OK, I’ll admit it: there’s no way to actually estimate what a bad hire will cost your business. While that one bad decision may be hard to quantify, there are still plenty of areas where you’re bound to see the negative effects:
- Lost productivity
- Wasted recruiting effort and money
- Bad service and unhappy customers
- Unhappy coworkers
So what should you do? Never hire anyone again? I’m joking of course – everyone in food service knows just how high turnover usually is. In fact, many restaurants often feel like they’re in a constant state of hiring.
Luckily, it’s an employer’s market out there these days, with more workers looking for a job than jobs available. That means you can be selective with your next hire, and if you play your cards right, hopefully turn that new hire into a long-term employee.
That said, everyone makes a bad choice sooner or later. The key is to contain the damage as much as possible so that everyone can move on as quickly as possible. Some tips to help you get past a mistake:
Pitch in and pick up some slack. Not that you need something to add to your daily schedule. Filling in for the person you just let go is less about getting that person’s job done and more about psychology. Your employees will appreciate the effort, believe me, and that will make the transition easier for everyone.
Save the runners-up. Assuming you put a decent effort into due diligence the first time around you should have some candidates for the job ready to go who have already been interviewed and vetted. This should help mitigate your recruiting costs. This means you should definitely save every candidate’s contact information whenever you hire someone!
Make it up to your customers. If bad customer service is one of the reasons why you had to sack an employee, make sure your customers know you’re on top of it by getting them to come back any way you can think of. Run some promos and market through any channels you may use (email, social media, radio, print, etc.). Next, focus on giving those customers the absolute best service possible. If done right, all will soon be forgotten.
Be transparent with the rest of your employees. The last thing you need after an ugly break with a bad hire is the rumor mill grinding out partial truths and outright lies. You know as well as I do that you won’t be able to stop the talking, but you can clear up any misconceptions and boost employee morale by being straightforward.
Call your staff together and tell them exactly why so-and-so was fired and when you plan to replace them. You’ll be amazed what a little honesty can do for employee attitudes.
Filling the hole left by a trouble employee as quickly as possible is vital to maintaining cohesiveness and morale in your restaurant. Taking a few fairly simple corrective actions will help you heal that wound fast enough to make that hiring mistake a distant memory.