How long does it take to work out you've hired the wrong person?

Employers around the world were asked that very question

How long does it take to work out you've hired the wrong person?

Almost two in five businesses take just two weeks to discover that they have hired the wrong person, according to Robert Half.

After a study of almost 5,000 managers in 13 countries around the world, 39% typically realise within a fortnight that a new hire is not meeting expectations.

Meanwhile, 15% of employers realise they’ve made a mistake within a recruit’s first week on the job.

The most common reasons given were a mismatch of skills (44%), underqualified candidates (42%) and people found to be lying on their CVs (37%).

When asked what steps they took to address a poor hiring decision, 40% of employers said they terminated the employee’s contract and had to rehire for the role.

This is compared to 39% who developed a training program to build the employee’s skills.

Surprisingly, 32% adopted a wait-and-see approach to see if the employee’s performance would improve on its own.

Hiring the wrong person for the job can significantly impact an organisation. The top three consequences of a bad hire according to managers are increased workload for colleagues (50%), increased stress on colleagues (39%) and lost productivity (33%).

Aside from increased stress and workload for management, other negative consequences include higher recruitment costs (32%), lost business opportunities/revenue (24%) and low staff morale (24%).

Bad hires can be highly costly for companies, though many companies struggle with accurately calculating the cost of hiring the wrong person.

While 16% say they don’t track these costs, 41% said they fail to compile all the data in an overview. More than one third say some costs are not accurately measurable and 5% admit they have not looked at doing it.

“Businesses go to great lengths to find and attract the right candidate, but the cost of making the wrong hire can be significant. It’s therefore critical to get it right the first time,” said Matt Weston, UK managing director at Robert Half.

“While some factors, such as cultural fit, attitude, or even lies or embellishments on a CV can be challenging to account for in an interview, an experienced hiring manager and a thorough process should be able to identify most of these.

“It’s important to ask the right questions, thoroughly test skills and perform meticulous reference checking.”

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