Bad Hire vs. Bad Fit (and how to fix it)

No doubt that as your 2015 strategic planning continues, you’re re-evaluating the team that’s carrying out your plan. The performance of your team will determine the success of your business objectives. One weak team member can significantly impact the overall team performance. If you have a problem employee that’s causing pain and holding the team back, the first step is understanding the problem. Was he a bad hire for the company, or a bad fit for the role?


Bad Hire

  • Mismatched values
  • Not committed to company mission
  • Team chemistry disrupted
  • Lacking follow through
  • Makes excuses

Bad Fit

  • Believes in company mission
  • Adheres to values
  • Well liked by the team
  • Performance is suffering
  • Disengaged in work


Diagnose the Problem

A bad hire is someone who doesn’t match your culture, your values or isn’t aligned with the company’s mission. It could also be someone who doesn’t get along with his or her co-workers – it’s clear something in the chemistry is off. This person might have a great resume, and interviews well, but now that he’s working for you, you see he’s lacking something in the follow-through. Occasionally a bad hire sneaks in because someone you trust recommended her, but she wasn’t well vetted in the hiring process and now you see she’s not a match for your company.


Someone who is a bad fit for the position looks a little different. This person could fit the company very well; she believes in the company mission, adheres to your values and gets along with the team. However, her performance might be suffering because she isn’t in the right role. This is sometimes seen when a sales person is promoted into a manager role. The sales person had an excellent performance record in sales but is not cut out to manage other people. Her opportunity to succeed is diminished because her personality is not the right fit for the job.


Apply the Remedy

Once you’ve identified the problem, taking the appropriate action becomes clearer and easier. An employee who is a bad hire should be terminated. If he doesn’t fit with the company’s values or mission, there isn’t anything you can do to help him succeed with your company. Remember, hire slow and fire fast.

The employee who is a bad fit for her role needs re-evaluated. Assessments can be a great tool for giving more objective feedback. Using an assessment can increase your odds of predicting an employee’s success by 39%. Some popular assessments are the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, the DISC, or Predictive Index. VisionSpark uses a tool called the Achiever, which measures both personality and cognitive ability. The best course of action is to use both an assessment tool and have an open dialogue to get everything on the table. Review the assessment results with her to help create self-awareness and as a starting point for your conversation.

Even if you don’t use an assessment tool, you must have an open, honest discussion about her lack of performance. This will aide you in placing her where she can excel. Your employees’ success is the success of the business.