Let New Hire Go

Q: I have a new hire and am concerned about some of his behavior. He has significant violent conflicts with a girlfriend, health issues and didn't even make it through his second full day. I knew none of these issues before he started. He is hard-working and competent, but my warning bells are going off. Is there a best way to evaluate a new employee?

A: Yes, start by always trusting your gut instincts and then work backward. Also weigh heavily his history, other relationships and your immediate observations. You ignore your gut and these factors at your own risk.


People tell us a lot about themselves right away. Unfortunately, many of us don't want to jump to conclusions or be unfair so we ignore this critical data. Even the interview process will show who is late, defensive or calm. Pay special attention to any personal stories candidates tell you about themselves.

Once you become aware of issues, ask yourself if this person is already in battles with others, will you be next? If the new hire cannot manage his money, how will he handle his paycheck? If he has serious health challenges, how often will he be at the job?

Also consider the possibility of a problematic new hire starting a lawsuit. Even if this kind of person doesn't enter a legal arena with you, he or she may generate way too much drama.

There are candidates that are calm, work hard, show up and manage money and relationships responsibly. Why would you try to keep someone whose behavior and stories tell you right away he or she is a problem?

I know you and the new hire will be disappointed that this job is not a good fit. But you must sit down with your new hire, tell him it is clear he is smart and that there would be many jobs that would be excellent matches for him. Tell him that after watching him for a couple of days, it is clear to you that this job is not going to work and you want him to be freed up to take a better job.

Pay him for his first full week and any other financial promise you made to him so he has less room to be disgruntled. If he wants more specific feedback, keep it vague so he does not feel criticized. You can simply say you think there is a mismatch between the work environment and his strengths.

As a consultant who helps companies hire the best talent and as an employer that has to hire the best talent, I've learned you will never regret listening to the warning bells. You will always look back at the red flags you had before you gave an employee a second chance and realize you were foolish.

Pay special attention to any new hire that uses pity or acting like a victim to influence you to keep him or her. Research has shown that pity is a con artists number one manipulation to make people sacrifice themselves.

Remember a good new hire is a win/win situation. You get great, motivated, competent help and they get a steady paycheck, appreciation and a good learning environment. Any relationship that starts out without this balance will not improve with time.

The last word(s)

Q: I don't want to seem pushy, but there is a super interesting project I'd love my boss to have me lead. Is there a way to hint about my interest?

A: No, state your interest and exactly what you'd bring to this project. Bosses and fortune favor the employee who boldly takes the risk of rejection rather than the safety of hinting.


Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel’s “Workplace Guru” each Monday morning. She’s the author of “Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything” (Hay House, 2006). You can contact Dr. Skube at www.interpersonaledge.com or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.