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Hiring a Misfit will Kill your brand 

Misfit can cost you more than you think.

Having been a student of management and an entrepreneur for over a decade, I can say it repeatedly, a wrong hire will kill your brand and waste your mental and financial resources.

That is why it is imperative that startups stay lean and avoid unnecessary staffing if they desire rapid growth.

Growth is not in the number of head count, it is in the value the heads bring to the business.

Can you imagine that before Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion dollars in 2013, Instagram had only 13 staff?

Have you ever though why Jesus Christ stayed Lean even when he had a dream to conquer the world.

Small business cannot afford the high price of poor performers.

HR leaders can attest to this fact, how bad hires have cost their companies a fortune.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire is at least 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings. For a small company, a five-figure investment in the wrong person is a threat to the business.

The true cost of a Misfit

While the financial impact is quantifiable, Financial Analysts rank the cost of bad hire’s impact on the organization more than monetary losses.

Why? A bad apple spoils the bunch, so to speak. Disengagement and bad character is contagious like Ebola.

Then, when a disengaged hire doesn’t pull his weight, good employees get burned out making up for it.  Sometimes good employees unlearn the good and learn the bad, since evil spreads faster that good. That’s just how we humans are wired.

I once hired a team lead who likes to be in the spotlight and usually sell out any upcoming talents. As a result, we lost several key employees. That’s an exceptionally high price to pay. You’ll never wish you waited longer to fire someone like that.

God waited too long before he fired lucifer, thanks to God, that he did when he did. He had to summon the courage. Although he lost one-third of his angels due to a talent misfit.

In many ways, a bad hire’s effect on company culture echoes beyond the employee’s tenure. Organizations sometimes never recovers from their impact. Employees with bad habits are extremely unpleasant.

The more you let them stay around your team, the more evil deeds they perpetrate.  I once hired a manager who will always try to be politically correct in front of everyone, even if it is at the detriment of the company’s goal and benefits. Speaks positively always that all management initiative is pleasant to him, however, communicate otherwise to all other team members and explain his dissatisfaction with management decisions.  Even after the employee left the organization, we still had to invest time and resources to reset the behaviors of team members who emulated the manager’s approach and at some point, we had to flush our entire team

Unfortunately, bad hires aren’t always easy to spot especially if they carry the aura of performance and productivity.

How to Get Talents Acquisition Right

5 basics for better hires

Hiring exercise isn’t really a pleasant one, just like marriage. He that findeth a good employee, findeth a good thing and obtain favor from God. Your organizational speed to growth will know no bound, taking talent acquisition seriously is the backbone of all business

You can use the following tips to ensure you land a great hire:

  1. Go with your gut.

Take it or leave it. When a hire doesn’t work out, you often realize you had this gut feeling telling you not to hire. You must trust your gut. Sometimes you cannot explain rationally why you are reluctant about this person or going for a talent. My regrets in business has been around hiring people against my gut feelings, concerns or unanswered questions all along. Please don’t hire! Follow your guts. It is better not to hire than to go through the process of terminating this person. Terminating them can be bloody and terrible. Sometimes that restrain feeling mean there is no alignment with your culture Either your artifacts, espoused values or your unwritten business assumptions.

Always listen to that inner voice.

  1. Reference the references.

Try to meet people the hire has worked for in the past. No matter how pressing you are to fill a role, you cannot imagine the cost savings you will enjoy with this priceless advice, In the multitude of counsel there is safety. Having the opportunity to talk to the persons past colleagues will clarify your doubt.

  1. Use the Third Persons perspective.

Using multiple interviewer or third party can also save you from wasting money on onboarding the wrong person. Ensure you allow them give their own candid advice without your influence.  Before making a final decision, please bring in an external person who also understands what your vision is and know what you want to do. Don’t ask an inexperienced dude with book knowledge but lacks practical business know how.

  1. Court before Ringing.

I always like using the Temp-to-hire contact before sealing any long-term contract with someone. When interviewing, spotting the bad spot might be very difficult especially if the person has contoured the face and use some level of foundation and powder,

So, I like using a 14 to 90 days trial period. I have this mantra, get the bad apple out within the first 14 to 90 days.

Most times leaders and hiring managers will know if they have gotten it right or wrong within the first 30 days. If I did not head hunt you, then it is a must I date you first before putting the employment ring in your hand.

  1. Set clear expectations (and fire fast if they’re not met).

Due to the kind of culture in our environment whereby people are more relationship oriented than business oriented, before there is any psychological contract signed you must act fast and get rid of this wrong hire. I have been privileged to lead a lot of start up in the past fifteen years. Although HR leaders who haven’t worked with startup cannot understand this, however, in startup every penny counts especially when the business survival is on the line. At the early stage of a business where all hands must be dirty, you cannot afford to carry a baggage that will slow you down. To prevent this, let the performance indicators be clear and the basis for the employment relationship must be strictly adhered to. It is a value exchange. If I pay you for a certain value, you must deliver. If you can, try to set even KPI.s for the first week before people make your organization a comfort throne.

Set clear KPI’s and if not met within the period of probation let the person go.

Before you question my mantra talk to business leaders. I advise you follow the disciplinary process to avoid litigation but make it fast and don’t give a second chance. When you reward nonperformance, you communicate to performers that they are not valued.

So, if you set expectations and they aren’t met, there are no surprises on either side when we act and move on.

Here’s the hard truth: Every CEO or HR Business driver will make a bad hire in his or her business career, and there’s no formula to fix a bad employee who has a wrong perspective towards work. Especially employees with entitlement mentality. I call it a 419 mentality, when you want to reap where you haven’t sown.

So be careful when hiring and take your time. But having done all to get it right, if you still got it wrong, then ACT.

When the horse is dead please dismount. Why do we play a game to lose? Having the wrong team member will frustrate your other talents and make you lose the business game.

Ajibola Bamidele is the Managing Partner with Certification Edge and the present founder of The Maverick Leadership Center, An astute HR professional, trainer, sales coach and entrepreneur. He revolutionized HR certification in Nigeria, by coaching over 800 practitioners in the space of five years to earn one of HR certification Institute global badge. A rigorous entrepreneur with strong grit, passionate for human change and transformation. An author of two books Thrive or die and Sell or you are sold. A consultant to several start up.