Recruiting: Getting it wrong
Gleem was growing and it was feeling good.I⫪d been in business for about 6 months and it felt like the right time to step it up a level: I was going to hire someone to work full time.I had interns working part time, but this was a big commitment to the business.I didn⫪t really know how to recruit, so I started reading online about it.I posted some job adverts on free resources like www.indeed.co.uk and received a few applicants.Then I got contacted by a recruiter. I listened to the perfected sales patter dismissively, but then they hooked me with one line: if you let the new employee go before their probationary period, I would receive a full refund.
I interviewed a few applicants, and can⫪t say I was particularly impressed by the quality, which got me second guessing this recruiter. I gave him one last chance and he sent someone who I thought would work well in the business: A young London girl who seemed ambitious.I decided to hire her and she started working whilst my interns finished up their work at Gleem.Month 1 seemed to go quite well, I allowed her to find her feet, whilst offering up responsibility and she seemed to react well.Then things started to take a turn. She had booked a holiday in Germany and for the fortnight before this holiday she acted as if she wasn⫪t working. She was lethargic and uninterested. I had to really motivate her to work, and generated a mediocre list of tasks to perform before leaving for her holiday.I had sought someone who would be dedicated to the business and who would be viewing it as a great opportunity for growth, but when I discovered that half of this list of tasks had not even been attempted.I realised I had made a bad hiring decision. I decided that even though she was only holiday, because of the level of commitment I told her that I expected that it would be ok to call her to clarify what had gone wrong.I was greeted with an aggressive and dismissive person on the other end of the line, who may as well have sworn at me for interrupting her trip abroad.I decided that I no longer wanted someone like that working at Gleem as it was not ⫘on brand⫪, and so let her go.When it became time to receive a refund for the placement fee from the recruiter, I discovered that this ⫘full refund⫪ was actually a lie from a recruiter who was about to leave his post, and was looking to make a quick placement (and the subsequent commission).I had to fight with the company but eventually received my full refund.It was great to have a try-before-you-buy opportunity due to the cheeky recruiter, however in hindsight I can see that I hired badly.I let emotion play too large a factor in why I hired someone: I liked her, she was straight talking and I based my decision upon that alone. I didn⫪t reference check her or anything.So that was my first hire. It went badly, but again there were some great lessons to take from the experience.
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