Rachel, I made a hiring mistake
The writer went to bat for a person who's turning out to be incompetent
September 28, 2012
We recently hired someone who's turning out to be a dud and I feel personally responsible because I argued for her when others had their doubts. She works for me, and while she talks a good game, she really is not very competent. I don't think she's a con artist. I think she's a bit delusional. I'm not sure what to do. My husband thinks she may grow into the job. I'm not so sure. I do know I have to do something. But what? Sign me Disappointed in New England
Some questions I get from media people are tough to answer. Yours is not.
You made a mistake. By championing her cause, you led the agency to make a mistake.
You must now fix the mistake. Go to your superiors and tell them straight out that your hire is not working out and that she needs to go, the sooner the better. Don't waste a second.
Then be as convincing as you were over her hiring to see her dismissal through.
As managers we all like to nourish the idea that under wise supervision people can grow and change.
It seldom works that way. It may work with people just starting out, where under the right direction they grow enormously over a brief period as they begin to master the particular discipline.
But for people who have been in the business for any amount of time, what you see is usually what you get. People are what they are.
If they were always late to meetings at their last job, trust that they will be late to meetings on their new job.
By the same token, if they worked independently at that last agency, and got the job done, trust that they will do so working for you.
The reason that it's important to move quickly to have her pushed out is that the longer she stays the more imbedded she will become in the department and the harder it becomes to get rid of her.
She will develop relationships. People will step in and help her, and they will grow protective of her.
But no less important, you need to move her out for her own good.
She obviously is over her head, and at some level she knows that, and that is bound to cause her discomfort and anxiety. She needs to find a job she can be good at. And it's not going to be at your agency.
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