The High Cost of a Bad Hire

No one wants to hire the wrong candidate for a job opening. Yet it happens more often than it should.

What are the costs of hiring the wrong person?

Financial Costs: Hiring the wrong person can cost you 150% of the employee’s annual salary in lost productivity, recruitment costs and other outlays. If you decide to work with them and hold onto them for a long time before they leave, or if there’s a messy termination, that cost can double.

But the costs of hiring the wrong person for a job don’t stop at financial costs.

Management Time and Stress: It’s estimated that supervisors spend the equivalent of one full day every week managing poorly performing employees.

Business Reputation: In this digital world, your company’s reputation is transparent for everyone to see. A bad hire usually becomes a disgruntled employee. And if they’re online savvy, like so much of the workforce is today, there’s a good chance that their discontent will be posted online for the world to see.

Employee Morale: Let’s face it; if your bad hire isn’t performing, someone’s got to pick up the slack. That usually means your good employees. If your bad hire is also a poor cultural fit for your company, there’s bound to be tensions that can crumble an otherwise cohesive team.

Why do employers hire the wrong person?

Here are 4 of the main reasons that employers make poor hiring decisions.

  • They’re in a hurry. Time is a commodity that no one has enough of these days. That’s especially true when you’ve got a vacant position in a workforce that’s already stretched to its limits. Hiring a person simply to fill an opening as soon as possible rarely ends well. You’re better to take a little more time to attract the ideal candidate and hire right the first time.
  • They ‘wing’ the interview. Does this sound familiar? Often the person performing the interview has never been properly trained in how to do it. There’s very little planning done upfront. To make matters worse, they haven’t carved out enough time to give the candidate their undivided attention. To hire well, you must invest the time upfront to do it properly. That means knowing how to conduct an effective interview, planning questions upfront and allowing enough time to give each candidate a fair shot. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying the price over the long haul by hiring the wrong person.
  • They don’t use job descriptions or they’re poorly written. If you don’t have a good idea of the skills and knowledge needed to perform a role, how can you fill it with the right person? Job descriptions aren’t just something you should have (and you should have them). When done properly, they become a marketing tool to entice the right candidate and a vetting tool for the interviewer.
  • They let personal biases get in the way. It’s only natural. When you sit down with someone to interview, you’re more likely to approve of them if they’re a lot like you. The trouble is; while you’re great at what you do, you might not be a good match for the role you’re trying to fill. Sometimes, the best choice for the job, or to round out a great team, is a personality that’s very different from yours. Remember, you’re not hiring a best friend; you’re interviewing the best fit for the role, the company and the team.

To avoid the costly mistake of a bad hire, consider outsourcing the interview process to a professional recruiter who’ll not only be trained in the right things to ask, they’ll have the expertise, insight and objectivity to identify a shortlist of ideal candidates to choose from.

About the author
(Voted Barrie’s Best Employment Agency 7 years running, ESS Direct offers recruitment and temporary placement services throughout Barrie and South Simcoe County, specializing in helping companies identify, attract and hire administrative and office heroes.)