How to Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes

A bad hire costs money. For retailer JC Penney, that cost ran into the billions.

In 2011, the already floundering retailer hired CEO Ron Johnson, who had been hailed a genius during his previous stint as Apple’s senior vice president of retail. The choice turned out to be an epic hiring mistake that ultimately resulted in 43,000 layoffs and a $985 million loss in 2012 alone.

From overhauling pricing in a way that annoyed and confused long-time shoppers to isolating himself from J.C. Penney’s core team, the new CEO wasn’t a good fit for the legacy retailer, according to many business observers.

You don’t need to be J.C. Penney-sized to feel the pain of hiring mistakes.

In a survey of U.S. employers, 27 percent reported they’d made at least one bad hire that cost them more than $50,000.  Protect your bottom line by avoiding these missteps:

Your hiring process is too long—or too short.

Inefficient hiring practices, like writing an incomplete job description or communicating poorly with applicants, lengthen the search. And that extra time often translates into losing high-quality candidates to the competition or hiring the wrong applicant. An experienced recruitment agency will have efficient processes in place to more quickly identify and vet qualified applicants, helping you pinpoint the right person for your team.

Likewise, filling that empty seat quickly can seem like a smart move, especially when you’re struggling short-handed or driving the company through a growth phase. Yet, that need for speed does a disservice to your company. Four-three percent  of employers reported they’d made a bad hire because they needed someone to fill that position quickly.

Rushing through the process doesn’t allow you time to properly vet candidates. Experienced recruiting professionals have the know-how and resources to find and screen the right candidates quickly—without the disorganized rush that can cause a bad hire.

You hire based on skill only.

Technical or creative skills are critical in digital marketing positions, especially in areas like development, design, and content writing. But it’s also important to hire candidates who will become valuable team members—and that requires a good cultural fit.

The cost of cultural mismatch hiring mistakes can be high in terms of dollars and morale. For example, a candidate with a history of working for well-established companies may have a challenging time adjusting to the intense workplace typical of a startup. If that person can’t adjust, it lowers team-wide productivity and morale.

During interviews, ask workplace culture-related questions to find the right candidates. HR expert Susan Heathfield shared 18 potential questions, including:

  • “Describe the work environment or culture in which you are most productive and happy.”
  • “How would coworkers describe the role you play on a team?”
  • “How would reporting staff members describe their relationship with you?”

 You handle the hiring process alone.

When you need to hire for a specific skillset, like digital marketing, it’s worth the investment to work with a recruitment agency specializing in that area to help you avoid hiring mistakes.

The most effective agencies will also help you find a skilled candidate that fits your workplace culture, boosting the chances that the new hire will become a productive member of your team. Grow your team the right way by tapping a recruitment agency.

Shyft your business forward by avoiding hiring mistakes.

Shyft Careers’ recruitment professionals specialize in matching top talent with top employers for digital marketing openings, including creative, IT, and sales. We will help streamline hiring and find the right person to build your team.

Let us know how our team can help yours.

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