With a new hire, it’s better to know early on if it isn’t a good fit–especially when it’s the HR Director.

November 27th, 2013
Written by: Dana Papke

TPO recently had an interesting experience working with a client to onboard a new HR Director. We applied our new Onboarding Productivity Measurement Toolkit, which helps organizations enhance—and measure—the speed at which new employees become productive as well as identify and address bad hires faster. 

Team TPO applied our rigorous, multi-point Onboarding process, which includes weekly and monthly productivity assessment and progress captured on Individual Productivity Plans; calculation of Non-Productive Compensation; “bad hire” evaluation guidelines; and an Onboarding Period Evaluation and Reconfirmation Decision.

Several weeks into the HR Director’s tenure, the Onboarding process began detecting warning signs, such as miscommunications and misunderstanding regarding performance expectations and lack of fit with the organizational culture.

We continued the Onboarding process, and, ultimately, our client’s executive team decided–based on the Onboarding metrics–that indeed this was a “bad hire.” They moved quickly to separate from the HR Director and find a replacement. 

This course of action sounds logical, but it isn’t how most organizations operate.

Typically they either accept the situation (“She’s such a nice person.”), or they spend weeks and months debating the new hire’s performance. In either case there is very little action–until the new hire isn’t a new hire anymore. Then you have a bad fit that lingers and sets the wrong tone with other employees and new hires. Especially in this case–where the bad fit is the HR Director.

The difference in this example is that TPO’s Onboarding process enabled the client to quantify the new hire’s progress–or lack thereof–thereby making their decision obvious. To their credit, the client recognized that it was better to cut their losses quickly, rather than continuing to invest in someone that, according to the numbers, wasn’t working out. 


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