What's the Worst Part of a Bad Hire? Time, Money and More

Man holding his head after making a bad hire

Have you ever made a bad hire? Then you probably know how disruptive hiring the wrong person can be to companies, draining you of time, money — and more.

In a Robert Half survey, 62 percent of the small business owners said they’ve made a bad hire, and more than half (56 percent) said they've settled for a candidate who was not as qualified as they would have liked.

The result of a bad hire?

"A poor hire can cause friction as other employees are left to take on extra work and fix projects that weren't done right the first time," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. "Bad hiring decisions also can cause staff to question management's judgment and even lose faith in company leaders."

The study showed the following results of a bad hire:

  • Lower staff morale
  • Lost productivity
  • Monetary costs
  • Frustration, stress and discouragement
  • A loss of time

Not only did 89 percent of the small business owners say the hiring process is time-consuming, but 69 percent of the respondents said they’d lost time making a bad hire — and 34 percent said the time wasted added up to 50 hours.

Here are some don’ts and do’s for managers that can help to ensure proper attention is given to the hiring process:

Don’t go it alone in the hiring process

Do tap colleagues for their thoughts on needed attributes and competencies for the open role, and work with a specialized recruiting firm to find the best candidates.

Learn more about how recruitment agencies can save you time and money in the hiring process.

Don’t think the internet has all the answers

Do cultivate a talent pipeline by personally reaching out to your network and recruiting sources. Online tools can be valuable, but personal interaction is the most important aspect of the hiring process.

Check out these 6 Tips to Overcome Recruitment Challenges and Start Hiring.

Don’t take too long to hire

Do extend an offer once you identify your top candidate. Companies that don't move quickly risk losing good people to other opportunities.

Find out how long it takes to fill finance positions with this Robert Half Finance & Accounting survey: The Hiring Clock is Ticking.

Don’t offer a low salary

Do offer a compensation package that, at a minimum, meets the market standard. Stay current on prevailing trends by reviewing resources such as our annual study of accounting and finance industry salaries, ranging from general accountant to chief financial officer, with hundreds of other finance jobs included.

Take a close at Robert Half’s Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance now.

Don’t fail to identify the skills you need 

Do differentiate between must-have and nice-to have attributes, including soft skills, and pinpoint the skill sets that are mandatory and those that can be developed. The goal is to hire the person who is the best match for the job and your work environment.

Do you need help attracting top candidates with the right mix of skills for your open accounting and finance jobs? Robert Half is a pioneer in specialized financial recruitment and is a perennial leader among accounting and finance staffing agencies. Learn more about working with us now.

And when you're ready ...


Call Robert Half Finance & Accounting at 1.844.361.6755


Cost of a Bad Hire infographic

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Editor's note: This post was originally published in December 2014 and was updated recently to reflect current information.