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As a business owner or hiring manager, it’s inevitable that, at some point, you will encounter a new hire who isn’t working out as expected. Whether it’s due to a lack of skills, poor cultural fit, or a combination of factors, it’s essential to address the issue head-on to minimise potential disruptions to your team and ensure your company’s continued success. 

However, you can’t be too hasty in letting go of underperforming employees, as constantly hiring, training, and firing can be time-consuming and unproductive. Thus, treading this tightrope is necessary for segregating the lost causes early on and not dismissing potential long-term talent who may experience initial challenges. 

This article will explore some strategies for handling this complicated situation.

1. Evaluate the Situation Objectively

The first step in dealing with a struggling new hire is to assess the situation with a clear and objective mind. Before jumping to conclusions or making any rash decisions, take the time to gather all pertinent information from the new hire, their colleagues, and their supervisors. 

This will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges they are facing and identify the root cause of their struggles.

2. Provide Training and Mentorship

In many instances, new hires may be struggling simply because they lack the necessary skills or knowledge to excel in their new role. In such cases, it is crucial to provide them with the appropriate training and resources to help them succeed. 

This can include on-the-job training, enrolling them in external courses, or providing them with access to online resources. Additionally, pairing the new hire with a mentor can be highly beneficial. 

This should be someone experienced in their role and can offer guidance, support, and encouragement. A mentor can help the new employee navigate the complexities of their job and provide insights into the company culture, ultimately helping them feel more comfortable and confident in their new environment.

3. Communicate Clearly and Effectively

Open and honest communication is key to addressing any issues that may arise with a new hire. Make sure to have regular check-ins with them to discuss their progress, challenges, and concerns. This will not only help you stay informed about their situation but also demonstrate your commitment to their success and well-being.

During these conversations, it’s important to be empathetic and understanding while also clearly communicating your expectations and the steps they need to take to improve. Be sure to listen actively and ask questions to better understand their perspective and the challenges they face.

4. Set Realistic Goals and Timelines

Once you have identified the areas in which the new hire is struggling, work with them to establish clear, achievable goals for improvement. Break down these goals into smaller, manageable tasks and set realistic timelines for their completion. This will help the new hire stay focused and motivated as they work towards overcoming their challenges.

Remember to regularly review and adjust these goals as needed to ensure they remain relevant and attainable. Celebrate the small victories along the way to boost the new hire’s confidence and reinforce their belief in their ability to succeed.

5. Seek Assistance from Recruitment Agencies

If you have exhausted all other options and the new hire continues to struggle, it may be time to seek assistance from the recruitment agency that helped you find the candidate. Agencies like accounting recruitment agencies, construction recruitment agencies, digital marketing recruitment agencies, and marketing recruitment agencies have a wealth of experience and expertise in dealing with such situations.

They can provide guidance and support to both you and the new hire, offering advice on possible solutions and alternative approaches to help the new hire get back on track. In some cases, they may even recommend transferring the new hire to a different role within the company that better aligns with their skills and interests.

6. Know When to Move On

Despite your best efforts and those of the new hire, it may become apparent that the situation is not improving. In such instances, it’s essential to recognise when it’s time to let go and explore other options. This can include finding a replacement for the new hire or considering alternative solutions such as restructuring the team or redistributing the workload among existing employees.

Deciding to part ways with a new hire who is not performing can be difficult, but it’s crucial to prioritise the overall success of the team and the company. Before making a final decision, ensure that you have provided ample support, training, and opportunities for improvement.

Experience Is the Best Teacher

Each hiring experience, whether successful or not, provides an opportunity to learn and grow as an employer. Take the time to reflect on the situation and identify any lessons that can be applied to future hiring decisions and onboarding processes. 

This can include refining your interviewing techniques, improving your training programs, or adjusting your expectations for new hires. By learning from each experience, you can continuously improve your hiring process and increase the likelihood of finding the right fit for your team and organisation.

As one of the UK’s top construction recruitment agencies in Edinburgh, AJ Connect has a proven track record of successfully placing numerous individuals in various roles across different sectors. We have experience working with a diverse range of companies, from small start-ups to large multinational corporations. Get in touch with us today to find out more.