You may have a rigorous candidate screening process with detailed interviews and top notch reference checks but, the truth of the matter is, sometimes the undesirable candidate still slips through the cracks. Don't take it personally, we're all human. If you want to redeem yourself, though, you do need to identify these people quickly, and act immediately.
The Social Media Fanatic It's normal for employees to take a cigarette break or browse social media, but a new employee who wants to make a good first impression should be minimizing this. If you frequently find them sharing recipes on Pinterest and posting selfies on Instagram, all while keeping Twitter and Facebook updated, either you're not keeping them busy enough or your new hire has no ambition to work.
The 9:10-4:50er Again, the new person should be trying to set a great impression, so if they're in a 9-5 job, they better work 9-5... at a minimum! If your new hire consistently shows up late (trouble finding parking the first day might be a good excuse on the first day) and they quickly make a habit of slipping out early, it will only to get worse.
The Complainer Of course you want to embrace new blood and learn from a new employee's outside experiences, but there's such thing as too much. Watch out for the closed-minded person who comes in and immediately starts complaining about equipment, processes and even culture. The Complainer can be overheard starting sentences with "At my old company...", "That's not my job..." and "This is stupid because..." You may not need to get rid of this person, but you definitely want to talk to them about their attitude.
The Surpriser Very often people make travel plans or appointments before they're hired. It's also not uncommon in today's world for employees to adjust their office hours to accommodate their personal lives. These requests, however, should be brought forward during the interview process, not sprung on you in the first week. Be wary of the Surpriser. If they're not trying to sneak things by you, they are, at the very least, disorganized.
The Untrainable The Untrainable person comes in a few varieties but they consistently make the same mistake over and over. Some Untrainable people simply don't know how to learn. They don't take notes, nor do they ask questions, and when the time comes to remember what happened during onboarding, they're completely lost. While frustrating, this is fixable and, if they're still great at the core job, it's not as big of a concern. You may also be dealing with a Complainer (see #3) disguised as an Untrainable. It's not that they don't understand what's happening, they just don't like it so see no reason to follow-through. Finally, you may have hired the world's best liar who made it through the interview stage but, when it's time to perform, they're simply incompetent. You're probably safe to start writing up that person's exit papers now.
Before jumping to conclusions and taking any harsh actions, remember to deal with the issues head on and consider their point-of-view. You just invested a lot into bringing this person on board and, while you don't want to keep the bad apples around for too long, you also don't want to give up on your investment too quickly. Have you ever hired somebody and immediately regretted it? How long did you wait before taking action? What kind of action did you take? Share your stories below!