4 Most Common Reasons Managers Hire Lousy Employees

Dec 9 09:06 2009 Michael Mercer, Ph.D. Print This Article

Managers make 4 mistakes that result in hiring losers. This Article helps you avoid making these four blunders.

I repeatedly notice managers do make four mistakes that result in hiring losers – employees they wish they never hired.  I will help you avoid making these four blunders.  Plus,Guest Posting I will reveal to you three guidelines that will help you hire fantastic employees. 


1st Reason = Applicant Acts Charming

Managers feel mesmerized by applicants who act charming.  Such applicants act friendly, smile at you, look into your eyes, compliment you, and display other make-you-feel-good charm.

Such applicants would earn an “A” grade in charm school. 

The problem is managers who hire lousy employees tend to feel overly swayed by applicants’ charm.  Resist the temptation – don’t let yourself get swept away by a smooth operator who charms you.

2nd Reason = Applicant Has Seemingly Relevant Work Experience

Many managers get carried away by applicants whose work experience appears relevant. 

However, many applicants might have seemingly relevant experience.  Also, just because an applicant has relevant experience in one organization never means that person will do well working for you.  What it takes to succeed in one organization – or for one manager – never is exactly the same in your company or working for you.

So, do not fall in love with an applicant just because the person has semi-pseudo-relevant work experience. 


3rd Reason = Manager Feel Desperate to Hire Someone Fast

I jokingly say that some managers feel a horrible compulsion to hire someone ‘yesterday.”  That means they have an open position, and they feel pressure to hire somebody right away.

That is a recipe for disaster. 

Of course, sometimes you have an open position, plus you have a need to fill it ultra-soon.  But, hiring with such desperation often results in hiring people you later regret hiring. 

Remember:  Each time you hire someone you are betting.  You are betting your (a) career and (b) company.  If you hire enough losers you injure your career, and may even get de-employed.  Also, if you hire enough underachievers, you hurt your company – harming productivity and profits. 

4th Reason = Manager Is Too Lazy to Find More Applicants

Managers who hire lousy employees frequently are lazy – and will hire almost anyone to avoid spending time finding more and better applicants.  Such managers have a “To-Do List” with, for example, 10 action items to do.  Regrettably, finding better applicants is not among their 10 action items. 


Here are solutions to help you hire the best. 

1.  Never get swept away by applicants who act charming and/or have semi-pseudo-relevant work experience.

2.  Never rush to hire someone fast and/or be too lazy to find more and better applicants.

3.  Use pre-employment tests.  Well-researched pre-employment tests – that you can get custom-tailored for specific jobs in your company – give you an objective, scientific evaluation of each job applicant. 

Three pre-employment tests can be used to assess applicants.  First, a personality test forecasts an applicant’s interpersonal skills, personality, and motivations – and the test is not swayed by an applicant who acts charming.  Second, cognitive ability tests measure up to five key brainpower factors – and never get affected by an applicant who may have seemingly relevant work experiences.  Third, a dependability test helps you uncover an applicant’s work ethic, safety, and if the applicant may steal or be a substance abuser. 

Importantly, pre-employment tests that you get custom-tailored for specific jobs in your company give you the huge advantage of being able to find out if the applicant has the most important qualities needed to succeed in your organization.


Managers sometimes call and tell me they hired a lousy employee.  When I question how they decided to hire that lousy employee, I overwhelmingly find they (a) hired based on applicant’s charm and work experience or (b) felt desperate compulsion to hire fast or (c) was too lazy to find better applicants.. 

Also, managers who hired losers usually made these mistakes:  Either they (a) did not test the applicant, or (b) ignored glaring warning signs pre-employment tests revealed about the applicant – warning signs indicating they should not put that person on their payroll. 

As I hear their distress, I want to comfort them, so I point out, “Well, you learned from this experience.” 

Then, the managers always say something like this:  “Yes, I learned from the hiring mistake I made – but it was a terribly expensive lesson.”


Simply follow three guidelines to help you hire productive, dependable employees:

A.  Stop getting carried away – by applicants’ charm and work experiences.

B.  Never hire fast – in your desperate rush to fill a position ASAP.

C.  Use pre-employment tests – and pay close attention to applicants’ test scores

 COPYRIGHT 2009 MICHAEL MERCER, PH.D.  http://www.mercersystems.com/

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About Article Author

Michael Mercer, Ph.D.
Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

Michael Mercer, Ph.D., is an industrial psychologist with expertise is in pre-employment tests, contact him at www.mercersystems.com

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