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5 Signs Your New Hire Won't Work Out

Posted by Natalie Pike on November 21, 2014

This is a guest blog by Abby Perkins from Talent Tribune

Every business wants its new hires to flourish. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case – according to a recent study by LeadershipIQ, 46% of new employees fail within the first 18 months of accepting a new job.

It’s never fun to realize you made a bad or ill-informed hiring decision. The good news? It’s often easy to tell early on if a new employee won’t work out.

Most new workers strive to prove that they have what it takes to be an asset to the company. But those who act like they just don’t care? Well, they probably don't. Here are 5 telltale signs to look for when evaluating whether a new employee will work out in the long term:lazy

1. They have attendance issues

Attendance problems are always a red flag, but it's even more troubling when they start right off the bat. If a new hire habitually arrives late – especially if it’s in the first few days or weeks of employment – it’s a sign that he or she doesn’t care enough to make an effort. Additionally, new employees who make a habit of leaving early show that they’re not eager to commit to the team or be part of the company – they’re not even willing to put forth the effort to make a good first impression. 

2. They lack enthusiasm for new projects

Whether your new employee is fresh out of college or a transfer from another company, he or she should be enthusiastic about applying their knowledge, skills and work experience to new projects. If your new hires seem to be dragging their feet when it comes time to get to work – or if there’s a sharp drop in their enthusiasm from the interview to the first day – that’s when alarm bells should be sounding.

3. They don't want to learn

New hires should be eager to show their new managers what they can do, and to take on new responsibilities. More importantly, they should be eager to learn from those around them about company processes and strategies. Employees who make it obvious that they’re not interested in learning new things are unlikely to want to gain knowledge down the road. Motivation should be at its peak when an employee is new, and early signs of apathy point to long-term problems.

4. They fail to understand basic tasks

New employees may be nervous about starting a new job, but they should be able to grasp basic tasks within a relatively short period of time. If new employees are completely unable to do the basic tasks that fall under their job descriptions on their own after a few weeks (or after their training period is up), it’s a sign that they may not develop into valuable assets. Asking other employees to lend a hand is fine for the short term, but an employee who needs constant assistance will eventually put a drain on resources – and patience.

5. They resist change

It’s understandable for new hires to want to help out by offering a unique perspective or an innovative view on how to complete tasks. However, employees who insist on doing everything the way it was done at their old company prompt a serious question – why didn’t they just stay with their previous employer? If employees aren’t willing to adjust to the way things work at your company, it’s unlikely that they’ll have the flexibility or agility you need.

New employees who just don’t cut it from the start are, unfortunately, unlikely to work out in the long term. While HR professionals and managers should try to work with new employees to make it work, it’s better for the employee – and the organization – to know when to let a bad employee go. Keeping an eye out for early warning signs is a good place to start.

Abby Perkins is Editor in Chief at Talent Tribune, where she writes about jobs, workplace culture, and HR solutions.

hiring mistakes, common hiring mistakes, bad hires, bad hiring  

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Recruiting, How to Hire, Hiring Tips, Hiring

Natalie Pike

About the Author

Natalie is Hireology's Inbound Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite topics to write about are how to hire millennials, building a strong company culture, and employee engagement. She is a Purdue University graduate (Boiler up!), social media junkie and avid iced coffee drinker.