Hiring mistakes happen - 5 effective ways to learn, adapt and evolve

The greatest lessons are learned from mistakes. But the thing is, it comes with a cost. Especially in business, the bargain is often not good, given the available resources. That’s why the best approach is to make necessary changes and avoid those mistakes in the future.

Focusing on what not to do is often as important as the things to do. And when we talk about HRs,
it becomes all the more important. Correcting mistakes, learning from them, and avoiding bad hires
means increased efficiency and better operation in the long run.

You made a mistake! How to correct it?

HRs are not robots. They can’t be perfect all the time. They can make honest mistakes that can lead to a wrong decision. But instead of overreacting, you can analyze the potholes or snap decisions that led to bad hires. Then, follow a recruitment process taking these mistakes into account.

The blog will offer insights about learning, evolving, and avoiding the most common hiring mistakes.

1. Make an educated guess before diving into deep analysis

After making a mistake, the most natural thing to do is analyze what went wrong and where. In the case of a bad hire, you have to track the loophole. Was it you? Was it the candidate? Or was it something in the recruitment process?

Evaluate why the otherwise seemingly-qualified candidate didn’t work out. Was the recruitment process unable to test the required skillsets? Or perhaps the candidate was not trained properly.

It could also have been the company’s fault. Maybe the candidate decided to quit due to job dissatisfaction or an uncomfortable work environment. There could be one or more factors involved. But the approach is to make an educated guess based on the initial circumstances.

2. Requirement changes as the company grows

A. The role needs more experience
For example, your recruit couldn’t pick up on responsibilities because they lacked the required training or experience. Working with freshers at the initial stages is okay, but it requires more experienced hands when the company grows.

Usually, HR prefers to scrap the experience requirement from the description to attract more applicants, but quantity doesn’t mean quality. Correct the mistake of “recruit not able to keep up with company’s pace” by imposing experience requirements into the screening process.
B. The candidate is not trained enough
Let’s say that the new hire had the experience you needed, but still, the outcome wasn’t as expected. It could be a sign of insufficient training. In such cases, you can implement longer training sessions, modify your onboarding process, and retrain the employees or recruits.
C. A small change could work as well
Changing the whole dynamic because a recruit doesn’t work out isn’t worth it. You need such modifications if you’re facing such mistakes more often. Otherwise, you can just modify the job description to be more strict about who you want to interview to replace a bad hire.

3. It’s time to upgrade the assessment levels

Another way to introduce corrections is to introduce objective assessments in the hiring process to test candidates’ abilities. You can use smart assessment tools like Zapilio to assess technical and non-technical skill sets instead of focusing on just qualifications or work experience.

Zapilio test libraries offer highly accurate predictions of an individual’s job performance than any manual interviews because the AI and ML smartly assess an applicant’s or even current employees’ ability to learn and adapt for any role or job.

4. Remember: one bad apple doesn’t make the whole tree bad

It’s natural that the wrong hire, especially one who creates a toxic work environment, will leave you with the worst experience. So it’s okay to have an overreaction and readjust the whole process so that you don’t have to go through such a nightmare again.

But that’s where you need your patience the most. You must remember that hiring success isn’t decided by one or two bad apples. Instead, your hiring team’s aggregate success reflects your process’s actual accuracy.

That’s why it is crucial to ensure that whenever you make any changes to the recruitment process, either to the screening or onboarding, your average hiring accuracy improves or at least does not deteriorate.

Suppose an applicant lied on their resume, leading to a wrong decision. Does that mean you need to completely rule out the resume screening process? No! Because it will badly impact your entire hiring process in the long run. That is the negative impact of overreaction.

5. You don’t need to waste the wrong recruit

Sometimes, bad hires don’t always mean you have to eliminate them, as it’d be a waste of resources. The more efficient approach is to find another relevant position for them. You should act fast and wisely before a bad hire negatively impacts the organization.

The team can suffer productivity loss because of the friction due to a bad hire. Reassigning them to a relevant position as soon as possible saves from affecting the team’s productivity or efficiency; also, the invested resources wouldn’t go in vain.


Hiring a recruit is the same as taking a leap of faith. You can go wrong or overlook some factors even after being fairly careful. Regardless, it doesn’t mean you have to change the whole dynamic that may not align with your overall hiring goals.

Wrong decisions often bring an unpleasant experience for any HR or hiring authority. Still, the good thing about making those mistakes is being presented with an opportunity to strengthen the hiring process in the long run.

Avoid overreacting to bad hiring decisions, identify the mistake, and focus on retracting that instead of making extreme changes to the hiring process.