8 Reasons Why Bad Hires Happen

A business is only as strong as the employees that work within it. That is why when recruiting, you're always looking for the candidate who can offer you the most value. The problem is, that half the time, you or your hiring team are wrong.

Several studies have shown that new hires fail at an alarming high rate. According to leadership IQ, 46% of all new hires fail within 18 months. The Harvard Business Review states that new management hires will fail up to 60% of the time, and even executive level hires aren’t immune, with half failing within one and a half years. Even hiring managers don’t like the recruitment process. One survey found that 66% of hiring managers regretted their hiring decision.

Hiring is an exhausting process, and to have to go through it all again, fairly soon after hiring a new member of staff is wasteful. It isn’t just your time that is wasted, recruiting can cost up to three times the salary of some staff.

So why is it that all these new hires fail? It is a combination of factors that contribute to the failure of a new hire. Here are 8 reasons why bad hires happen:

1. Hiring Only For Skills Not Culture

Poor cultural fit is one of the most common reason why employees leave an organisation early. Studies have shown that those whose cultural fit matches their employer’s own ethical values, will not only stay with the organisation longer, but perform better in their role.

Yet so many hiring managers don’t focus on the cultural fit of potential employees but rather on their talents, experience and qualifications.


2. Intuition Is Used In Decision Making

Hiring managers’ most common way of making their hiring decision isn’t based on evidence or tests, it’s based on the recruiter’s intuition. While this sometimes works, it isn’t a reliable way to select new hires. Many applicants are good at providing information that recruiters want to hear.

Intuition is rarely bias free. In fact, intuition is completely based on someone’s personal feelings but hiring decisions should be based on data instead.


3. Applicants Drop Out

The recruitment process can be long. This can benefit hiring managers as it allows for data to be collected. However, long processes also allow candidates to drop out either from because they find employment elsewhere or they get disillusioned with the application process. A survey found that nine out of every ten qualified applicants to Fortune 500 companies dropped out of the application process. This is a lot of wastage as every applicant costs time and money for the recruiter.


4. Failing To Check References

Reviews can be found everywhere online and as buyers, 80% of us would rather trust a review made by another customer than believe what the sellers say. Yet when hiring, recruiters are more likely tobelieve the candidate than to check the facts with previous employers.

This can be a big mistake as former employers are more likely to know the performance and less likely to inflate the achievements of the candidate. There are very few reasons why references should never be checked before making a job offer and one of them is if the candidate has not yet given notice to leave the current employer.


5. Deadline Pressures

In today’s modern business world, deadlines are involved in all aspects of business and hiring is no exception. You might aimto hire quickly as the company needs new employees to function properly or because of health and safety concerns. Money might also be another factor if you want to hire permanent staff in order to reduce costs from employed agencies.

However, a bad hire is, in the long-term, more expensive than not meeting a hiring deadline and having to rely on temporary staff or delaying a project.


6. Bad Onboarding Process

While this takes place after the initial job offer as the candidates starts their new role, onboarding is an essential partof turning a new hire into a good employee. Onboarding should begin before the first day, with all necessary paper work sent to the candidates prior to their start date.

Then you can initiate them with a great onboarding process that gives them insights into their current work, allowing them to meet the team and build connections that will help them succeed in your business.


7. The Interview Process Isn’t Standardised

Interviews are the main aspect of the hiring process and what most hiring decisions are based upon. If interviews are not standardised from one candidate to another, then you are five times more likely to hire the wrong person. It isn’t just about how the questions are asked, but also how the responses are collected. The aim of the interview is to collect further information from the candidate to backup claims of their application.


8. No Candidate Testing Is Done

There are many ways that you can test applicants for suitability to an open position. It can be done on their proficiency with equipment or applications or how they might approach commonwork problems such as dealing with angry customers or complicated queries.

Tests and case studies are highly useful in selecting the right hire as it allows you to match the response of the candidates to behaviours you would like see from a successful candidate.


Data Is Your Key To A Great Hire

If you’re looking to find a great new hire, thenyou need to remove emotion and intuition from the hiring process and start a more data-based recruitment process. The data that is collected about applicants can help you identify those who aren’t suitable for your business.

One way of doing this is to use case studies within your recruitment process. These are work simulations and samples that can give insights into a candidate’s job-relevant skills. It also allows both managers and candidates to align work expectations of the role, early on in the hiring process.

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