Overcoming a Bad Recruitment Experience

Employees, staff, team, VA (Virtual Assistant), FIFO (Fly In Fly Out), WFH ( Work From Home), Remote, VTM (Virtual Team Member) there are so many ways to describe the way people work for us. 


I note that the best part of this wonderland of working styles is that it opens up talent pools particularly for smaller businesses who in the past would have been restricted because of location, pay and benefits - people who don’t have to attend your office to get their work done don’t have the expenses of those that do have to find their way to a particular office location each day. And for companies like Alchemy Outsourcing we are able to connect with so many wonderfully skilled people from all over the world - I so love my job!


Regardless of how someone works for you, we still hear horror stories from business owners. I've heard so many over the years, the majority of which can be avoided if you hire slow and fire fast.


During a recent mastermind session, I was reminded of the “Hire Slow and Fire Fast” by Kevin (Thank you Kevin).  We were talking about what we learnt last year and what we need to remember this year. When Kevin gave us the line - he was 100% right.  We need to take our time, this doesn’t mean the process necessarily goes on and on but it does mean make it meaningful.


So what can you do if you have had a bad experience? Well the first thing I would recommend is not to do nothing. This happened to a client I was working with, their experience left such a negative impact that the wife of the business owner didn’t want to hire anyone. She felt they would be able to manage without someone in the role of marketing and support, the end result 8 months later is that leads stopped, online engagement dipped, no one was following up online interest and their business went from growth to decline.  Now you might think this is extreme but it isn’t because the strain of not having that support builds on your shoulders over time until you find yourself doing a job that really should be done by someone else and the job you should be doing isn’t getting done.


Here are my 4 recommendations of what to do when you have a bad experience:

  • Please don’t give up but instead take it as a learning experience 
  • Determine where the problem started; what went wrong and where
  • What would you like to change or keep an eye on so that you don’t have this experience again
  • Hire Slow and Fire Fast!
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Below are some areas that over time based on bad experiences from myself and from others I recommend you can review and consider as part of your learning to overcome a bad recruitment experience:

  • Review your Hiring Process: Reassess your hiring process to identify any weaknesses that led to the hiring of the problematic employee. This could involve refining job descriptions, improving interview techniques, or implementing better background checks and reference checks.

  • Investment in Training and Development: If the bad experience stemmed from a lack of skills or improper training, maybe prioritize investing in training and development programs for new hires to ensure they are adequately prepared for their roles.

  • Enhanced Screening Criteria: To prevent similar issues in the future, you might implement stricter screening criteria or additional assessment methods to identify red flags early in the hiring process. You might also consider getting support from a recruitment firm or bringing your recruitment inhouse.

  • Focus on Cultural Fit: Recognizing the importance of cultural fit, placing a greater emphasis on assessing candidates' alignment with your company's values, mission or purpose, and work culture to reduce the likelihood of mismatches.

  • Performance Metrics: Clear performance metrics and expectations may be established to provide employees with a clear understanding of what is required of them. Having metrics helps in identifying and addressing performance issues promptly.

  • Regular Performance Reviews: Implementing regular performance reviews and feedback sessions can help monitor employees' progress, address any concerns or issues early on, and provide opportunities for improvement. When a new person starts you may and in my view should be ‘checking in’ often.

  • Building a Positive Employer Brand: Recognizing that a bad experience with an employee can damage the company's reputation as an employer or supplier, keep in mind the impact on building a positive employer brand to attract top talent in the future.

  • Seeking Referrals and Recommendations: Depending on the nature of the bad experience, you may become more reliant on employee referrals and recommendations from trusted sources to ensure a higher quality of candidates.

Overall, a bad experience with an employee can serve as a learning opportunity for you or you can ignore it at your peril. I choose to explore what I can learn from the experience and an opportunity to lift my skills and awareness.  I will not let it stop me from hiring people when I need to - what are you going to do?


If you would like to share your experience then connect with us over email or like you would like to have a chat about how a VTM (Virtual Team Member) might be the right solution for you and your business then book a Connect meeting with me today.

Until next time. Stay fabulous!


CEO and Managing Partner

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