New employee not working out

  • Recruitment
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Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

What should your business do if a new employee isn't working out? With our guide, you can solve poor job fit problems by making a fair decision.

Do you have a thorough recruitment strategy that ensures nothing can go wrong with a new hire? Well, the reality is even a “perfect” candidate can turn out to have a poor job fit. If you’ve been through the hiring process and found this to be the case, how can you go about ending their contract? In this guide, we provide you with all you need to know.

Poor job fit

First of all, make sure you’ve tried every available option with your new starter. Do they definitely need letting go? Consider whether they’ve had your full support. They may not have the appropriate training, for example, or need further guidance in their role. Many businesses can make a kneejerk reaction during the probation period. Sometimes it can take time for an employee’s full skill set to emerge, at which point they may become indispensable. This makes it important to ensure they’re definitely not working out. There are some common signs to look for when this is the case:

  • They’re often late or leave early.
  • If they’ve run out of work, they don’t occupy themselves with other tasks.
  • They don’t connect with your other staff members.
  • They show a lack of respect for your business and management.
  • Their work is to a poor standard.

The final point is a common issue—if their standard of work doesn’t pick up, even after a warning, then this could turn into a decisive factor. If a notable change doesn’t appear, then you may want to terminate their contract.

How to tell a new hire it isn’t working out

Once your new starter begins work, you should follow a set procedure. Evaluate their performance early on and provide them with regular updates. You can train them for any skills gaps and even extend their probation period if necessary. Remember to keep a written record of all exchanges with your employee. Make it clear that they aren’t meeting expectations. There’s also the possibility your new starter is thinking: “This new job is not a good fit for me.” After speaking with them and realising this is the case, you can take the right course of action to help them. However, if you have provided them with a warning about their performance, exhausted all available possibilities, but there’s no sign of a change, then you may want to take the next step.

Personality job fit test

To avoid future repeats of a new job not working out, you can try to work out an individual’s personality before they enter your workplace. This can help to determine if they will fit in with your business culture. A personality job fit questionnaire can be an insightful way into learning how they may (as it’s impossible to know) behave in your business. To put one together, consider what your business is about, what you expect from your candidates, and then send over a questionnaire. The questions might include:

  • What is the business culture and work environment you find most productive?
  • Describe a management style that will help you work at your best.
  • In your mind, what makes effective management?
  • Tell us about an occasion where you went above and beyond your work duties.

You can create as many of these as you like. Once your candidate responds, their answers may provide more insight into how they will perform on the job. However, remember no matter how thoroughly you prepare and test a candidate, there’s no way of knowing for sure if they will work out in their role.

Need a bit more help?

Is your new employee not working out? For more advice, get in touch with us straight away on 0800 028 2420.


Got a question? Check whether we’ve already answered it for you…

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