Australian companies reveal their people mistakes.

Wrong Hire

New research commissioned by Robert Half has shown that the majority (99 per cent) of Australian hiring managers have hired an employee that did not meet expectations, with 38 per cent realising within two weeks that they have hired the wrong person. The study among 460 Australian hiring managers found the most common reasons given were a mismatch of skills (46 per cent), underqualified candidates (42 per cent) and candidates found to be lying on their CVs (33 per cent).

Hiring the wrong person for the job can significantly impact any organisation. The top three consequences of a bad hire according to employers are increased workload for colleagues (50 per cent), lost productivity (43 per cent) and increased stress on existing staff (41 per cent). Other cited negative consequences include increased stress (35 per cent) and workloads for managers (31 per cent), and higher recruitment costs (27 per cent).

Calculating the exact cost of a bad hire is challenging with 36 per cent saying they track these costs but fail to compile all the data in a single overview. Little over one in three (34 per cent) say some costs are not accurately measurable and 20 per cent admit they do not track the costs at all. Merely 3 per cent say they do not find it challenging.

When asked what steps they took to address the poor hiring decision(s), more than four in 10 (44 per cent) employers took a proactive approach and developed a training program to develop the candidate’s skill level, closely followed by 39 per cent who say they terminated the employee contract, and 36 per cent who stated they partnered with a staffing agency to secure a replacement.

More than one-third (35 per cent) of employers adopted a ‘wait and see’ approach to see if the employee’s performance would improve, while 32 per cent decided to look for an internal vacancy more suited to the employee’s profile. More than one-quarter (27 per cent) started the recruitment process from scratch to look for a replacement and another 27 per cent put the employee on a performance management program to monitor their progress.

Andrew Brushfield, director of Robert Half Australia said: “The costs of hiring the wrong person can be costly for any business – not just through lost productivity and increasing workloads for existing staff, but also from having to invest in more training or potentially from having to start the recruitment process from scratch if the employer decides to terminate their employment. These costs serve to reinforce the importance of getting it right.

“It can be challenging to determine a candidate’s suitability, as factors such as cultural fit, attitude, qualifications and experience, all need to be checked and verified in order to ensure they’re the right person for the job,” Brushfield added. “Having an efficient recruitment where hiring managers ask the right questions, thoroughly test skills and check references meticulously are all crucial elements to recruit the right person for the job. Employers should regularly review their hiring policies to ensure they meet company standards and is tailored to changing marketing.”

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