The Cost of a Poor Recruiment Decision


Most managers or business owners who have been in the game a while know what it’s like to have a staff member on the team who should never have been recruited. It’s like having a bad apple in a barrel of good ones. But what is the actual cost of a poor recruitment decision?

There is plenty of research to suggest it’s a lot more than we think! Ultimately it depends on the level of the role and the size of the company. An ineffective Finance Administrator in a small business may have a negative impact on their immediate team and the quality of work could suffer. A poor-performing Operations Manager with hundreds of staff reporting to them will do a lot more damage. Either way, it’s not good for business.

Employers are normally quick to realise the impact of a bad hire on other staff and team culture plus the impact on customers, but what about the cost of lost productivity? The cost of time put in to performance management or disciplinary action? The cost of re-hiring and re-training a replacement? It all adds up to a big hit to the bottom line of any business.


Recruitment Basics


For every vacant position, if nothing else, it’s crucial to get the employment basics right to avoid a bad apple:


  1. Be clear what the position is - what skills/experience/attributes would the ideal candidate have?


  1. Interview effectively to assess each candidate against the selection criteria.


  1. Reference check thoroughly – find out the worst!


  1. Set the new hire on the right track with a structured induction and training programme.


The most common traps employers fall into when recruiting are:


  1. Filling the position with ‘someone who should be alright’ because someone is better than no one.


  1. Liking the person. It doesn’t mean they will be good at the job.


  1. Halo recruiting – seeing the good in a candidate and putting emphasis on that, rather than equally being aware of the negatives.


Avoiding Bad Apples


On a weekly basis, Employers contact us for advice on how best to deal with staff issues, employment relations or difficult employee situations. As an Employer, it’s much easier to make good recruitment decisions than to manage challenging Employees.


If you’d like some support to manage a difficult staff situation, contact us for a confidential chat. Or if you’d like to outsource some or all of your recruitment process, get in touch. We can provide either the full recruitment service or just parts of it – like reference checking or psychometric testing.


Written by Rose McVeagh, of Russell Drake Consulting Ltd., Specialist Employment Relations Consultants who act exclusively for Employers - see or phone (07) 838 0018.

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