When it comes to keeping our businesses profitable and well staffed there is one mistake that can sabotage both of those goals... making bad hires. Here’s how they really affect your business and what you can do to avoid this costly mistake.

The Cost of a Bad Hire

If you could put a monetary amount on the cost of a bad hire, it would be 30% of an employee's first-year salary, according to the US Department of Labor.  Other costs include a loss of significant time advertising, interviewing, hiring, and then training the bad hire. It also costs your business productivity time because these types of workers need to be replaced. If a worker is an especially bad fit, it can cost your business the morale of your staff or even cause you to lose customers.

Why Bad Hires Happen

According to a 2012 survey from CareerBuilder, 43% of managers made bad hires. If hiring the wrong workers can be so detrimental to a business, why does it happen so often? A big reason is that managers are so rushed to fill the position that they don’t take the necessary steps to fully vet the person they hire.  This is especially common when a worker leaves suddenly - and without notice - or, workers are drowning in work and needs relief as soon as possible. Therefore, the manager hurries through the recruiting process, not taking the time to properly interview and reference workers before hiring.

How You Can Avoid Making This Mistake

So now that you know that you nor your business can afford to hire the wrong worker, here are 5 things you can do that can help you avoid making this costly mistake.

Start the hiring process early

In the blue-collar business, there’s hardly ever a time when you don’t need workers, even temporarily. Looking for workers well before you need them allows you to be more selective and weed out the candidates that aren’t a good fit. In today’s climate, good workers are hard to find, so you’ll need the extra lead time. If your industry is seasonal, it’s a good idea to focus your recruiting efforts during the off-season where more people are looking for work.

Be Specific in your Job Description

Many times managers don’t get their ideal worker because the job description is vague. To cut down on the number of bad candidates applying for your open position, have a clear and specific job description. It should list all the skills, certifications, and/or licenses you’re looking for. The description should also include all the tasks and responsibilities this worker will be doing on the job. Not only will this help a job candidate decide if the job is right for them, you’ve given yourself a written set of criteria to go by when vetting applicants.

Check References

Some of the best information you can get on a potential hire is from managers like you who have prior experience working with the candidate. They can help you verify a worker’s skills, worth ethic, and even alert you to any potential problems you may encounter. Another benefit to starting the hiring process early is to give yourself time to reach out to these references and get more background information.

Hire for Soft Skills

A worker can be skilled at his craft, but if he or she doesn’t work well with others, take initiative, or problem-solve, he or she can ultimately be a bad fit forcing, you to hire someone else. While hard skills like industry experience and certifications are important, hiring for soft skills like those mentioned earlier can ensure you get an employee that can do the job and is a cultural fit for your company.

Get Help from a Staffing Partner

Whether it’s finding one highly skilled worker or a whole construction crew for a project, hiring is time-consuming. It can be a job unto itself and for busy managers like you who have a business to run, it’s a lot to manage. Getting a staffing partner who can take the recruiting burden off of you can change that. While you focus on running your business, they can tap into their growing pool of workers, write those detail job descriptions, interview and check references, as well as make sure the people they send to you have all the skills you require.


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