“… Let’s call the whole thing off.”
At some point early in a relationship, couples may come to the realization that things aren’t working out and decide to end the relationship. It is much easier to end the relationship in the early stages rather than wait to see how things go. Well, the same holds true for the employment relationship. It is normal for employers to have an employee who isn’t working out; however, after spending so much time and money going through the hiring process, employers are hesitant to terminate employees in fear.
What are the driving factors of fear?
- Discrimination and/or Retaliation
- Defamation of Character
- Illegal Acts and/or Labor Law Violations
- Breach of Contract
According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average turnover rate in 2017 was close to 19% and the average cost to replace an entry-level position was close to 40% of an employee’s annual salary. A poor performing employee can also hinder overall work quality and productivity, which diminishes employee morale, so don’t let fear stand in your way of making a good business decision.
What went wrong with the relationship?
When an employer determines a new hire isn’t working out, the first thing to figure out is, “Why?” Here are some of the “why” reasons to consider:
- Poor work performance, missed deadlines or incomplete work assignments
- Inability to get along with others or bad attitude
- Lack of knowledge and/or expertise for the position
- Poor attendance
How do you properly “break up” with the employee?
After defining “why” the relationship isn’t working, the next step is to determine if the Company’s disciplinary action and performance management standards were followed and all issues relating to the employee’s performance and behavior were appropriately and consistently addressed.
- Documentation – compile all performance and behavior-based documentation from all representatives who may have interacted with the employee, including the immediate supervisor.
- Onboarding, training and assessment – was the employee provided with proper training and assessment?
- Legal Rights – conduct research on labor laws that may apply to the situation to ensure the employee’s rights are not being breached.
- Employment Contract – does the employee have an employment contract? If so, does the contract have specific information about termination for cause and how it is to be handled?
- Misrepresentation – Did the employee misrepresent or falsify information on his/her employment application and/or resume?
The final step…the break up. Get prepare for the dreaded, “This relationship isn’t working out” conversation with the employee. You should inform the employee on the effective date of the termination of employment and collect all company provided property, equipment, keys, badges, etc., and/or allow the employee time return all items…it’s time to get your personal belongings back, including the key to your place!
How do you move on post “break up with a bad hire?”
Where do you go from here so you can ensure you don’t fall into the same relationship pattern and incur unnecessary recruiting and hiring expenses? Here are some tips to eliminate “bad hires” in the future.
- Take a look at your recruiting and hiring process. By making minor adjustments to the recruiting process, you can save time and money by eliminating unqualified applicants early on.
- Hire a candidate based on his/her qualifications and experience that meet the needs of the open position.
- Conduct reference checks, both professional and personal, to determine if all the information on the resume is accurate.
- Thoroughly review the candidate’s employment history. Is the candidate a job hopper? This could be an indication the candidate wasn’t happy in his/her job(s) and moves around a lot.
- Set the proper expectations for the position and provide a detailed Job Description.
Don’t get trapped in the employment relationship if the new hire isn’t working out. It is in the best interest of the company to end the employment relationship as soon as possible. By ending the relationship sooner rather than later, the company doesn’t have to spend extra time and resources addressing performance and/or behavior issues with the employee. Also, the longer the new hire is employed, the more money is spent on continuing his/her on-boarding process and training…this money could be spent on on-boarding and training a better and more qualified employee.