Imagine you encounter a puppy untagged and enthusiastic to be found. You are quick to give this new pet a home that’s sure to be what you’ve both been looking for, complete with necessary training to make he or she your ideal companion. You invest a great deal of time, attention and money into what has the potential to be a very long and fruitful relationship. A couple weeks in, your trusty canine is now potty trained, sitting for treats, behaving on walks and staying off furniture. It’s ideal! Until a child neighbor comes knocking on the door proclaiming they’ve recently lost their dog, the same dog you’ve taken in as your own. You must say goodbye.
Now replace the puppy with an employee you’ve wrongfully hired—one that joins the team potty trained of course. You don’t think it’s a bad decision at the start. You both have the best intentions, however after weeks or even months of training one or both parties discover it’s an ill fit. The employee simply belongs somewhere else. The only problem is you can’t get the time and money spent on the now estranged prospect, back.
According to Dr. Gary Kustis, the direct costs of a bad hire spans over recruitment, interviewing, training, bonuses, and severance. Beyond these costs, organizations must also consider losses on wasted salary, tax withholdings, and unemployment. To quantify that The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has estimated that mistake in hiring can cost an organization as much as 2.5 times what that person makes in a year, after accounting for recruiting, replacement, and onboarding expenses. Yet the effects of an incorrect placement don’t stop at a company’s pocketbook.
One Bad Hiring Could Hurt the Pack
“Most companies don’t know the full cost of the turnover, so they don’t apply the resources upfront to avoid it. If you make a bad hire, there is a ripple effect among all who work for you, your product and your product quality,” according toArte Nathan, founder of The Arte of Motivation, a human resources advisory service based in Las Vegas.
Perhaps that one ill-suited hire (who surely has a right fit waiting for them out on the field) was tasked with feeding the office hamster every day at 2pm. Now that they’re gone, another employee must take on that responsibility, however it cuts into a part of their day they can’t afford to have interrupted.
They’re now resentful alongside letting one of their job duties suffer. Numbers eventually start to decline, and in an effort to rectify any damage to the company’s bottom line, the new, disgruntled office pet caretaker begins neglecting the hamster. Alas the culmination is one deceased hamster and chagrined employee looking for another job. The business will be down one beloved fur ball and not one, but two team members.
The above is obviously a hypothetical, but the multi-tiered effects of a bad hire are real, posing a risk to an organization’s productivity, finances, culture and future.
“Plus, whenever someone is terminated, there’s a disruption among the other employees who begin to question what caused the termination and does it affect how their performance is evaluated, not to mention the increased work load on all the other employees who have to pick up the work of the employee who was let go,” explained Jean Gamble, a Human Capital Strategist and Recruitment Specialist.
Employers strive for hires that can withstand onboarding, grasp and proliferate mission statements, harmonize with company culture and ultimately grow the business. What hiring managers and decision makers always want to avoid is ending up in a virtual doghouse because a promising stray really didn’t belong.