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5 Tips to Protect Yourself From a Bad Hire

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

Hiring the right employee is an inexact science. After all, a person who seems like your "dream candidate" during an interview may turn out to be a nightmare once he is actually working. As a result, you may need some tips from successful entrepreneurs who've successfully found their dream employees.

For a small company, hiring the wrong worker can be especially damaging. You not only waste your money paying an employee who is a bad fit, but you also waste your time by training someone who may contribute very little to your company.

That's why it's especially important for small business owners to critically evaluate their applicants. Here are five tips to protect yourself from a bad hire, as told by entrepreneurs to the Financial Post:

  1. Hire by committee. Have the entire team that will be working with the applicant conduct the interview. You can get creative and perform case studies or actual projects to see how the applicant performs. At the end of the assignment, the hiring decision may be made by the team.

  2. Hire as an intern. You can hire every worker as a 90-day intern. During these three months, you will get a good sense of the intern's personality, work ethic, and abilities. You then either hire the intern full-time or let him go.

  3. Only hire workers for short-term assignments. While this may be the best way to insure yourself against a bad hire, you may also turn off many of the best potential candidates who are looking for a longer-term commitment. Still, this method may be appropriate for certain employers.

  4. Pay equity instead of salary. It's amazing how a worker's incentive to work hard can be increased by tying his pay to company performance.

  5. Pay them to leave. Online shoe retailer Zappos famously offers new recruits $3,000 -- to leave the company. If a worker doesn't want to be there, he'll take the money and run. This leaves only individuals who care about your business as your workforce.

Not every method mentioned above is right for every employer. This is especially true with paying your new hires to quit. However, you may want to consider a variety of hiring strategies to better ensure you hire the right workers.

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