It’s tempting to fill open positions quickly. But you may be surprised how many ways an ill-fitting employee can set your organization back.


How much can a bad hire cost you? More than you might think.

An employee who is an ill fit for a position can have a direct impact on the bottom line. More than half of employers in each of the 10 largest world economies said a bad hire had negatively impacted their business, according to a recent CareerBuilder study.

The detrimental effects included significant revenue and productivity losses; employee morale issues and problems with client relations.

The potential revenue losses, in particular, can be staggering. In the Eurozone, Germany reported the most costly bad hire issues. Twenty-nine percent of companies reported costs of 50,000 euros ($65,231) or more. Twenty-seven percent of companies in the U.K. said bad hires cost more than 50,000 British pounds. In the U.S., the same percent reported losses of more than $50,000 per bad hire.

Bad hires don’t necessarily have to be on board long before the impact is felt. The cost can swell to as much as 150 percent of the person’s first year of compensation, according to the International Business Times — with an even greater effect on company culture.

Identifying Bad Hires

Hindsight may be 20-20, but a situation with a new employee that isn’t working out may not be immediately apparent as it’s unfolding.

How can you gauge a bad hire? CareerBuilder findings indicated the following factors:

  • 63 percent of companies said work quality issues were an indicator
  • 63 percent cited a failure to work with others
  • 62 percent felt bad hires displayed a negative attitude
  • 56 percent noticed attendance issues

(For additional factors, check out Fast Company’s “Breaking the Bad: How Your Company Can Avoid Hiring the Wrong Employees” graphic, based on CareerBuilder data.)

Resolving the Issue

Determining what hires aren’t working out is important. But companies also need to ask themselves how a bad hire got through their door in the first place.

There is, unfortunately, no ironclad method to screen potential bad hires. In some cases, even figuring out exactly what went wrong can be a challenge.  For instance, thirty-four percent of companies told CareerBuilder they felt a bad hire just didn’t work out.

In many situations, however, haste played a part. Thirty-eight percent of organizations said, in retrospect, they’d given a bad hire a chance because the company was in a hurry to fill an open position.

Looking into candidates’ backgrounds and past employers can also be key. Twenty-one percent said they didn’t test or research employees’ skills well enough; 11 percent felt they didn’t perform adequate reference checks.

Taking the time to carefully screen and interview candidates can make a big difference. Find out some helpful tips on what to ask — and how you can potentially give candidates a test-run — in this Entrepreneur video.

Click here to learn more about how behavioral interviewing, which involves questions that provide real insight into a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses,   can help you determine if a candidate is a good fit for a position — and find out what three behavioral-based interview questions you should, without a doubt, plan to ask candidates.