7 Telltale Signs You Hired the Wrong Employee

December 27, 2016 by

Hired the Wrong EmployeeAccording to a 2016 survey by CareerBuilder, more than half of American companies said a bad hiring decision had negatively impacted their business this year. Many company leaders cited associated challenges such as lost revenue, poor productivity, lower employee morale, and strained client relations. Furthermore, 27 percent said a single bad hire had cost them over $50,000.1 Needless to say, this is not only a critical mistake to building a world-class culture of employee engagement, but it also adversely affects revenue and profitability outcomes in a serious way.
So here are the 7 most glaring signs that you hired the wrong employee:

1. They have trouble acclimating to a new environment.

Every workplace is different and learning new expectations and norms can be uncomfortable at first. However, employees must be able to adapt to a new environment and respect leaders’ preferences and ways of working.

2. They do just enough to get by.

Having no passion to go above and beyond is the definition of an ambivalent employee, someone who is neither engaged or disengaged. Sometimes workers can fall into this apathetic middle category after burnout or other challenges, but starting off as ambivalent does not bode well for the future.

3. They consistently complain about many, many, things.

It is always great to field constructive feedback, but when it is chronically negative and not constructive, it is painfully clear you have made a mis-hire.

4. They try to cover up their mistakes.

Honesty is crucial for a healthy relationship and you need to be able to trust your employees. If someone makes a major mistake and lies about it or tries hard to cover it up, consider that a red flag. At the same time, make sure you are fostering a culture where employees aren’t chastised for one-off goof ups.

5. They talk down to their coworkers.

Engagement and moral suffer when you hire a workplace bully. No matter how good that person is at the job, consider whether it’s worth sacrificing the happiness and productivity of other employees. If your bully manages a team, the dysfunction will spread even further.

6. They create silos.

Effective and efficient teams are comprised of good communicators. That’s how things get done. Unfortunately, some people are prone to working on their own without keeping others in the loop. These workers either don’t notice or don’t care when there is disconnect between people or departments, and they don’t take action to correct it. Get enough of these people on your team and productivity will come to a stand-still.

7. They don’t follow through.

When employees say they will do something, you need to be able to take it off your mental to-do list and trust it will be done. When the work is poor quality or late on a regular basis, it’s a crystal clear sign that the new employee never deserved the job to begin with.


Making hiring decisions can be an incredibly tough process because so much is at stake. There’s often pressure to fill roles quickly, but that can hurt more than help if you pick the wrong candidate. Remember that it’s best to take your time with thorough interviews and reference checks before making an offer. Your future self will thank you.


Source: Career Builder



Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For five years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement of 2017.

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.

Email: kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com