they don’t have potential elsewhere within the company. Is reassignment an option? Which other roles in the company could the employee be better suited to fill? If there is an opportunity, consider it before choosing to let them go.

3. Learn How to Avoid Making the Same Mistake Again

Even if you ultimately decide the let the employee go, there is a positive. You can use the situation as a learning opportunity. The reasons for a hiring mistake can fall on both parties. A candidate could have lied to you about their credentials. But there could also be a flaw in your hiring or decision-making process that created the issue. Review the situation and look for ways to ensure you don’t make the same mistake again. No company can afford to continue to make bad hiring decisions without it impacting operations short- and long-term.

Read More About Potential Hiring Mistakes to Avoid on Our Recruiting Blog

How to Recover From a Hiring Mistake

These Are the 4 WORST Hiring Mistakes a Company Can Make (video)

Avoid These 4 Hiring Mistakes



IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Cannabis, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Non-Profit & Sustainability, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Bruce Powell Executive Search

Bruce Powell

Bruce co-founded IQ PARTNERS in 2001 and currently operates as Managing Partner. His personal background includes hands-on management experience in sales, marketing and marketing services. He has built management teams for a wide variety of marketing, communications, media and technology companies. He has also participated in several M&A transactions for service-based companies and is frequently called upon as a resource in the planning and negotiation of such deals.

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