Recruiting, Assessment & Training Solutions
  • What Makes Someone a Bad Hire?

    rotten apple We know bad hires are… bad.

    We read articles like Robert Half’s  The Costs of a Bad Hire Can Be Higher Than You Think  and  Fast Company’s Why Companies Make Bad Hires  and learn just how costly (up to 5X their annual salaries) and common (95% of companies admit to recruiting the wrong people each year) they are.

    So, clearly, we want to avoid them.

    The Brandon Hall Group set out to help organizations understand what is behind bad hiring decisions and to help them reduce the costs associated with bad hires. Commissioned by Glassdoor, they conducted research on the subject and published the white paper The True Cost of a Bad Hire. In it, they discuss strategies to avoid hiring mistakes, which include standardizing the interview process, improving the overall candidate experience, and investing in employer branding.

    But before they got to the “How To” portion of their report, they started by first getting everyone on the same page with the definition.

    What Is A Bad Hire?

    Here’s what they said: “A bad hire is someone who negatively impacts organizational productivity, performance, retention, and culture.

    The key word in that sentence is organizational. The impact of a bad hire is not isolated to just that one person. The Brandon Hall Group further clarified the impact in each area.

    • Productivity: Not only does the bad hire produce significantly less than other top-performers at a company, but work that is late or not up-to-par also could delay the achievement of company goals and objectives.
    • Retention: A bad hire, says The Brandon Hall Group, is often categorized as “someone who is likely to leave the organization in the first year or cause other employees to leave the organization.” We’ve all seen that one happen, right? The good people end up quitting, and we get stuck with the ones we wish would leave! According to a Harvard Business Review study, 80% of companies believe that turnover is a result of a bad hire. Ouch!
    • Performance: Again, the bad hire impacts the performance of those around him. As The Brandon Hall Group notes, “If one member of the team is not performing, the entire team will suffer.”
    • Culture: Bad hires can damage an organization’s culture by creating negative morale and employee resentment.

    Anyone who’s ever worked with one of these “bad hires” can vouch for all of the above points. Sure, the dollar figure that we can attribute to them is substantial, but is there a pain and suffering price tag that we can attach to them, too? If only their impact was confined to just themselves….

    We knew bad hires were bad.


    The right people in the right jobs at the right companies… that’s what LEGEND Talent Management is all about! Find out how we can help you assess candidates to ensure that they’ll be the right hire for your company.