Even if the tips I offered in the previous blog about getting burned are used, there will still be the occasional job mismatch, in spite of everything you’ve done to avoid it.  What can you do if it happens?  First, use the reference report as a benchmark about what was said about the candidate and compare it to the problems that have come up since the job was offered.  Compare the nature of the problems with any clues that might be in the reference report that, perhaps, were overlooked.  Second, use the reference report as a guide for developing a plan for corrective action.  Depending on how serious the mismatch is, the reference report may provide important clues that will give you the insight required to successfully address whatever the problem happens to be.


Sometimes things just don’t work out with a new employee, but the situation falls short of needing formal disciplinary action.  There are three steps to follow when it appears that a mismatch has occurred:

  1. Talk about the issues with the employee. It’s more likely than not that there has been some sort of disconnection, misunderstanding, or miscommunication about what was said regarding the employee’s suitability for the job by his references.  Sometimes the requirements of the job were misrepresented or misunderstood by the candidate.  Discuss what the references had to say.  Make every effort to identify the problems and address them as soon as possible.
  2. Another alternative is to move the new employee to another job within the organization – if that’s possible. Depending on the clues that may be found in the reference report and the discussions you’ve had with the new employee, it may be mutually advantageous to move the person to another position within the organization that’s a better fit.  That won’t always be possible within a small organization, but it’s often possible within large corporations.
  3. The last option, of course, is termination.