Wrong hire? Or wrong job? Employers & workers will be making these decisions soon

Nov. 14, 2013 – Wrong hire? Or wrong job?

Many employers and employees will be asking themselves one of these questions in the coming weeks, according to OI Partners, a global outplacement, executive coaching and leadership development firm.

“The end of the year is a more precarious time for employees’ job security as companies adjust their workforces to meet current and anticipated demand and more closely evaluate whether they have the right workers in the right jobs,” said Patty Prosser, chair of OI Partners.

“The beginning of the new year is traditionally the time when many employees evaluate whether their careers are where they thought they would be and if they are in the wrong jobs,” added Prosser.

OI Partners has compiled a list of considerations for employers deciding whether they have the wrong employees and for workers feeling they may be in the wrong jobs.

Tips for employers on dealing with “wrong hire”:

  • Speed: Carry out the separation quickly, especially if employees are in their first 90 days or less of employment. Many companies have probationary periods that new hires must successfully complete.
  • Career transition assistance: Provide at least a basic severance package and outplacement support. Discharged employees who receive outplacement career counseling assistance reported a six-fold improvement in their job search skills, according to an OI Global Partners survey.
  • Reference: Agree to serve as a reference for displaced employees who leave in good standing. Before providing reference, managers/supervisors should review company policy regarding references.
  • Redeploy: Look for other potential opportunities within the organization for the affected employees if there is a good fit.
  • Learn from experience: Recognize that there may have been areas that were not discovered during the interview process. No matter how hard managers try, they can and will make hiring mistakes.
  • Best fit: Know what you want and need from each hire. Then conduct the search and recruit to the specifics. Recognize what behaviors will have the most value. Hire employees with the skills and work place behaviors that best meet these needs.
  • Role assessments: Employers are more often using role expectations assessments before hiring or promoting to help determine whether candidates have the competencies and behaviors necessary to succeed.

Tips for workers in “wrong job”:

  • Honesty & openness: If you consider the job a poor fit, discuss this with your manager. Be honest with yourself, especially if the evaluation of your performance has not been satisfactory. Explain why this is not working for you without blaming your employer.
  • Adequate notice: Do not just up and quit without adequate notice or having a discussion. Commit to staying on until a replacement has been found or provide sufficient notice if you have found a new position. Two weeks’ notice is customary for staff positions. Managers and executives may need to give more notice to ensure a smooth handoff.
  • Don’t slight your boss: Make sure your immediate supervisor is the first one you notify about leaving. Do not tell co-workers before informing your boss. Do this in person – not by email or phone – and in private.
  • Reference: Ask your supervisor to serve as a reference.
  • Replacement: Offer to train or recruit your replacement if he or she has been selected before you leave. If no successor has been chosen, volunteer to use your knowledge of the job to help choose a replacement.
  • Thank your employer: After departing, write a thank you note stating how much you enjoyed working for the company and your manager, what you learned and how much you value the experience.
  • Exit interview: Participate in an exit interview if you want a good reference in the future. Treat the exit interview as seriously as a hiring interview and focus on the benefits the new position presents for you and your career – and not the shortcomings of the job you are leaving or anyone working there.
  • Finish the job: Be sure you complete all of the work that can reasonably be expected within your time remaining. Do not slack off or start arriving late and leaving early.

Neither hiring nor starting a new job are perfect processes. The best way to move forward is to do it professionally and as quickly as possible once you have realize you have made a wrong hire or are in the wrong job.

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