Beginners Guide to Making a Wrong Hire

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire is at least 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings. A wrong hire costs a company financially and can also impact organizational culture and have a disastrous ripple effect on other employees’ productivity and effectiveness.

What constitutes a wrong hire?

1. Lack of competency
Hiring a person you like but is not qualified to do the job. This does not just apply to making an initial hire, but also promoting an employee who is doing a stellar job in Position A and because of their great performance the organization feels they would also do an equally great job in Position B. Often this is seen when employees are promoted into a management/ leadership/ supervisory role when they simply do not have the required skills.

2. Bad seed
Hiring a person who looks good on paper and meets all of the job requirements but does not ‘fit-in’ with the culture of the organization. Every organization has a personal style. An excellent exercise is to look at a company’s website and select the first 5 images from the first few pages you randomly select; often this will give you a glimpse of who this organization is: are they customer focused, innovative, technologically driven etc. The stronger your organization’s culture, the more in-tune you will tend to be when someone is not aligned with your organization’s value-drivers.

3. Hiring the content vs. hiring the hungry
To completely generalize would be to suggest that employees fall into one of two categories: content employees and hungry employees. Content employees are employees who apply for a position and want that exact position ideally for the long-term. It is important to not confuse content employees with lazy employees. Content employees are often very competent and efficient in their role however do not have the desire to take on additional responsibilities and seniority.
Hungry employees are those who see the position as a jumping mat – an opportunity to fine-tune certain skills and then use this position as a launching pad that will support them in future growth (internally or externally). These employees tend to be very motivated, engaged, and hardworking; they need to be managed in a way that speaks to their professional development goals. Organizations need to be in-tune with what type of employee they are wanting in a position, and they also need to be cautious that they do not continue to hire hungry employees with the intention of having a driven and motivated pool to choose from when it is time to make that next internal hire. Having too large a pool of hungry employees will cost the organization because these are the employees who will seek employment elsewhere.

If you need help with your recruitment strategy to ensure your organization is not making the wrong hires, contact us! One of our amazing HR Associates will work with you and your team to customize a recruitment strategy that fits your organization!

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