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A Key to Building the Best Team: Handling a Bad Fit

When trying to build your best team, one of the biggest HR challenges is what to do when you have a bad fit for a position.

In one case, you created or already have the right position for your company, but you hired the wrong person for that slot.

Or, after hiring an individual for a particular position, you realize they definitely fit your culture and are doing a great job, but that person should be in a different role.

Here’s how your company can address these two scenarios to ensure the right people are in the right positions to maximize your human capital.

What does the Wrong Person in the Right Position look like?

What typically happens is a company identified a positional need, but they have not gone to the next level of identifying what success looks like in that position.

Perhaps the internal job description or the job posting to attract candidates is too vague. Or, companies are not sure what the ideal candidate looks like, so they rely on a gut feeling or subjective group opinion.

This is usually because the company has created an inaccurate target by not identifying the details of the job, success factors, and key performance indicators.

Or, if the details are correct, the company has not taken the proper steps to objectively evaluate whether the candidate is motivated for the role or fits the company culture.

That includes not evaluating each candidate’s competencies or not training individuals to conduct a proper behavioral interview to identify the candidate’s core competencies and motivating factors.

How do you Diagnose a Bad Fit in your Company?

Once a candidate becomes an employee, a manager can diagnose the wrong person in the right position by going through a checklist of what a bad fit looks like.

❏ Is the employee causing headaches for management?

❏ Has productivity declined because of underperformance?

❏ Is team morale declining because of the employee?

❏ Is the employee regularly making mistakes in the role?

❏ Has the employee stopped showing up for work or is chronically late?

❏ When at work, is the employee not engaged?

When you start to see these signs, it’s time to evaluate whether this individual is a poor fit for the role.

If an employee checks these boxes, it is usually the result of not identifying the skill set, target goals, or core competencies required for the role before hiring the individual. So, how do you ensure this does not happen again as you try to build the best team?

How to Get the Right Person in the Right Position

The key to avoiding the wrong person in the right position is doing your work before the candidate is hired. This includes answering three important questions when interviewing a candidate.

1. Technical: Can they do the job? This requires evaluating the candidate’s experience, background, education, and skill set to determine whether they are capable of completing the tasks required for the job. Unfortunately, this is where many companies stop in the evaluation process.

2. Motivation: Will they do the job? You need to evaluate whether the candidate can perform the tasks in the role and be consistent, self-directed, and self-policing. This includes having the right work ethic to perform these tasks.

3. Culture: Can we stand working with the individual? This is the most important question to ask, but many companies do not take this step to evaluate whether the candidate will fit the team, manager, and culture.

Companies often hire individuals based on Question 1, then fire based on Questions 2 and 3. Answering Question 3 is when companies discover they have the wrong person in the role, creating inefficiency and more turnover.

Fortunately, advanced hiring technology has created a more reliable approach to evaluate candidates by measuring their internal thinking to determine fit before setting foot in your company.

The ZERORISK Hiring System accomplishes this by providing an objective evaluation of each candidate’s core competencies, emotional intelligence, and core motivations, plus providing interview tools to evaluate past behavior as an indicator of future action.

Companies can then compare each candidate’s thinking profile to the profile of relevant individuals in the role you are hiring for. This way you can better evaluate the candidates to find the right person for the right role, increasing productivity, and reducing turnover risk when building the best team for your company.


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