In business, few mistakes are more costly than hiring the wrong person. Those costs compound by the day and impact every aspect of company performance, at a time when human innovation is critical to business success. That’s why, despite rising unemployment rates driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in pressure on HR departments to hire the right talent.

Recruiting and hiring a single employee can cost as much as USD$4,129 (€3,492), SHRM estimates. The right hire will deliver a substantial return on this initial investment; the wrong hire will cause further loss. What’s more, replacing an employee costs 21% of their annual salary on average, Forbes reports, increasing the cost of “getting it right.”

On the other hand, applying a rigorous and well-studied recruitment process can drive organisational improvements and financial gains. HR teams need to apply the same rigour their colleagues in other departments apply to critical business operations: optimising costs, analysing results, and continuously optimising processes.

In this article, we explore how you can determine the right recruitment process for your organisation, one that minimises the possibility of a “bad hire.” You will also gain access to a free guidebook on creating a winning job description and advertisement, ensuring the candidates with whom you connect are the best fit for the job from the start.

In the end, you’ll have a clear plan of action for minimising bad hires and maximising good ones.


how to write successful job descriptions

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how bad hires happen

It’s well understood that hiring successful employees creates organisational value, and hiring unsuccessful employees takes away from it. So, why do so many organisations approach recruitment in a fragmented or even haphazard way?

The main reason is a disconnect between HR resources and hiring managers. In this regard, we’ve identified four key factors that contribute to bad hiring processes and, as a result, bad hiring decisions:

  • Hiring managers don’t realise the cost of a bad hire. When HR teams put hiring managers in charge of their own recruitment, they often don’t realise or communicate the compounding effects poor recruitment practices can have on the organisation. As a result, hiring managers can be less stringent in their selection process.
  • Hiring managers don’t know how to identify a “good hire.” It’s a misconception that the hiring manager is the best fit to recruit a new member of his or her team. “A lack of interview training has been the bane of great business strategic plans for decades, yet it continues to be ignored,” Hunt Scanlon reports.
  • Hiring managers feel rushed to fill a position. Companies hire new employees in times of need, so there is always internal pressure to get it done quickly — their staff is overextended, for example; or an employee has left abruptly, leaving a critical role unfilled. Hiring managers can be hasty in their hiring decisions, shrugging off candidates’ shortcomings and even overlooking red flags as a result.
  • HR teams don’t communicate the relevance of employee performance metrics to hiring managers successfully. Hiring managers who do not understand employee performance metrics will not know what qualities to look for in a new hire. HR teams may have vague metrics or may fail to communicate valuable metrics to hiring managers successfully. They may not have a standardised interview process based on clear metrics, either.

The hiring manager makes the bad hire in each of these scenarios; but the results are similar when HR teams manage the hire entirely, failing to communicate these points successfully with hiring managers.  HR teams must set hiring managers and subsequently new employees up for success. They must ‘team up’ with hiring managers as well—especially during the interview process, where both interview skills and subject expertise are critical. Next, we’ll review how both parties can accomplish these goals.  

how you can ensure a successful hire every time

Bad employees can drive down productivity, hurt morale, and even drive away both clients and good employees once hired. But a lot of wasted time and resources go into creating that bad hire in the first place—time and resources that can be realigned to ensure only good hires come through. Some of these include:

  • Preparing internal resources and branding materials
  • Creating a job description, posting advertisements, and other outreach
  • Screening and interviewing potential candidates

As a trusted human partner and global leader in the HR services industry, Randstad supports people and organisations in realizing their true talent potential. We understand success in these initial efforts are critical to ensuring the long-term success of your company and your employees. That’s why we’ve identified four ways that you can ensure your hiring managers reach, discover, and select the right employees, every time:

optimise the job description and advertisement

Job descriptions and advertisements are gateways to new candidates, so ensuring they work in your favour is critical. They make the difference between choosing from a handful of great candidates versus a handful of poor ones. As you begin, think holistically about the needs of your team and organisation. Access our guidebook on creating a winning job description for more in-depth advice as well.

brand your company and its culture accurately and successfully

Just as managers get frustrated with bad employees, new employees perform poorly when the company culture isn’t what was advertised. In fact, 92% of employees rate both their overall corporate culture and teamwork within their department as important to them, Forbes reports.Be sure potential candidates reading your job description will understand your company culture as they consider you, and then communicate key aspects of company culture during the interview.

Establishing realistic expectations about the role early will prevent “poor fit” candidates from slipping through. A tool like Modern Hire, which allows managers to pre-record their own interview question answers so they can visualize the right candidate, can help determine what those expectations should be.

formalise interviews to address critical aspects of the job

Too many companies lack a standardised interview process. This prevents hiring managers from communicating and receiving critical information, including details about the candidate’s behaviour, situational responsiveness, and technical aptitude. What’s more, hiring managers cannot accurately compare the results of multiple interviews if they are not conducted based on identical standards.

In 2019, McKinsey recommended standardised assessments as a structured approach to gathering information about potential hires. "If there isn’t direct science linking the assessment to job performance or to the characteristic that matters for the job in question, don’t use it,” they explained.

look for universal qualities of successful employees

In addition to finding employees with the right experience and skillsets, hiring managers should know to look for key characteristics that every new hire should have—no matter the position. These include natural talent, a willingness to learn, empathy, and confidence in their ability to make decisions. Similarly, hiring managers should know the qualities they do not want in a candidate, and why, by naming them and defining them ahead of time.

a future of successful hires is within your reach

Improving your hiring process isn’t just a good idea—it drives real business value, including additional revenue. In 2018, a fast food chain formally revamped its entire hiring process to be more targeted and efficient. The results included a 30% increase in service speed and a 5% increase in revenue across their stores.

But 100% of hiring success starts with getting the right candidates through the front door—and that starts with your job descriptions and advertisements. Take the next step in your recruitment journey: Download our free guidebook for creating successful job descriptions and advertisements today.


how to write successful job descriptions

download the guide
about the author
David Cooper
David Cooper

david cooper

general manager - sme & construction, property & engineering

With over 20 years of experience in Construction, Property and Engineering (CPE) recruitment, leadership and strategy to the organisation, David’s core functions are to guide the State Directors on investment and strategy within the CPE markets Australia wide.

In addition, he plays a core role in guiding and mentoring the current and future leaders of the CPE business to ensure best practise and consistently high levels of service delivery are maintained.