Virtually all HR professionals agree that hiring the best candidates possible is crucial to a business’s success. However, sometimes the priority of hiring someone quickly conflicts with the priority of hiring someone who will work well within your organization. After all, it’s difficult to justify spending the time and money to fully investigate all aspects of your candidates when you need to fill a position immediately. This is compounded by the fact that many of the costs felt from making a bad hire aren’t 100% quantifiable and are, thus, sometimes more difficult to immediately spot. Make no mistake, though, these hidden effects can be devastating for both management and employees.
The statistics quoted when discussing the expenses of hiring an employee who doesn’t work out (such as the Labor Department’s estimate that a bad hire can cost one-third of the employee’s salary) refer mainly to the monetary costs of recruiting and training. There are many other costs to hiring an employee who doesn’t mesh well with the rest of your team, though, and it’s important to consider these before sitting down to an interview. In fact, a survey by Robert Half of over 2,100 CFOs found that, when asked about the single greatest impact of a bad hiring decision, only 25% of respondents answered with “monetary cost.” 34% viewed lost productivity as the biggest negative effect of a bad hire, and 39% believed it to be lower staff morale.
Hiring an employee who turns out to be incompatible with his or her coworkers or management can affect morale and productivity in a variety of ways. According to a 2010 survey by Ipsos Public Affairs-Randstad, 66% of employees believe that company culture is very or extremely important to the success of their organization, and it’s not difficult to see why. For instance, introducing a staff member whose work style doesn’t mesh well with others at the company can make everyone involved exasperated and overwhelmed, as well as prolong projects. Any semblance of a productive team can begin to break down, leading to employees feeling disengaged. Additionally, as many in the workplace have observed, a bad attitude can be contagious. Be it complacency or cynicism, the bad attitude of one employee tends to rub off on others. Not to mention, company morale can continue to plummet even after a bad hire is let go. Until the vacancy is filled, employees are saddled with more work than usual, and they may start to wonder about the security of their own jobs.
It’s also important to consider the strain on management and impact on your customer base a bad hire produces. Rather than attend fully to helping develop other employees and oversee necessary projects, a manager will have his or her attention pulled toward micromanaging this floundering new employee or dealing with complaints from other staff. If this new hire has any interaction with customers, there are other issues that can come up. He or she may lack the skills necessary for proper customer service or may delay a project that the company promised would be finished weeks ago. In either case, there is a good chance the customer will walk away, and if a pattern develops, the hiring of this employee promises to be an expensive mistake.
Another survey by Robert Half reveals that HR managers frequently encounter all the problems discussed above. They’ve had to deal with the wasted time of hiring and training someone new, increased stress on employees and managers, and staff’s decreased confidence in management’s ability to make good hiring decisions.
Finding employees who fit well as part of your team isn’t just beneficial for productivity and profits, it’s actually helpful for the wellbeing of the new employees themselves. A meta-analysis of studies investigating cultural fit found that employees who fit well with their coworkers, managers, and organization had increased job satisfaction, showed superior performance, and were more likely to remain at the company. Other investigations reveal that a good cultural fit can lead to better mental and physical health, including less fatigue and anxiety.
Still, even knowing how detrimental a bad hire can be to a company, HR professionals shouldn’t be expected to sacrifice an excessive amount of time, energy, and money to scrutinizing every possible detail about each candidate and conducting long, extensive interviews. According to a CareerBuilder survey, the most common reason for a bad hire is the need to fill a position quickly, and there are a lot of legitimate reasons this may be the case. The current employees may simply have too much work, and the company desperately needs to bring in someone to even out the load, or a critical team member may leave abruptly, creating the need to quickly find someone with specific skills. Instead of simply instructing hiring managers to completely disregard the rush they are in to fill a position, we should be exploring ways to find the best talent in less time.
This is where a product like TalentSwot comes in. TalentSwot uses AI and machine learning to create accurate personality profiles for all your candidates. It evaluates prospective employees by having a chat conversation with them and provides a report detailing what they value, how they like to work, and where they fall among each of the Big Five personality traits. This is crucial information when it comes to evaluating if a candidate will thrive in your office environment. It also cuts time out of the traditional hiring process by providing you instantaneously with a shortlist of applicants who are best fit to the unique culture of your organization and the specific nature of the position. With TalentSwot, you’re able to efficiently and thoroughly evaluate candidates before they even walk through the door, leading to a healthier and more productive work environment for everyone.