When in Doubt, Say ‘No’! Hiring the Right Employees


Im Zweifel „Nein“! : Die richtigen Mitarbeitenden einstellen

In today’s business world, hiring the right employees is one of the most important yet challenging tasks for any company. Despite all efforts and careful selection processes, a certain level of uncertainty remains. This topic is particularly relevant to me as I have made many new hires in recent years and learned some important lessons that I would like to share with you today.

Feelings of Discomfort During the Job Interview

My biggest recruiting faux pas? Hiring people about whom there are doubts and who are not the right fit for the job. Even in the job interview, feelings of discomfort are an alarm signal. If you’re not sure whether someone really fits, trust them. My tip: Never hire someone you are not 100% sure about. It’s better to wait a little longer and make sure it’s a perfect match for you and your company.

The Probationary Period as a Crucial Indicator

One of the key insights I have gained during this time is the importance of the probationary period. Even if we think we have found the perfect person for a job, it is often only during the probationary period that it becomes clear whether the chemistry is really right. No matter how well and precisely we select people for the company, in the end, you never have a guarantee that it will work out. My personal credo is: if there are doubts during the probationary period, this is often a sign that there is not a good long-term fit. Ask yourself the right questions in order to find the crucial points.

The Art of Timely Action

It’s tempting to give employees who have difficulties during their probationary period another chance – it’s probably in us humans. But based on my experience, I can say that this rarely leads to a successful collaboration. If you still have doubts during the probationary period, things probably won’t get any better later on. Instead, it is important to act promptly and consistently. A clear decision during the probationary period can save time and resources in the long term. Keep in mind: you want to hire the right employees, people who really match. 

The Impact on Organizational Climate

Successful team dynamics are essential for every company. Employees who do not prove themselves during the probationary period can have a negative impact on the team atmosphere and the motivation of others. It is therefore important to recognize early on if a collaboration is not going as hoped, and to act accordingly. Such a proactive approach signals to employees that your company values a healthy and productive working environment. By making clear decisions, we can minimize potentially negative effects on the company climate and also ensure the long-term satisfaction and performance of the team.

My Strategies for Hiring the Right Employees

To master the challenges of employee selection, I recommend the following strategies:

1. Clear Criteria and expectations: Define clear criteria and expectations for the position to be filled from the beginning.
2. Thorough Screening: Conduct thorough interviews and reference checks to get a comprehensive picture of the candidates.
3. In-depth Probationary Period: Use the probationary period to assess the candidate’s true fit for the role and the company.
4. Open Communication: Encourage open communication during the probationary period to address any misunderstandings early on and find solutions.
5. Clear Decisions: Draw conclusions and then make fundamental decisions. Don’t be afraid to say “no” when in doubt. It is the most sustainable approach for both the employee and your company.

With these strategies, you have a good chance of hiring the right employees. Despite these strategies, it is also true that there is no guarantee of performance.

My tool tip: The persolog® Job Profile


Our Job Profile, which we revised fundamentally last year, can support you in initiating and accompanying an intensive clarification process of expectations in recruiting or employee development. It helps you reflect the requirements of a position, define them in a consensus-oriented manner, and further develop them.

If you are interested in testing this profile in the next job placement or in the development of your employees, discover the persolog® Job Profile here:

Debora Karsch

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