After years in the business, experienced managers have had plenty of opportunities to watch promising candidates make the transition from hopeful applicant to full-fledged employee. And as these seasoned managers know, some applicants make the transition better than others. Even with the best screening techniques available, most candidates are still wild cards; once you bring them on board, their ability to thrive may be partially based on skill, but it may also be influenced by luck, cultural alignment, outside events, communication, and personal chemistry. Here are a few of the reasons why seemingly perfect candidates might struggle after they step in the door.
They misunderstood the job and its expectations.
Some candidates happily accept a position because they believe (and have been told) that the position will leverage their interests and skill sets. But sometimes this expectation just doesn’t pan out. Marketing pros, for example, may expect to spend their days analyzing customer data and planning product rollouts. But if the company is on the smaller side and the positon requires many hats, some of the hats may not fit. As a result, a marketing expert may have to spend her days engaged in sales, or clerical tasks, or leadership and administrative responsibilities that don’t suit her talents or career goals.
The onboarding process was a flop.
The first five days of a new position can make or break a candidate’s success. If things don’t go well, it can be hard to recover that lost footing. For example, if the candidate isn’t welcomed, supported, or trained properly, a sour first impression on both sides can leave a lasting impact.
The candidate overreached.
Some candidates have a natural talent for selling themselves, or convincingly demonstrating skills and abilities they don’t actually have. Usually this works out for both parties in the end; the overconfident candidate falls into deep water, but learns to swim quickly. On the other hand, this scenario can also lead to disaster. Underqualified candidates who can’t swim tend to sink, and they can take teams and projects down with them in a whirlpool of miscommunication and unrealistic expectations.
The candidate wasn’t provided with essential information.
Talented, highly skilled experts can still struggle if they aren’t provided with all the information and training the need. Before you let a “failed” hire walk out the door, make sure you’ve done everything you can to help them find their footing and gain the tools they need for success. Don’t give up on a seemingly excellent candidate for at least one year. Use that time to straighten out communication kinks and connect the candidate with appropriate resources and mentors.
For more on how to remove expensive errors and missteps from your hiring process, contact the Cleveland County staffing experts at PSU.