How Much a Wrong Employee Can CostEver hire the wrong person, but you wanted to “give them a chance” anyway?


I once hired the wrong someone for a physician group practice. This individual was going to be working directly with one of the doctors and she had impressed him by digging up some research he was part of during his residency. I had my misgivings and had someone else as my first choice. I set aside my hunch and decided to offer the job to the physician’s choice since he was going to work so closely with her.


From day one, we could see the writing on the wall. She came in with an unfortunate odor (not noticed during the interview). She had a “frumpy” appearance, did not mesh well with the team, and struggled with the computer. The physician was clamoring for her to be let go. I let her hack it out for about two weeks. Two weeks of time, effort and her salary WASTED on the wrong person. The process of hiring restarted all over again.


Too often we let a small interaction determine the fate of our business. Your whole business pivots on the one-hour (or less) interview.


Many of us are in such a hurry to get “someone” that might fit, we overlook what is staring us right in the face. We have so much to do, that we don’t follow due diligence before giving them the keys to the kingdom. 


Take your time, decide what your expectations of the position are and devise a series of interviews and tests to make it work.


I always cover the following in my selection process now:


  1. Technical Ability – This can usually be seen from the initial application or resume. You would be surprised how many positions require minimal technical skills. Most can be trained on-the-job. Unless it requires a knowledge base (accounting, bookkeeping, programing) or a license (nurse, therapist, doctor), you can skip this part. There is a reason many financial advising, real estate, insurance and other firms and agencies requiring a license offer the training and certification directly.
  2. Problem Solving – Give your interviewees some specific options situations and problems they will face. No right answers here. You just want to see if they can think through the problem. There are a lot of wrong answers – “I don’t know” is the worst of all.
  3. Personality – This is a question that can only be answered by listening. You can spur questions that help peel back the layers, but it often requires spending a little time with them.
  4. ReferencesALWAYS check references. Make sure they didn’t give you their best friend’s phone and tell you it was a previous employer.

Happy Hunting!


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