Bad Hires Can be Costly

John Krautzel
Posted by in Career Advice

Your staff is the lifeblood of your company. Successfully hiring employees helps your organization to thrive, but just one poor decision can lead to serious financial loss. All too often, hiring managers overlook just how critical the hiring process is to the long-term success of the business, and by the time the numbers have dropped, recovery is difficult or even impossible. Implementing better hiring practices offers a myriad of significant benefits.

There are obvious financial problems associated with hiring the wrong people, such as decreased sales or product loss. However, the real issues often don't manifest until a substantial amount of time has passed. One bad apple can spoil the barrel, leading to diminishing morale among your stronger team members, decreasing your company's overall productivity slowly but surely, like a tire with a minor puncture.

It's also important that you preserve your organization's culture and brand. Your employees are the faces of your company who directly affect how your customers, clients, and potential partners perceive your organization as a whole. Additionally, employees often view other team members as reflections of their own strengths or shortcomings. Hiring employees who don't meet your company's high standards can cause other employees to question their own standing and value to the business. Internal struggles with co-workers can eventually even lead to insecurity, self-doubt, and resentment.

Of course, you can't predict the future, and most hires won't lead to a worst-case scenario. Your goal should be to tip the odds in your favor when hiring employees. You may need to tighten your screening process to ensure that you're calling a highly-qualified person for a job interview. For instance, you may want to conduct a quick Skype interview as part of the preliminary hiring process. After all, a face says so much more than a resume.

Giving potential bad hires too much benefit of the doubt is one of the most common mistakes made by well-intentioned managers. While trust is integral to the success of any business, it shouldn't always be given blindly when hiring employees, especially if you're starting from a blank slate. New hires often mean well, but simply lack the required skills to perform the job properly. While it may be tempting and sometimes even beneficial to go with your gut, it's crucial that you make sure that potential hires possess at least the bare minimum essential skills to get started on the right foot.

To accomplish this, you may need to change how you conduct interviews with job seekers. Instead of wasting time with rehearsed questions and canned answers, ask for demonstrations. You will usually end up teaching new employees relevant skills over time, but there are almost always prerequisites that should already be firmly in place. Be fully aware of the proficiency level the job demands, and be clear and concise when explaining requirements during the job interview.

Hiring employees successfully requires that you find that fine balance between trusting your instincts and demanding cold, hard evidence. If you ever feel like you're wasting time, money and resources in the hiring process, remember that just one bad hire can have lasting, substantial financial repercussions. Be cautious when hiring employees, and wait until you find that perfect candidate who removes all doubt. Those are the people you want on your team.

Photo courtesy of Prateek Sharma at


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  • Christopher Q.
    Christopher Q.

    If you want your business team to transform, you can't hire the same types of people as before.

  • steven k.
    steven k.

    good advice. With 40 yrs e4xp. I have found the article" spot on"!

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