One Bad Apple: Managing Poor Performers

Managers asking themselves, "Where does the day go?" may now have an answer. Chief financial officers (CFOs) recently surveyed by Robert Half International said that, on average, supervisors spend 17 percent of their time - nearly one day per week - overseeing poorly performing employees. 

However, managers aren't the only ones to suffer the effects of a bad hire. Ninety-five percent of respondents said a poor hiring decision at least somewhat impacts the morale of the team, with more than one-third (35 percent) saying morale is greatly affected.
 
CFOs were asked, "In general, what percentage of a manager's time is spent coaching and/or supervising poorly performing employees?" The mean response was 17 percent.
 
CFOs also were asked, "To what extent do you think making a poor hiring decision affects the morale of your team?" Their responses:
  • Greatly: 35 percent
  • Somewhat: 60 percent
  • Not at all: 5 percent
 
"Bad hires are costly, not just for the drain they place on the budget, but also in terms of lost morale, productivity, and time," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of Motivating Employees for Dummies®. "Underperforming employees also require significant attention from employers, distracting managers from business-critical initiatives, and causing other team members to pick up the slack."
 
Messmer added, "Bad personnel decisions rarely happen by chance. In retrospect, managers usually discover they failed to give proper attention to the hiring process."
 
Robert Half identified five don'ts and do's when hiring:
 
Don't: Go it alone.
Do: Tap colleagues for their thoughts on needed attributes and competencies for the open role and work with a specialized recruiting firm to find the best candidates.
 
Don't: Think the Internet has all the answers.
Do: Cultivate a talent pipeline by personally reaching out to your network and recruiting sources. Online tools can be valuable, but personal interaction is the most important aspect of the hiring process.
 
Don't: Take too long.
Do: Extend an offer once you identify your top candidate. Companies that don't move quickly risk losing good people to other opportunities.
 
Don't: Offer a low salary.
Do: Offer a compensation package that, at a minimum, meets the market standard. Stay current on prevailing trends by reviewing resources such as the 2013 Salary Guides from Robert Half.
 
Don't: Fail to differentiate between must-have and nice-to-have candidate attributes.
Do: Identify the skills that are mandatory and those that can be developed. The goal is to hire the person who is the best match for the job and your work environment.
 
About the survey:
The national study was developed by Robert Half International. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of US companies with twenty or more employees. For the study to be statistically representative and ensure that companies from all segments are represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region and number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportion of employees within each region.
 
Related articles:
 
Source: Robert Half International
 

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