The hidden costs of hiring the wrong person (and how to avoid them)

 

Making the wrong hire can be a real headache for your business. It wastes time, money, and resources invested in finding the right candidate. While ‘perfect’ candidates are very rare, using the right recruitment methods can significantly reduce the chances of a mis-hire. Beyond the initial financial setback – we have seen this issue cost businesses up to £20,000 per hire – mis-hires have a ripple effect throughout the organisation, impacting team morale, client relationships, and company culture. 

Low team morale: When the wrong person is brought on board, the extra workload falls on existing team members, leading to resentment, burnout, and decreased productivity.  A Gallup poll found that disengaged employees can cost companies up to 23% in profitability. Mis-hires in leadership positions can be even more detrimental, causing confusion and frustration among team members who pick up the slack. At Corecom, we find one of the most cited reasons for candidates leaving their jobs is poor management.  

“In my experience poor leadership is a massive issue for employees. It can lead to feeling as though the direction of the business is unclear, it can cause a lack of motivation, and leaves people with little desire to turn up every day. Employees want to work somewhere they will feel valued and where they can see a clear vision for the business. They want a manager that they feel respects them, and they can build a good relationship with.” Lewis Horwell, Head of Permanent Practice, Corecom Consulting. 

Strained client relationships: Tension within a team can quickly translate into dissatisfied clients. Mis-hires who lack the necessary skills can deliver subpar work, jeopardising client trust and reputation. High turnover rates caused by mis-hires make it difficult to build strong client relationships. If the business is under pressure to deliver on a large piece of work or contract, they need everybody pulling in the same direction to make this work. Clients begin to question a company’s stability when they see a revolving door of employees, and the employer brand is affected. Poor communication skills can also damage client relationships. 

Company culture erosion: A strong company culture is built on shared values and employee engagement. Hiring someone who doesn’t align with these values can disrupt the team dynamic and create a toxic work environment. Attrition data is easy for candidates to find online, and this can damage the employer brand.  

Building a better team through skills-based hiring 

What is the root cause of most mis-hires? A flawed recruitment process that focuses on CVs rather than actual skills. The solution: skills-based assessments that match candidates to the specific needs of the role. 

Focus on skills, not pedigrees: Skills-based assessments empower hiring managers to objectively evaluate candidates, eliminating bias based on university or previous job titles. This approach allows you to find top talent from a wider pool, including those with transferable skills from non-traditional backgrounds. Skills-based assessments also ensure both the new hire and the company are on the same page regarding required skills, minimising surprises down the road. 

Listen to your team: The team that will be working with the new hire has valuable insights into the skills required for success. Involving them in the hiring process allows you to identify the specific skills gaps that need to be filled. This collaborative approach ensures the new hire complements the existing team’s strengths, boosting overall morale and performance. Leaders should also be open to feedback after a new hire starts. If team members raise concerns about a potential mis-hire, it’s crucial to address the situation quickly. 

Culture add, not culture fit: While cultural fit is important, consider “culture add” when hiring. New hires should bring fresh ideas and perspectives that can push the company forward. Culture-add tests can help identify candidates whose values align with the company’s core values while offering diverse strengths. Studies show that team diversity can increase performance by up to 36%.

“A team that is a tapestry of backgrounds and experiences is a powerful thing. It brings a range of perspectives to the table meaning that when we tackle a challenge, we see it from every angle, and can construct a multitude of solutions, and ultimately deliver the best possible results for the company.” Dom Brown, Head of Delivery & DEI Ambassador, Corecom Consulting. 

Hiring with a focus on skills and cultural contribution creates a more engaged and productive workforce, ultimately leading to a stronger, more profitable company. In today’s competitive landscape, hiring the right person is a necessity. By prioritising skills-based assessments, fostering team involvement, and embracing “culture add,” companies can significantly reduce the risk of mis-hires. This not only saves time and money, but also protects your company culture, boosts morale, and ensures your team delivers top-notch work for your clients. Invest in the right recruitment process, and watch your business thrive. 

What people say about us
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I have seen the challenges that people with protected characteristics face and I’d like to be a part of the population that is fighting for change. I have personally seen benefits from growing up within a diverse friendship group and around a family from different culture backgrounds. I want to encourage people to celebrate people’s differences and to take the opportunity to learn about others and accept them for who they are just as they would like to be accepted themselves.

Dom Brown, Team Leader an D&I Ambassador