Your HR System and Smarts for SME Success

How To Avoid A Bad Hire In Your Business

How To Avoid A Bad Hire In Your Business

For small and medium sized businesses, the makeup of your team can have a significant impact on overall performance. It comes down to not just having the right blend of skills but also the cohesiveness of the team and their engagement with the work that will give your business a competitive advantage.

But what happens when you get it wrong and hire someone who isn’t right for the business?

Whether it’s because they don’t have the right skills or are not the right cultural fit, recruiting the wrong person can cost your business time, money and effort that can be spent to benefit the business in other ways. Loss of productivity and monetary costs is said to be the most affected when it comes to hiring the wrong employee.

Here are three ways you can avoid a bad hire when you’re recruiting:


The first step starts before you even reach out to potential employees. You need to have a comprehensive idea of who you’re after, and this can be done by creating detailed position descriptions and selection criteria.

The position description and criteria should be specifically tailored to the kind of employee you want – make sure you have a chat with your existing team so you’re all on the same page about what you’re looking for.

A good position description will also help to attract the right employee by narrowing and outlining what you are looking for. This important document will also help to set up expectations for when your new recruit comes on board and will set up your performance review process.


Does this sound familiar? You’re overloaded with work and need to find somebody new but you’re so busy, even taking time out for interviews is problematic. So interviews tend to be rushed as you quickly try to figure out if the person will work out.

However, it is worth the effort to put more time into the interview process so you can truly scope out whether a potential candidate is the right fit for the business or not, as well as get a real indication of their skills.

An established interview process can help to streamline the process. It’s important to have a mixture of competency-based questions built around situations the new employee may experience in the job, as well as questions which touch on the existing behaviour and personality of the potential employee. This can be done by having questions which are fact-based (“Why would you like this opportunity?”), hypothetical (“What would you do if…?”), and behavioural (“Tell me about a time when…”). It can also be a good idea to create a practical task to test their skills if the job role requires.

Consider having a process of rating the interviewee as well – a standardised rating and scoring system that indicates whether or not the candidate met each criterion.


Once you have found your new hire and are confident they will be great for the business, things can still go awry if you don’t have an adequate onboarding process to help your new employees to quickly acclimatise and reach their highest level of productivity. To keep your new hire in the company, you need to make sure their introduction into the company leaves them with a good impression, or they’ll show themselves out the door.

It is better to devote time and effort in finding the right person than be stuck with someone who isn’t right. By prioritising and recruiting good employees, this can ultimately benefit the management of your business.



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Barry Lehrer

Having run my own small business for over twenty years, I understand one of the biggest challenges is protecting your business from potentially damaging personnel or HR issues. That’s why I developed Diffuze.

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