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The cost of hiring badly and 5 ways to avoid it
Let’s be honest for a second. Everyone has either hired, worked with, or had to fire a ‘bad’ employee. But, while this is somewhat of a given in the world of business, it doesn’t mean to say you should simply lie down and accept the likelihood of bad employees.
By knowing what makes a bad employee, what they cost you as a company, and how to avoid hiring them in the first place, you should always end up with reliable, hard-working, and competent people.
What makes a bad employee?
Knowing what makes a bad employee is often dependent on your definition of ‘bad’. For example, some members of staff might be great at their job, but deliberately disruptive. Others might be egotistical, which is sometimes advantageous for sales and the like, but to the detriment of other employees morale.
Generally speaking, these are the worst traits an employee can exhibit:
- Late to work – Poor time management indicates that you are selfish, disrespectful, and disorganised
- Always making excuses – When reasons why you can’t do something outnumber the times you successfully complete work
- Always complaining – Especially when being assigned unexpected work, which indicates a poor work ethic
- Love to gossip – Socialising is a big part of work, but spreading rumours, or airing complaints can lead to a lack of respect
- Self-righteous attitude – You may well be intelligent, but that’s no reason to brag, or boast all the time
- Lack of caring – Such as making remarks about the company’s mission, or values
- Noticeably unproductive – In terms of general attitude and ethic, or requiring constant assistance and encouragement
- Regularly apologising – When customers voice their dissatisfaction with your work
What does a bad employee cost you as a company?
The attitude and actions of just a single bad employee can have a monumental knock-on effect for the entire business. Some of the most consequential problems are:
- Increased costs – From finding and hiring a replacement if they are fired
- Financial losses – Reduced productivity until a new employee is recruited
- Staff morale – Especially if they aren’t sacked straightaway
- Staff retention – Others might want to leave after their bad experience
- Tarnished reputation – Some might wonder whether the business was to blame
- Customer experience – Fewer staff and unhappy employees will make a noticeable difference
5 ways to avoid a bad hire
In order to ensure you never pay the price of a bad employee, or at least minimise the risk that comes with new hires, always follow these 5 simple rules:
- Go with your gut
After getting rid of a bad employee, there is every chance you will look back and realise you had concerns all along. It might seem a little unproven to trust your instincts with important positions, but you’re probably right.
- Check their references
Regardless of how well you think you can judge someone’s character, checking an individual’s references is imperative. Not only is it a free resource to prevent costly mistakes, you’ll also gain new insights and confirm existing ones.
- Get an outsider’s opinion
For positions that you aren’t overly familiar with, it helps to gain the perspective of someone who is. This can either be an in-house employee, or a seasoned external advisor.
- Don’t commit too soon
Think of it as dating before living together and eventually getting married. For example, you could have a role playing scenario in the interview, or give the candidate a trial period before entering full-time employment. At the very least ensure you have a probationary period.
- Define your expectations
In their first week of employment, make sure you discuss the role, responsibilities, and numerically grounded objectives and key results with your new hires. This means they’ll be no nasty surprises for either party if it doesn’t work out.
Food for thought
Arguably the best way to avoid hiring a bad employee is not only to carefully and comprehensively assess the candidate; its to establish a logical and thought-out hiring process. This should be complied with closely, minimising risk across the entire talent function.
Talent Heroes is a people business. We’re contracted by clients to work in house, attracting and hiring an unlimited number of staff, for an all inclusive monthly fee.