How to Avoid Costly Mis-hires

The fact is, if you’re in the recruitment game long enough, you will eventually hire the wrong person. There are many reasons this happens: rushed hiring, incomplete expectations, a company culture mismatch…anything really. In fact, the number of “failures” is pretty high across the board. For a point of reference, look at the table (produced by ERE media) below:


The key to a successful company and to your reputation/brand management is to make sure you aren’t making too many mis-hires. Here are some tips we have to lower your mis-hire percentage.

Flesh out the position fully

Never underestimate the power of a well-written, comprehensive job description. It is the first step toward setting successful expectations of the incoming hire. Many times, recruiters are rushed and need to hire quickly, so a brief or inadequate job description gets posted online and that action results in ill-informed applicants, which turns into mis-hires.

If you are pressed for time, but want to make sure you include all the right elements in your job description, consider talking to you recruitment advertising Account Manager. They will be able to assist you or will just offer to write it up for you.

The best way to make sure that you include all parts of the job is to make sure you have imput from all of the decision-makers. Hart Hillman said this in Virginia Galt’s article, ‘Mis-hires’ and how to avoid them:

“Part of what you have to do in a proper acquisition of talent is get everybody on side, you must get agreement up-front [from the key hiring managers]. What skills and experience are critical to the success of the role?”

Getting a general consensus of what everyone wants from the new hire is critical to that person’s success in the role. Remember, it isn’t just your company who will suffer if it isn’t a good fit.

Take your time

This one is a double-edged sword. If you wait too long to hire, it’s very possible that you could lose a great candidate to another company. The fact is though, if you don’t take enough time to get to know the potential hire, it can result in miscommunication and ultimately, a mis-hire.

The best way to balance out a slower hiring speed with candidate expectations is to increase communication. Don’t let your candidate feel pushed into taking another offer based purely on the fact that they can’t get in touch with you. If they don’t understand where they are in the process, they will choose another company.

Develop a repeatable system

If you’re hiring on a regular basis, it’s wise to develop a rating system. Hillman said you should, “Define and measure culture fit; define and measure team fit; accurately and rigorously establish performance fit. This means that a scorecard should be developed for the role … around financial outcomes. What are the hard, objective scorecard elements that you [the prospective candidate] are going to be marked against? That scorecard is the same one you use when somebody joins an organization, and again in terms of how are they doing in six months.”

Creating a repeatable system may seem like a lot of upfront work, but it will ultimately save you time and will enable you to make more educated hiring choices for your company.

Get the team on board

Cultural fit is a big part of modern workplaces. When possible, it is best to get input from as many potential co-workers as possible. Some companies hold mixers for potential hires who have reached a certain phase. These sort of informal gatherings will allow you and your staff to see how candidates act normally. Some people are terrible at interviews while some are wonderful at them. Taking applicants out of that formal dog and pony show atmosphere is a perfect way to get the full picture of the person.

Alternatively, try using behavioral interview questions or scenario options that include things that happen in your office. Their reactions may help you assess if they can fit into your team well.

Pay well

Passive talent can be wooed by dollar signs. According to Justin Reynolds’ article 5 Strategies Top Recruiters Use to Hire Candidates That Love Their Roles on TINYpulse, “According to our research, nearly 25% of workers would leave their current jobs for a 10% raise somewhere else.

While every smart company tries to reduce its expenses as much as it can, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to nickel and dime when it comes to salaries — especially considering how expensive it is to hire employees and replace them when they leave.

Offer competitive compensation packages from the outset to attract top talent.”

The bottom line is, if you find the right person, work to pay them more. The alternative is hiring a less expensive person who may not be ready for the expectations and that will be costly.


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