Growing Your Team?
Avoid Recruitment Errors

The Self Imposed Recruitment Error


Hiring a bad employee compromises your success; Keeping a bad employee compromises your survival. If you don’t want to be potential roadkill on the highway to lasting success, you have to protect your investment in people- as a company.

Some employers fail to understand that if an employee is failing, so is the employer – in many cases. Here is a disturbing scenario we see from time to time. ‘Company ABC’ hires ‘Sam’. Then after a period of low performance, eventually fires ‘Sam’. Then ‘Sam’ is hired back by the same company and a short while later, ‘Sam’ is suspended for performance/ compliance related issues and then days later, ‘Sam’ is back at work again.

You have complaints from customers to prove that ‘Sam’ is a problem employee as well as complaints from colleagues and management showing insubordination, lack of team spirit, bad communication skills and bad decision-making habits. ‘Sam’ has been suspended from work a couple of times for unprofessional behavior at work and on several occasions, has disregarded basic rules and company policy. He lacks accountability, is reluctant to accept faults when confronted and is quick to blame others for lapse in judgement or low performance. He shows anti-social tendencies during phone conversations and face-to-face encounters with clients and colleagues that are usually observed to be impolite and unprofessional, yet you convince yourself that keeping him is better than finding a replacement.

This self-imposed recruitment error affects businesses in more ways that many realize. Performance and morale of existing employees will be affected, customer relations will be affected, and repeat business may decline – directly affecting your profits. You also lose the confidence and trust of team members and customers who observe your inability to take action against a bad employee and consider you incapable of making other necessary but difficult business decisions.

Protect your good employees, protect your customers but more importantly, protect your business by holding employees accountable especially those who consistently face several levels of disciplinary action. Reward those who are great team builders and ambassadors for your business. Re-consider any decision to hang on to bad employees for too long. Here are some issues to consider if you do have a bad employee:


  • Take a hard line side of absolute accountability and check your internal processes to ensure your company or your management is not the cause of the problem. Compare employees who have held similar positions in your company reviewing their performance against the team member currently performing that role.
  • Take action as soon as possible if attempts to correct performance fail. The longer you wait for the problem to fester, the more damage you will have to contend with.
  • There are possible liabilities or litigation issues that may arise based on your decision to fire this employee. This may include Unemployment Insurance Benefit claims or other regulatory or financial liabilities. Be brave but knowledgeable about any potential outcomes.
  • Review your hiring process. This is important especially as you seek to find a replacement for this employee. Redesign the job profile and focus on the positive skills of this employee that made it challenging to fire this employee, even as the complaints filtered in. Consider technical skills as well as people skills. Be prepared to offer the right pay/remuneration for the job if you want the get the best candidate possible. Consider different sources of candidates including your internal team, social networks, recruitment companies and online platforms based on the nature of the job to be filled. Consider the applicant’s temperament, personality traits, competence and technical skills. Some of these are hard to deduce from resumes and references but using psychometric or analytical personality tests and investigative interviewing skills help a great deal. Talk to us about how we can help with these tools.
  • Be consistent with your actions. Do not fire one bad employee and hang on to another with the same problem. They may both respond differently to mentoring and training attempts and that warrants different outcomes in terms of retaining their jobs. If performance however consistently declines in both cases or remains unacceptable, ensure all parties face similar punitive measures.

Good luck in building and growing your dream team!

Contact Brand Leverage at or call us on 763 347 0122 or 763 208 9774. 

“Your company is worth the investment!”