10 Scary Consequences of Hiring the Wrong IT Employee (and How to Avoid Doing That)

Let’s face it, not everyone is a good fit for every company. Like trying to stuff a round peg into a square hole or a size 11 foot into a size 6 shoe, you can expect a lot of discomfort and agony if you hire the wrong person for your technical team. Here are 12 scary consequences that can happen when you hire the wrong person for your IT position and a few tips that will help you avoid this terrifying situation.

1. Overwhelmed from Day One: When people tell ghost stories they normally mention creaky floorboards or sudden noises or shadowy figures in the distance. When you tell the story of how the employee you hired was overwhelmed from day one, throw in a few of those details and it’ll sound like a true haunting! Why? Because, when you hire an IT employee who boasts all of the technologies they’ve used on their resume and it’s a mile long and you never really ask about the extent of their experience with each during the interview process, you’ll end up with someone who is overwhelmed from day one. This will leave your existing team to hustle, do more work than is their fair share (and probably put in longer hours), and fix the new employees mistakes.

2. Communication Flaws Galore: Your team was communicating smoothly and effectively before. This helped projects maintain their velocity, helped collaboration run smoothly, and helped clients or customers feel like their needs were being met. But then your new hire steps in and isn’t updating everyone on their project progress or misunderstands a client’s needs and runs with the project in the wrong direction and no one notices until it’s too late. Avoid wasted hours, miscommunications, and general mayhem by hiring for a cultural fit, not just a technical fit. This means hiring someone who you think can collaborate easily and communicate effectively with your existing team. Hiring the kind of person who is already successful at your organization is a good bet because it means they’ll fit with the existing communication style and work well with your team!

3. Quitting Quickly: In the blink of an eye, the new employee you hired is gone and you’re left thinking, “what do I do now?” People quit jobs quickly for a few reasons, but the most common is a dislike of the position they weren’t expecting. This is why it’s so important to clearly communicate your expectations of the employee, what the role entails, and what your company culture is like during the interview process. This will help each individual evaluate whether or not it’s the right fit for them before accepting your offer.

4. Leaving You in the Lurch: You’ve set deadlines with the expectation that your new hire would take a little time to adjust and then thrive with your existing team. But that hasn’t happened yet and projects are falling behind. Or, worse, they leave entirely and projects are at a standstill. If you don’t want to be left in the lurch, you need to avoid hiring the wrong IT employee the first time around.

5. Autonomy Mismatch: Is this a collaborative position or one that relies on a self-starter attitude? There’s a big difference (though a lot of positions fall somewhere in the middle) so it’s important to communicate the level of autonomy in the role before someone is hired. Some technical professionals are lone wolves, others work better in a pack or with clear directions from a manager. Mismatching the level of autonomy your employee needs to succeed will result in a lot of discomfort and woe.

6. Lower Quality Results: If you don’t dig into the details of what this potential employee has actually done at the job and take their resume at face value, there may be a miscommunication and you’ll be left with lower quality results than you were expecting. And, while you can always take the time to train them and get them up to speed, if you didn’t hire with adaptability and eagerness to learn in mind they might not be up for the challenge. This is why it’s so important to get a thorough understanding of what they do in their current job and whether or not they spend their free time staying up to date with the latest technologies or if they’ve let their experience stagnate.

7. Best Employees Question Their Place: If you’re hiring for a lead or senior level position rather than promoting someone from your existing team and the new employee turns out to be a dud, your best employees may question their place and future at your company. This could lead to a lot more turnover than you were anticipating and really throw your technical team into a tailspin. This is why it’s so important to promote from within when you can and make sure your new employees are well vetted. Sometimes, this can be challenging to do on your own, which is why the help of a trusted, knowledgeable IT Recruiter may be your best bet during the hiring process.

8. Infectious Negativity: Maybe your new employee has all of the right skills and experience, communicates well with others, and is able to produce results that meet expectations. But you have this nagging feeling that something is wrong. Then, you see them complain during a meeting or insist that a project will never get done on time over and over to a coworker. That’s when you spot something you never thought to look for before: negativity. Hiring someone with a negative attitude can derail your team because it’s infectious. Negative people want to bring everyone down to their level (after all, misery loves company) and could leave your whole technical team feeling sour about new projects, the direction of the company, and more.

9. Lengthy and Expensive Hiring Process (Again): Is this déjà vu or did you really just spend all of this time and money trying to hire someone for this position to have to do it again less than a year later? This is why it’s critical to be thoughtful about each hiring decision you make for your technical team. On average, IT positions sit vacant four times as long as other open jobs. This makes the process more expensive and time consuming than ever. Having to redo it because you didn’t get it right the first time can be a costly, time-consuming mistake that chills you to the bone.

10. Project Slowdowns and Burnout: While this whole process is occurring, some of your technical team’s projects may grind to a halt or slow down significantly. If not, you may be asking your existing team to work consistent overtime and push past their breaking point, causing a lot of burnout along the way. The best way to avoid this is to hire for cultural fit, technical skills, and trainability or eagerness to learn. Focusing on these three pillars will help you find the right person for the job the first time around so your projects can sail smoothly across the finish line before their deadlines, not after.

Hiring the wrong fit for your IT team will haunt you! Avoid these 10 scary consequences by following the advice we’ve given during the hiring process. That will help you find the right employee who can thrive at your organization the first time around.