Build great Teams – People management

New Hire Failure – How To Avoid It – A Case Study

New Hire Failure – How To Avoid It - A Case Study

Avoid new hire failure – when your new hire quits after a few weeks or months. Hire the right person and put them through a solid induction process. If you hire the right person – someone who fits with your company and the rest of your team, they’re more likely to stay. It will also make your life much easier as a manager.

But hiring the ‘right’ person is only part of the challenge. Once you hire someone act quickly to harness their motivation and enthusiasm for starting a new job. A well thought-out induction progress or program, which is ready to go before they start, is the way to achieve this. Get your new hire working effectively for you from day one. Don’t let them get bored.

Let’s look at the main reason a client of mine, Dave, now has a great induction program.

The Initial Situation – New Hire Failure

When Dave hired Ian a couple of years ago, he was really excited. Ian interviewed well, and clearly had the technical knowledge Dave needed. Ian was also extremely motivated and keen, and had convince Dave that he was a very pro-active person who would find ways to make progress.

Dave was extremely surprised when Ian didn’t show up for work at the start of his third week. Dave called Ian to find out why. Ian said he’d been trying to find things to do every day, but despite trying, he had nothing to do. The job wasn’t what he’d hoped for. There was no point him coming in. Dave had assumed the rest of the team were giving him tasks to do. When he investigated it turned out no-one had any time to show Ian anything that would allow him to contribute.

On this occasion, Dave and Ian couldn’t find a way forward – the damage had been done. The good impression of the company that Ian received before he joined was not evident after he joined the team. He couldn’t see how it would get better, so he decided to move on.

What We Did – A Simple Induction Process

I helped Dave put together a simple, but effective induction program. It is documented so anyone involved can see what needs doing, and what information to share, when. It is tracked so everyone can see what has and hasn’t been done. Some things are set up for the new hire to do on their own. That frees up the rest of the team to get on with their work. Things that need input from someone in the team, are scheduled.

We set the program up so that it doesn’t all have to be covered by Dave or any other single team member. Dave has structured his program so that different members of the team can help out in different ways for different things. This has the advantage of not being a burden on any one person, and also means the new hire gets to spend time with each team member over the first few weeks. This is a great way for them all to get to know one another.

When Dave hired Sarah he took time to make sure Sarah would be a good fit. When she started, she went through his new induction process. On her first day, Dave gave her an overview of the business and set some initial expectations. After that, most of her induction was conducted by other team members.

TShe always had someone to ask, but because she was given the right information at the right time she didn’t have to ask often. She was quickly able to start to be productive. From her point of view she was actually doing her job and felt she was contributing. With ongoing feedback she quickly developed confidence and achieved probation with flying colours. Sarah has been a great employee of Dave’s for over 5 years now.

What We Did – Summary

To avoid new hire failure, we made sure Dave had a documented process that he and his team could easily follow. This means every new hire gets all the information they need in a consistent way. It is organised so the right information is delivered at the right time. The whole team contributes which spreads the workload and introduces the new hire to everyone.

Now nothing gets forgotten because the whole team can easily see what has and hasn’t been done. Proactive new hires can to a large extent drive the process themselves. Much more information about how the company works is documented as a result, which means everyone has the same information to refer to which drives consistency across the whole team. It’s all part of the process for setting expectations and goals for an employee from day one.

My Question To You

Have you suffered from new hire failure? Do you have an induction process? What’s your induction process look like? Who I your team delivers induction? If this is something you would like to discuss or would like some help with, contact me at You can also buy my book Accelerate to Team Success which is available as a paperback or on Kindle.


About the Author:

Nikki Faulkner photo Dr Nikki Faulkner founded Mulberry Bush Consulting to work with business leaders and their teams to make the 'People' side of their business as effective as possible. Mulberry Bush Consulting's specialty is helping small businesses who are new to having employees and helping businesses who are growing rapidly and increasing their employee-base at a rate that is creating a significant challenge.

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