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the cost of a bad hire

A bad hire costs more than ever before in modern business. Having job vacancies in a company can be frustrating for any manager, and your instinct may be to rush the hiring process to get it over with. Doing so can be detrimental to your organization if you end up with someone who is wrong for the role. Here are a few of the ways in which a bad hire could cost your company now and in the future.

Customer Impact

A bad hire will directly impact your company’s interactions with customers. Bad employees have difficulty grasping their responsibilities in the workplace, and this has direct consequences for how customers view your company. You may be tempted to hire simply to have warm bodies in the office, rather than having job vacancies, but it takes more time and money to calm frustrated customers than the new hire is worth. In more dire circumstances, you will probably need to find new customers, as your older customers will have been pushed away by the bad hire.

Team Impact

Whether your employees work mostly independently or together, a new hire will have a negative impact on office morale as a whole. An underperforming employee has the ability to make every other employee less efficient, adding to their workload, and forcing them to correct errors left and right. When good employees have to deal with bad ones, office productivity as a whole falls. If the bad hire is left in their position for too long, some of your best employees may actually quit, no longer wanting to put up with the pressure of working with the wrong person for the job.

Extra Management Time

While job vacancies may seem like black holes in the fabric of your company, having a bad hire will actually cost much more time for you as a manager. Micromanaging can take hours out of your already busy day. This is time that could be spent coaching other employees on improving their work. In business, your time equates to money, and losing so much time to one employee is very costly. One problem may go away with enough attention, but a bad hire will often develop other problems as the position becomes more complicated. The cost of a bad hire only continues to grow as time goes on.


Every employee has an impact on the way your company is viewed from an outsider’s perspective. This impact appears insignificant when speaking about only one employee, but a bad hire’s impact is much higher than might be expected of a regular employee. Word travels fast in modern business, and a bad hire’s influence will be much more far-reaching than a good one. A very bad hire may impact your own reputation as a manager, as well. If a company acquires more than one bad hire–sometimes even a full team can be hired incorrectly if rushed–it will be very difficult to save your company’s reputation.

One of the most exasperating aspects of being a manager is filling job vacancies. In the moment, hiring a less-qualified candidate can feel like the right decision. Keep in mind that the cost of a bad hire is significant for any company and can even be debilitating for some. There are no guarantees that a better candidate will come along, but taking the time to be diligent will pay off in the end.

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