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Bad Hires - when (and why) recruitment goes wrong

Bad hires when and why recruitment goes wrong Content

What do you think a bad hire costs?

The latest figures suggest that it’s around £15,000. That’s a lot of money, but the bad news is that the fallout could be even more than this. And yes, you guessed it – we’re no longer talking about cash.

So what happens when recruitment goes wrong?

For a start, bad hires are a threat to your values. Think about it – you’ve carefully constructed your company values only to bring someone into the business who doesn't hold them. As your values are the basis for your culture, anyone who’s not like-minded is a threat to your collective behaviours.

Then there’s the impact on production. You might get away with one bad apple, but over time, hiring employees without the right skills, experience or qualifications will gradually deplete your skill set. And when existing employees have to work with underperforming colleagues, they’re more likely to up sticks and leave.

Of course, we all make mistakes. But if you’re consistently recruiting the wrong people to your business (and a whopping 76% percent of hiring managers admit that attracting the right candidates is their greatest challenge), it’s time to rethink your hiring strategy. Taking time to get it right will not just save you money in the short term – it might just save your business.

So what can you do to avoid bad hires? Let’s look at the options.

…Change your attitude

Instead of complaining about the lack of good candidates for your job vacancy, take a look at what you’re asking. Are you holding out for the exact skills you think you need? Demanding certain qualifications? Stipulating the magic five years’ experience? You might want to think again.

By hiring people with just 70-80% of the skills you need and instead focusing on behaviours, you’re more likely to find people who’ll fit your organisation. After all, skills can be taught; adding someone to your team who has the wrong values is hard to undo.

And while we're talking about skills, don’t forget emotional intelligence, empathy and diplomacy. In a recent LinkedIn survey 89% of recruiters said that their bad hires lacked soft skills just like these.

…Change your talent pool

Where are you looking for your next great hire? In some cases, the reason you’re struggling to recruit might be because you’re fishing in the wrong pond.

Instead of focusing on active candidates (who you’ll find on traditional job boards), create a database of former high-performing employees and get in touch. They might have moved on, but it's possible the grass hasn't turned out to be greener.

Or consider passive candidates who are not actively looking for a new role and target them accordingly with organic social posts, out-of-home advertising and retargeting ads. Then there are candidates who are early retired, neurodiverse or long-term unemployed. By broadening your talent pool, you’ll increase your chances of interviewing just the right person.

…Personalise your channels

Even if you’ve identified the right candidates, do you know how to reach them?

Rethinking the channels you use might shake up your recruitment for good – and that means getting personal. Chatbots, Whatsapp and even text messages will help you see what potential candidates are really like and weed out those without the skills you need.

Be sure to also develop a structured referral system that rewards existing employees for sharing job vacancies. After all, staff who already live your values are the best people to find candidates just like them.

As the war for talent rages on, it’s tempting to focus on getting bums on seats any way you can. But by shaking up some of your hiring processes you’ll get more of the right people on board and avoid bad hires that are costly – for you and your existing staff.

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