The Hidden Cost of a Bad Hire

Common Reasons for Bad Hire

A bad hire is every recruiter’s worst nightmare. It costs money, time, and energy. No employer or hiring manager will deliberately want to hire an incompetent or underqualified candidate. Sadly, mistakes happen and you could unintentionally make a bad hire. What causes a bad hire? To prevent a hiring mistake, it is practical to know the common reasons for a bad hire. This article is here to help. We have not only pointed out the causes of a bad hire, but we have gone a step further to prepare practical suggestions to help you avoid hiring the wrong person. Dig in!


  • Lack of Background Investigation: We’re not being accusatory, but anyone can manufacture the information on a CV or application form. Without proper background checks, you could be hiring a fraud. You are laying the foundation for a bad hire when you take a look at a resume and say something like, “Oh, you graduated from a specific school and worked at a particular organization. Congratulations, you’re hired!” A good recruiter does not believe anything he sees on paper until it can be backed up with tangible proof. What type of information should you look out for when conducting a check? You are not concerned with the fight they had with a classmate in primary school (although pointers to violence or criminality in a candidate is a neon red flag). Check if the companies and institutions listed are real. Contact listed references or former employers. Ask for uploads of copies of certificates or other qualifications. Confirm that a candidate has no outstanding legal issues either with the country of residence or with their former workplace. Another smart way of running a background check is social media sleuthing. If a candidate is active on social media, then you may be able to get a glimpse of who they are from their posts and comments. Most employers have been spared the hassle of recruiting the wrong person because his social media account revealed him as blatantly racist or guilty of any other similar negative trait. It is advisable to do all required background checks before making a job offer.


  • Rushing Through the Hiring Process: Recruitment is time-sensitive especially when you are pressed to fill in a vacant position. You could want to speed the process up because you are afraid of losing a potential candidate. Your fear is not unfounded. It is not even advisable to stretch out recruitment over an unreasonable amount of time. However, this does not mean that hiring a competent employee should take mere minutes. The recruitment process can be quite rigorous. Quality recruitment compels you to dedicate your time. You need enough time to thoroughly process applications, assess candidates, do background checks, and schedule interviews. When you painstakingly pay attention to details, irrespective of the time and strength required, you are sure to avoid hiring mistakes.


  • Focusing Solely on Qualifications and Technical Skills: A good degree, especially from a high-ranked college is impressive. A candidate with a remarkable skill set is attractive too. But there is something else that should not be overlooked – soft skills. To prevent a hiring mistake, take care to consider interpersonal skills such as leadership or responsibility. An employee who lacks soft skills will find it difficult to effectively communicate, work with a team, resolve conflicts, manage time, negotiate, listen to others or make sound decisions, among a list of other things. That’s a long list of vital things that he cannot do which means that the position he was hired for has not been adequately filled. Lacking these crucial abilities will make it difficult for an employee to carry out his duties successfully regardless of his qualifications. Attitude matters a lot because, without it, an employee’s competence is under threat. Concentrating only on credentials and hard skills is a hiring mistake that can be avoided by paying close attention to the behavior of job candidates. Since soft skills can be difficult to quantify, you can measure them by fashioning assessment and interview questions that will reveal what a candidate would do when faced with situations that require the use of soft skills. Aptitude is just as important as attitude. The two are intertwined and having one without the other is inadequate.


  • Insufficient Information: More often than not, employers do not hire by themselves. In a case where a company does not have an in-house HR manager, it may use the services of an outsourced recruitment agency. This is a great option because these agents are experts in the hiring field and are conversant and up to date with the latest hiring techniques. However, when an employer does not properly communicate what he requires in an ideal candidate, recruiters might just be focused on picking candidates that tick the requirement box without checking if they fit the company culture or if their values resonate with that of the organization. Also, recruiters may not have enough information about the company or in-depth details about the role needed to motivate a candidate. When this happens, an employee might join the company without proper knowledge of what the role is about and then quit within a few weeks of joining. That is a big loss to any company because it means starting the recruitment process for that same role all over again. To prevent this mistake, as an employer, work closely with outsourced recruiters or the HR department of your company. Give them specific and sufficient information on the company, the role, and what type of person you need.

