Hiring the wrong person

Hiring the wrong person

A study by Harvard University once indicated that – 80% of employee turnover is due to hiring mistakes. Does this figure surprise you? It’s time to look at the company’s hiring strategy in a more critical way. The reasons for hiring the wrong person can be manifold and the scenarios might be as follows:

  • Taking rushed decisions. Fresh HR Insights has often been approached by clients after they made poor hiring decisions. Hiring a candidate in a rush, due to a lack of candidates, or because of an immediate need to get certain tasks done for the company, should be avoided. It’s worthwhile to invest some time and wait for the right candidate. This will save you time, money and hassle in the long term – the Gold Coast can be a hard place to find the right candidate but don’t go hiring the wrong person in desperation.

  • Not testing the candidate’s skills. If your company is looking for a candidate with certain skills (e.g. language skills, IT skills, etc.), you should not just rely on what the job applicant’s certificates and diplomas are showing you. The approach of Fresh HR Insights is always to check to what extent the candidate’s skills are up-to-date, and whether the person is able to perform what s/he claims or not. Having experience with small to medium businesses on the Gold Coast, our Human Resources team have become expert at sourcing suitably qualified candidates.
  • Focusing too much on skills and not considering cultural fit. A candidate might have excellent skills in a particular field, but personality-wise not fit into the company’s culture. Skills are very important but the chemistry among team members is crucial too. Imagine you hire a great, experienced Professional. After some time you realise that your candidate has a negative impact on the rest of the team. You notice that your employees’ mood and performance are deteriorating. How would you feel? Fresh HR Insights’ approach is to always assess both, the skill set and the culture fit, before recommending candidates to clients.
  • Not checking a person’s references. Fresh HR Insights conducts reference checks on a regular basis. The strategy should be to not just rely on the references that the candidate provides, but also to look for additional testimonials from previous employers or other sources. The more feedback and recommendations can be collected, the less likely it will be that a company is hiring the wrong person.
  • Not asking the relevant questions. During an interview it is highly important to ask the right questions, those that are relevant to a specific job position. They will vary from job position to job position and from candidate to candidate. Effective preparation in advance is therefore key. Let’s not forget that it’s not about asking lots of questions, but about asking the right questions. This way a person’s abilities, motivations and suitability can be assessed more easily.


Hiring the wrong person can have several negative consequences.

  • Waste of money. Having the wrong person aboard will cost you money and not make you earn any money. You will incur different types of costs.

Recruiting costs: advertising, recruiter’s and administrator’s salary (for the time spending on this task), candidate’s travel costs, background checks and investigations.

Salary and benefits costs: monthly salaries of the new employee and additional benefits.

Other significant costs: training and orientation, (possible) relocation costs, training materials, new employee setup costs (computer, phone, tools), (possible) litigation costs.

  • Waste of time. When hiring the wrong person, you will need to invest again precious time to find a new, suitable candidate. That means: placing ads on several different channels, waiting for resumes to come in, maybe also looking for passive candidates, shortlisting candidates and conducting interviews, selecting the best candidate, hiring the person and (maybe even) providing training for the candidate. It’s surely a time consuming exercise, that will distract you and not allow you to focus on adding value to your own company. Outsourcing this challenge to a Recruitment Consultant, such as Fresh HR Insights, would be a smart move.
  • Loss of image. Hiring the wrong person will also have a negative impact on your company’s reputation. Imagine you start getting lots of complaints about the behaviour of one of your employees, who is facing clients on a daily basis. How would you feel? Can you imagine the impact that those client experiences would have on other clients, such as their family members, friends, acquaintances, or other clients? Can you really afford to hire the wrong person?


Hiring the right person for the right position at the right time is a challenging task. The art consists in being able to do it well on a consistent basis, in order to achieve real business success.

On the other hand, getting it wrong on a consistent basis, will also not reflect positively on your corporate’s image. Surely something that you don’t want to put at stake.

Therefore, make sure you ask the right questions, test a candidate’s skills first hand, check their references and social media presence and assess their cultural fit. Invite the person to more than one interview. This will allow you to see if the applicant is acting in a professional way at all times.

Fresh HR Insights is a professional HR Consultancy that also offer a recruitment solution that can help you to solve all your recruitment and Human Resource related issues in a quick and effective way. We are looking at HR in a Different light.

Below is the attitude Meter that we use when recruiting candidates for our clients that have a YES/ No answer to them. You can of course add more detail specifically for your organisation.

During job interview, its important to evaluate each candidate’s skills and qualification for the position, but don’t forget attitude. The following checklist can help you size up each applicant’s attitude. Keep it handy and fill it out during or immediately after the interview.


During the Introduction:

Candidate stood up or stepped forward to greet me

Candidate Smiled

Candidates Handshake was firm and confident

During my opening remarks:

Candidate was attentive

Candidate Maintained eye contact

Candidates body language signalled he or she comfortable

During Candidates Responses:

Candidates body language and speech were consistent

Candidates maintained eye contact and answered articulately

Candidate Smiled and appeared relaxed

Candidate asked questions and seem comfortable doing so

During my Closing

Candidate seemed relaxed and confident

Candidates parting handshake was firm and confident


Fresh HR Insights offer a comprehensive Recruitment Solution – For more information call 1300 332 322 or find out more HERE


Written by Karin Schroeck-Singh, 15 October 2015