How to Hire the Wrong Person

stressed out man made a mistake


We’ve been talking about hiring for “fit”; about how an interview is designed to help hiring managers select a “rock star” candidate. Now, add assessments, panel interviews, multiple interviews, and even “stimulation” interviews. Guess what? Folks still aren’t getting it right!


I belong to the Entrepreneur’s Organization, a group for business owners only. We often find ourselves talking about this subject.


Everyone in our business owner’s group has admitted they have hired the wrong person.


What’s wrong with us? Are we masochists? 


Hiring the wrong person:


  • Poses a risk to our business


  • Causes reputational harm if they turn off/lose a customer


  • Means decreased productivity


  • Creates negative morale and impacts employee engagement


  • Staff loses respect for the hiring manager


  • Leads to staff turnover


Even after investing time and resources researching for the right candidate, we still make the wrong hiring decision.


When I ask my fellow EO members about why, I have concluded:


  • They ONLY seek candidates that have experience in their industry– so they’ll hire on that basis alone and disregard the candidate’s cultural “fit.” In my experience: prior industry experience doesn’t guarantee success.


  • They seek a candidate who has a VERY specific skill set—they don’t consider transferrable skills, and again, they disregard “fit.”


After months of researching and the strain on the others on the team, the hiring leaders give up and just hire SOMEONE… ANYONE!


Many of my fellow business owners wish they had help in finding the right person for the job, yet few reach out to staffing firms like us to source, screen and vet candidates for the right fit.


Worse, they don’t want to admit they made a poor hire, and take too long to let the new hire go –and everyone suffers a bad hire!


Have you made the same mistake? If so, please share! How did you know? What did you do?


We’d love to hear your feedback!


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