How Much is That Bad Hire Costing Your Business?

December 6, 2017 Rosemary Haefner


Recruiting and hiring good employees are arguably the most critical aspects of running a business. Finding the right candidates is crucial: After all, if you’re not hiring the right people to begin with, your ability to succeed in nearly everything else you do will be greatly compromised. That’s why it is important to consider the cost of a bad hire. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, companies lost an average of $14,900 on every bad hire in the last year, and it’s a common mistake — nearly three in four employers (74 percent) say they’ve hired the wrong person for a position.

What Happens When You Hire The Wrong Person?

When asked how a bad hire affected their business in the last year, employers cited less productivity (37 percent), lost time to recruit and train another worker (32 percent) and compromised quality of work (31 percent).

Overall, this is how employers categorize someone as a bad hire:

  • The worker didn’t produce the proper quality of work: 54 percent
  • The worker had a negative attitude: 53 percent
  • The worker didn’t work well with other workers: 50 percent
  • The worker had immediate attendance problems: 46 percent
  • The worker’s skills did not match what they claimed to be able to do when hired: 45 percent

But employers aren’t the only ones making regretful decisions. Two in three workers say they have accepted a job and later realized it was a bad fit. While half of these workers (50 percent) quit within six months, more than a third (37 percent) stuck it out.

Workers who said they had taken a job only to realize it’s a bad fit said they noticed their mistake based on toxic work culture (46 percent), boss’ management style (40 percent), job didn’t match what was described in the job listing and interviews (37 percent), and a lack of clear expectations around the role (33 percent).

How to Avoid Making Bad Hires

To prevent a bad hire from destroying your bottom line, here are three things you can do during the hiring process:

  • Call applicants before bringing them in: Once you select the resumes you’re interested in, consider calling the applicant to get a better sense of who they are. In just a few minutes, you can get a decent read on a candidate.
  • Interview vigorously: Make sure that you’re truly able to determine both functional ability and culture fit before your new hire signs on the dotted line.
  • Uncover the facts: Background checks often find discrepancies with what job candidates listed on their resumes or said during the interview. Hopefully they’re simple mistakes, like minor date discrepancies, that probably won’t have a negative effect on work performance or company image. But pay attention to more serious red flags.

Don’t stop there! Check out more ways in which having the right human capital management technology can help you create a great candidate experience

Rosemary Haefner is the chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. 

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