Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

The Cost and Effect of a Bad Hire

Sometimes the ideal candidate is difficult to find. No one seems to have quite the right combination of hard skills, soft skills, and sunny side up skills (egg humor). Should you settle for a less-than-ideal candidate? Buyer beware. While hiring a mediocre candidate might not seem terribly problematic—especially if the hiring process has become long and tedious—in reality a bad fit can be catastrophic. Check out this delightful infographic from Vitamin T via Mashable, and then learn how a careful hiring process and video interviews can help you avoid a bad hire.

According to Vitamin T, a bad hire can cost a company up to $50,000 in benefits, salary, lost customers, eventual severance pay and possible legal action. Eeek! Interestingly, this figure also takes into account the financial impact of one bad employee on an entire department. When one member of a team slacks off, other members of the team are put under extra pressure and stress. This creates a morale problem that can be even direr than the monetary costs of the bad hire.

So, what leads to a bad hire? Every hiring process has its flaws, but what gigantic shortfall could possibly cause the hire of a $50,000 torpedo to the department? Although no one problem in a hiring process can be blamed, here are a few ideas that increase the probability of avoiding costly bad hires:

• Always check references. A bad hire has usually had a poor work experience before, and you should try your best to discover it.
• Hire on a trial basis. Many companies have a 60-to-90-day probationary period in which it is possible to terminate a bad hire without facing legal action. The rules of the period are specific to each company and will need to be drafted under legal advisement.
• Be very specific in terms of job responsibilities and desired personality.

At Spark Hire, lawyers and private detectives we are not. However, we can help you out with the last item on this list. Video interviews are an outstanding way to make your hiring process easier and less likely to end in a bad hire. Video interviews provide a screening process that allows for specific questions about qualifications while giving hiring managers a great sense of an employee’s personality. One-way video interviews also allow multiple people in a department to evaluate a candidate before ever bringing the person to the office. This allows for more input from stakeholders and more interaction with a candidate in the beginning of the hiring process.

Video interviews are also more convenient for candidates. This means that your company will be more attractive to a wider pool of applicants—more chances for you to find the best person for the job!

Has your company ever dealt with a bad hire? Discuss in the space below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by AMagill

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.