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5 Reasons to Spring Clean Your Employees: Getting Rid of the Bad Apples

Published March 14, 2013


Everyone can recall at least one employee whom it would be fair to call ‘toxic’. Continually unproductive, stirring up trouble or pushing low morale, bad employees manifest themselves in many ways.

The traditional hiring process may be to blame. In a medium sized company, at any given time, about 5-10 positions will need to be filled by 3-4 HR professionals. Sorting through resumes will probably go to the coordinator, and can get handed down to least experienced of the bunch.

He or she may receive hundreds of applications for highly sought-after jobs such as sales, communications, marketing and customer service. Of these, as many as 21% of resumes show false degrees, 29% have altered employment dates, and 40% have inflated salary claims. Statistics show 53% of all resumes contain falsifications. In all, 78% of all resumes are misleading.

The probability is that when you rely on the traditional hiring method, you will undoubtedly hire unproductive workers.

Here are five reasons to finally get rid of those bad apples:

Leading by example: A McKinsey study found 59% of employees would be happy if their managers dealt with bad employees, but only 7% felt the company did anything to solve the problem. Employees that arrive late, abuse sick days, gossip or find fault in nearly everything have been proven to not only lower morale, but in turn take up a manager’s time and convert others to their way of thinking. Companies that promote policies of fairness and emphasize a great working environment need to lead by example and act on employees that do not fit.

Faulty hiring processes can be improved upon: There’s a reason why the hiring process is so costly. It takes a lot of time and resources, and doesn’t always produce the best results. Resumes have moved online, candidates are more numerous than ever – yet the processing of these applications remains the same as it was many years ago. As seen above, the majority of applicants lie on resumes and will claim they are smart and hardworking during the interview. When every applicant says this, it becomes white noise. Shortlisting tools such as Cream.HR’s assessment allow employers to know applicants’ inherent task management and problem solving ability before a resume is even read.  Employers need to make the crucial changes in their processes to reduce the rampant subjectivity in hiring.

Simple economics; it’s time to cut your losses: The costs of hiring an employee can be exorbitant. While companies save money hiring from an intern pool (if such a program is in place) the mentorship and training of interns is also a costly ordeal. Add in a turnaround time of 16 weeks on average to fill a position by the HR department and senior executives, and any new employee becomes a significant investment. Wrong employees not only upset the team and reduce productivity, but are plain economic pitfalls for companies hoping to grow. Like all investments, it’s hard to say when it’s time to sell, but when it comes to troublesome staff it’s better to get off the pot.

There are plenty of fish in the sea: In 2010, both 4-year and 2-year schools began to see the largest enrollment numbers in history. Since then, the numbers have kept rising. In 2012, almost 18 million people in the United States were enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or professional program. While 18-24 continues to be the largest age demographic represented, 40-49 year-olds have surged with online learning and second career training. The applicant pool has never been greater.

Productivity: Think of productivity as a three legged race. It’s important for everyone to be heading in the same direction. Companies striving for growth often invest in specific plans targeting areas of improvement. If not all employees are on board with this plan, you have a problem that may spread to others. The cost not only include the lack of productivity from the bad hire, but also the productivity lost from his/her colleagues who are trying to compensate. Determining the level of productivity you will require, setting up metrics to define these levels and keeping track of performance will allow your company to achieve its productivity goals.

With clear objectives, the right tools, and managers with the ability to make tough but necessary decisions, your company can be well on its way to employing amazing workers.

This entry was posted in blog, Coaching, Culture, How-To's/Tips, HR Leadership & Management. Bookmark the permalink.

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