Consequences of a Bad Hire

- MBS Recruiting

First, let’s define a “bad hire.” According to CareerBuilder, a bad hire:

  • Didn’t produce proper quality work;
  • Had a negative attitude;
  • Didn’t work well with others;
  • Attendance problem; and
  • Skills didn’t match their claims.

The costs of recruiting, interviewing, onboarding, training, and employee development can be expensive, but that isn’t the only issue that can stem from a bad hire. Poor performers lower the bar for other workers, and bad habits and bad attitudes can spread causing less productivity, compromised quality of work, and lost time, which all obviously negatively impact the P&L. A poisonous attitude is not consistent with a high-performing culture.

From the employee’s perspective… Two in three workers have accepted a job and realized it was a bad fit. Half quit within 6 months, while more than a third stick it out. Employees cited toxic work culture, their boss’s management style, the job didn’t match what was described, and a lack of clear expectations about the role, as the major reasons companies share the blame for a bad fit.

So, how do we prevent a bad hire?

  • Have a phone or video conversation. You can get a decent read on somebody within a few minutes.
  • Interview rigorously. Do they have the functional ability and cultural fit? See our Feb 18, 2020 blog, Soft Skills: Why are they important in manufacturing? Do they possess the necessary “soft skills” for the role? If teamwork is important in your company culture, consider three essential virtues, Hungry, Humble, and Smart, described in “The Ideal Team Player” by Patrick Lencioni.
  • Uncover the facts. Take the time to call references, run background checks, weigh any discrepancies, and pay attention to red flags.

Also understand that it’s a balance, while it takes time to fully “vet” a candidate, your competitors are also after the same limited talent pool, and your delay could mean a missed opportunity to hire.


Patrick Lencioni, 2016, “The Ideal Team Player” Jossey-Bass