The True Cost of a Bad Hire

The True Cost of a Bad Hire

We all know the risks that come along with hiring bad employees. It cripples morale, it hurts your team’s ability to function, and it makes HR’s job much harder. Even in jobs that pay less than $30k, the calculated cost of turnover can be around $5,000.

Even if we all know the risks, bad hires happen. The smaller your company is, the larger an impact each bad employee has on your business and bottom line. Don’t dismiss your bad hires as a simple mistake. Learn to see the warning signs of a bad-fit before you send an offer letter.

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One bad hire can:

  • Lower standards for productivity and product quality. When left unchecked, this can severely impact morale and productivity across the entire team.

  • Cause other employees to quit. Your bad-apple can be the reason why a great employee decides to engage with recruiters skimming for passive talent.

  • Create more work for everyone else. Chances are, your good employees are going to try to make up for the quality forfeited by their peer. This can overburden your staff and lead to discontent.

  • Permanently damage company culture. Whether you actively maintain your company culture or let it form naturally, the last thing you want is for your team’s mojo to be thrown off-kilter by one bad apple.

When the role is involved in management, the costs go through the roof. Bad managers can:

  • Disrupt an entire department’s goals and progress.

  • Create hefty turnover in their department.

  • Create gaps of knowledge within teams who don’t communicate properly.

Even when you take steps to improve morale by terminating toxic employees, they can leave a lasting effect on your employer brand. Sites like Glassdoor make it easy for disgruntled employees to air out dirty laundry in public.

A bad hiring decision is a lose-lose situation. So what can you do to avoid it?

Don’t rush into an offer.

Even if you feel like a role needs to be filled yesterday, don’t be afraid to take the time to make your hiring process as efficient as possible. Research what requirements and qualifications belong on the job description, and even take a few days to reach out to passive talent in your area that might not apply on your own. Just remember that hiring someone quickly can easily cost you a lot more than the pain of a large workload.

Talk to previous employers.

Go beyond just checking up on a candidate’s references. They’re most likely going to give a good review anyway. Instead, ask permission to call a candidate’s last two or three employers to get details about why they left. If the candidate refuses, it’s a red flag anyway.

Ask culture-fit questions during interviews.

Make sure that a candidate understands your company culture and thinks they can thrive with you. Pepper a few culture-related questions into all of your interviews and make sure that the answers are both consistent and in line with your company’s mission and values. Get some sample questions here.

Get to Know Us: Jesse Grossman

Get to Know Us: Jesse Grossman

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