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Large Majority of Employers Affected by Bad Hires

Hiring the wrong person is expensive, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, but losing a good employee is twice as expensive.The average cost of one bad hire averages nearly $15,000, but the average cost of losing a good worker is almost $30,000. Nearly three in four employers (74 percent) say they've hired the wrong person for a position.

"It's important to note that there's a ripple affect with bad hires. Disengagement is contagious—poor performers lower the bar for other workers on their teams, and their bad habits spread throughout the organization," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "The best thing hiring managers can do is put in the time and effort on the front end to make sure they have the best available pool of applicants for every job opening. And, just as importantly, have good procedures in place for evaluating candidates."

When asked how a bad hire affected their business in the last year, employers cited less productivity (37 percent), lost time to recruit and train another worker (32 percent) and compromised quality of work (31 percent).

What Factors Influence a Bad Hiring Decision?

When asked what led them to make the wrong hiring decision, employers said:

  • While the candidate didn't have all the needed skills, they thought the hire could learn quickly: 35 percent
  • Candidate lied about his/her qualifications: 33 percent
  • Took a chance on a nice person: 32 percent
  • Pressured to fill the role quickly: 30 percent
  • Had a hard time finding qualified candidates: 29 percent
  • Focused on skills and not attitude: 29 percent
  • Ignored some of the warning signs: 25 percent
  • Lacked adequate tools to find the right person: 10 percent
  • Didn't do a complete background check: 10 percent
  • Didn't work close enough with HR: 7 percent

What's the Definition of a Bad Hire?

Here’s how employers categorize someone as a bad hire:

  • The worker didn't produce the proper quality of work: 54 percent
  • The worker had a negative attitude: 53 percent
  • The worker didn't work well with other workers: 50 percent
  • The worker had immediate attendance problems: 46 percent
  • The worker's skills did not match what they claimed to be able to do when hired: 45 percent

Many Workers Disappointed As Well

On the opposite side of the interview desk, 66 percent of workers say they have accepted a job and later realized it was a bad fit. While half of these workers (50 percent) have quit within six months, more than a third (37 percent) have stayed with the job. Workers who said they had taken a job only to realize it was a bad fit said their regret was based on toxic work culture (46 percent), boss's management style (40 percent), job didn't match what was described in the job listing and interviews (37 percent), and a lack of clear expectations around the role (33 percent).

It Pays to Hang onto Good Workers

While the cost of hiring the wrong person can be high, the cost of letting a good worker go is even higher. According to employers, the average cost of losing a good hire was $29,600 this year. And while 75 percent of workers say they're loyal to their current employer, only 54 percent say they feel their company is loyal to them. Almost a third (31 percent) say they will probably change jobs in the next year.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online with U.S. respondents by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,257 hiring and human resource managers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) and 3,697 workers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between August 16 and September 15, 2017 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,257 and 3,697, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2.06 and +/- 1.61 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

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