Over the past two years, teams across all industries have felt the talent squeeze of the candidate-driven job market — and Accounting and Finance hasn’t been spared. Inflated salaries, signing bonuses and creative new benefit packages have lured away top talent, leaving many leaders scrambling to fill open positions.
In the throes of the Great Resignation and War for Talent, you might have made some reactive hiring decisions that you now regret.
So, what should you do?
- Don’t make another hasty decision. Pause and really assess the situation. Ask yourself: What is not working about the new hire and why are they underperforming? Document the issues to determine whether it’s truly a bad cultural fit, or, when hiring under fire, were critical onboarding steps missed that are now impacting performance? Were expectations clearly communicated? Does the newcomer feel welcomed or was relationship-building brushed aside? Identifying the key issues will determine how to proceed with a termination or development plan.
- Can the shortcomings be overcome? Were you faced with a tough decision to replace an all-star with a less qualified or experienced candidate? If so, was proper training delivered? Is there a learning style issue that might be slowing progress? Is the new hire willing to learn, and is there proper supervision and performance documentation to improve?
- Evaluate the cost and impact of replacing the employee. Take into consideration the financial implications of replacing the employee versus investing in training and professional development. SHRM reported that the average cost to replace an employee is six to nine months of the employee’s salary. Also consider team morale and workload. Will firing and rehiring create additional stress on colleagues. If you’re still experiencing high turnover will a termination negatively impact morale and culture?
- Follow a termination protocol. If you decide to terminate, there is a right way to fire. Appropriately letting a person go can help mitigate the impact of an emotional time and instill greater confidence in colleagues who may pick up extra work or help the employee transition out of the company. Document the shortcomings and give the underperformer opportunity to improve. Have a well-defined termination process and checklist to avoid any legal issues. Acknowledge that a bad hire was made and take accountability if you were part of the hiring process. Learn from the mistake and change vetting processes and procedures if needed. And most importantly, never bad-mouth the exiting employee.
- Consider working with a recruiter. Moving forward, work with recruiting professionals to find the best possible skillset and cultural fit for your company. Openly and honestly explain why a hire didn’t work out and communicate everything about the bad fit. Recruiters can help ensure the same mistake doesn’t happen again.
For more information about Accounting and Finance industry trends, hiring and retention for the year ahead, projected salaries, and other key economic data, download a copy of our 2023 Financial Salary Guide and Employment Outlook.