If you’re an outsourced recruiter, get as much information as possible from your client. Every corporation’s work style and culture differs from the next even when they’re in the same field. Get precise, company-specific information about the client hiring your services. Get to know the gap they want to fill in the company, the job description, and what makes an ideal candidate. Every tiny detail is important, right down to what a typical workday looks like. Candidates must know these things before joining as employees. When candidates are fully aware of what they’re signing up for, they tend to work better because the job is a choice they made. They also spend more time in the company. That way, you are assured that you have made a good hire.


  • Waiting for the “Perfect Candidate”: While it is practical to know what an ideal candidate for a role should have, do not restrict yourself to a picture in your head. Be open-minded and diverse. Could you hire someone who has a degree in a related course or someone who has an equivalent degree, or do you insist on only one type of degree probably from a renowned college? Do you have a strict checkbox and expect that the best candidate will have a perfect score? When you consider diverse candidates that have valuable skills and knowledge related to the role, you allow yourself to see and interact with fresh minds and a chance to explore new opportunities. When you limit yourself to a checklist that has room for only one type of person, how will you choose? It’s like trying to decide what the best meal is by only tasting one meal. The truth is, you may not have a candidate that ticks all the boxes. This is where your discretion should come into play. Know when to decide if a person’s skill or wealth of experience complements his qualification, as far as he reaches all other vital requirements. The notion of predicting  “the one” could easily lead to prejudice and bias. This will blind you from recognizing potential candidates because you may conclude that they are not qualified enough. You could also make a mistake when you hire someone who is seemingly perfect but lacks the right attitude to work. To make your selection accurate, ensure that your recruitment encompasses an extensive population of applicants.


  • Botched Interviews: An interview is supposed to be a formal meeting, in person or virtual for the assessment of a candidate. It is mostly scheduled after a candidate’s CV and application have been reviewed and maybe after he has written some tests. An interview is an opportunity to know who has been presented to you on paper. The information or his performance has revealed that he has potential but the interview should reveal on a deeper level what his intention is. This means that interviews should be given as much deliberation and planning as other steps of the recruitment process. You could make a bad hire if you do not skillfully conduct an interview. What type of mistakes? Talking only about yourself or the company without giving the interviewee room to express himself, asking the wrong questions, or turning an interview into a police interrogation. If you do these things, you would be hiring candidates who reacted and said the things you want. To avoid a bad hire, an interview should be interactive, a two-way thing.


  • Lack of a Recruitment Team: Recruitment is not a one-man job, especially when you are hiring for multiple roles. When left to one person to handle, it makes decision-making very tedious. If a company’s HR manager is in charge of the process, then the whole HR department should be involved. If the company is getting help from outside, then the employer should be actively involved to make sure that his preferences are being carried out. During an interview, it might also be necessary to have a panel made up of more than one person. If a process as rigorous as recruitment is handled by one person with no room for suggestions, check-ins, and criticism, then making a bad hire is inevitable.


  • Inadequate Training: To get recruits on board and ready to work, they will require training. When you leave a new joiner all to themselves to find their way, expect mistakes. The onboarding process is supposed to bring a new employee onboard and the process incorporates training and orientation. Keep in touch with new employees and always inform them of what is expected of them until they find their feet. Don’t just point them to a desk and computer and anticipate immediate results.  When you make new employees feel welcome, you boost their morale and make it easier for them to get a hang of their role. That prevents a lot of mistakes.

Final Thoughts

A bad hire sets a company back a few paces. It should be avoided at all costs and the good news is, it can be prevented easily. With proper planning and preparation, your recruitment process will go even more smoothly than you imagined. The tips in this article are guaranteed to lead you directly to the best candidates.

Employer Articles

Leave a Reply