HH Happenings

Ideas, events and insights for employers and job seekers.

6 Ways to Avoid the High Costs of a Bad Hire

Costs of a Bad HireWho has the extra funds to spend on a bad hiring decision?

With the current talent shortage, the hiring process has become particularly challenging. You may be in a hurry to recruit top talent, but make sure you do not act too quickly.

The costs associated with a bad hire are significant. A recent survey determined that the top effects of hiring mistakes are a decreased staff morale (39%) and lost productivity (34%). 25% cited monetary costs as the biggest negative effect. The U.S. Department of Labor currently estimates that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% or the individual’s first-year potential earnings. That means a single bad hire with an annual income of $50,000 can equal a potential $15,000 loss for the employer.

As expert Florida recruiters, we understand how important it is to get a hire right the first time. Based on our many years of experience in the field, here are some tips to avoid making a costly hiring mistake.


1. Make Sure Your Job Ads Are Spot-On

In order to get the desired applicants for your open position, it is imperative that you include the correct criteria in your job posting. An informative job ad will contain required skills, a list of preferred background and certifications, and a little information about the company’s culture. Discouraging unqualified candidates from applying will give you a better talent pool.

2. Evaluate the Applicants

To reduce your chances of making a hiring mistake, we recommend you have a rigorous vetting process in place. Begin with scanning the candidate’s resume and cover letter for poor grammar, typos, inappropriate information, and large employment gaps. Do not automatically reject an applicant with a break in their work experience, especially if they are otherwise well suited for the position.

3. Complete a Phone Screening

Conducting a 10-15 minute phone interview is a great way to screen candidates and hopefully weed out the potential bad hires. It is also an effective way to eliminate the candidates that look good on paper, but do not have the communication abilities for the job.

4. Over-Prepare For Your Interview

The candidate is not the only one who should cram before the interview. When hiring for specific, technical roles it can be difficult to come up with the right interview questions. We would suggest consulting an expert in the field and see if they can offer any advice. For example if you are hiring for an accounting role, speak with an accountant about what makes a good team member. It is also not a bad idea to follow up with them regarding the candidate’s responses to see if they have any feedback.

5. Consult With Your Secretary

An excellent test of character is observing how your potential employee interacts with your secretary. The ability to work well with others is an essential skill in any office environment. If your high-level applicant is impersonal and lacks courtesy with the receptionist you may be concerned about how they will treat the rest of your team or even your clients.

6. Check Backgrounds & References

Naturally you want to act quickly and land your top pick before they accept another position, but you MUST check the candidate’s background and references. A background check may reveal issues that could affect future job performance. This pre-employment screening can spotlight issues with a candidate’s credit history or criminal background, which need to be seriously evaluated, especially when hiring for high-level positions. It is a good idea to ask the applicant to submit a minimum of two positive work references and then take the time to contact each one and take their reviews into consideration.


Hiring errors are very serious. An employee who does not perform well can affect the entire organization. It can bring down productivity and potentially jeopardize your company’s relationships with clients. It also can affect morale and lead your staff to question your judgement. So, in short, don’t take shortcuts in the hiring process. Doing so significantly increases your chances of a bad hire.

If you need assistance with staffing, partnering with an agency can fully remove that burden. For more information regarding our services, please visit our website. We look forward to working with you!