I don’t know if you’ve ever made a mistake when hiring someone. If you haven’t, then you must be smarter and luckier than I am.

Because it does happen, despite your best preparations.

And when you’re dealing with employees, it’s much trickier than if you purchase the wrong product. But there are things we can do about it.

First, it’s important to ask yourself whether this person is wrong for you, wrong for the job, or wrong for the organization. Because sometimes it’s just that someone has a different style than you’d prefer, and they might be a great fit if YOU change.

That takes humility to admit.

But sometimes a person is mismatched to their job. As the boss, you likely have some freedom to redefine their job, perhaps giving them more time to get used to the parts that they’re less comfortable with. Maybe they could use some special training or mentoring.

But the big problem is when they’re the wrong person for your team and culture. But don’t fire them too quickly – they might be exposing a weakness which needs to be addressed. After all, if you just end up with a bunch of people who all look and think the same, you’re not going to see the huge benefits of diversity. It’s rare that uniformity is the top goal of an organization.

But ultimately, there are cases where you might have hired the wrong person and need to unwind your decision. When you do, remember that all of us are a bad fit for SOME things, so it’s wise to help them find something which will better suit them – even if it means having to look for another job.

And the most important part of this process is to reflect and learn. What could you have prevented? Were there clues and danger signals? Were there questions you should have asked during the interview process? Is there something to be fixed in your onboarding process?

We all make mistakes. The point is to learn from them.