Another Bad Hire? Here’s How to Fix That Problem

BY Kathy Crosett
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If you recently had to walk another bad hire to the front door, you might have decided to take concrete steps to fix your hiring process. Bad hires are costing businesses time and money. New research from Robert Half Finance & Accounting indicates CFOs believe mismatched skill sets are only part of the problem.

Nearly half, 47%, of all bad hires are linked to a basic mismatch between candidate skills and the skill required for the position. CFOs also say that nearly 1 in 3 bad hire situations result from ‘unclear performance expectations.’ Farther down on the list are other important reasons:

  • Failure to fit into the culture – 14%
  • Personality conflicts – 10%

To fix the problem, you'll need to address several key aspects of your hiring process.


Pay attention to the job description you’re writing when it’s time to hire a new employee. If you’re replacing a departing employee, consider how she fit into the organization. Then, consider how you wanted her to fit into the organization. Filling an open position gives you the perfect opportunity to think about what your organization needs. Don’t feel pressured to duplicate what’s been done before. After your analysis, write the job description to reflect exactly what you need.


Once you have a few top candidates in mind, don’t shortchange the reference check. Ask the candidates for references from co-​workers and managers. Make sure to talk to more than one person. The results of these discussions can give you insight into the way the potential employee will fit into your culture. You'll also learn plenty about their soft skills.

Outside Help

The Robert Half survey revealed that smaller businesses, those with fewer than 50 employees, are particularly challenged when it comes to matching candidates with the required skill sets for an open position. These SMBs may also struggle to find new employees who will fit into the existing organization. Working with a staffing firm that understands your specific needs, especially if you’ve tapped the firm before, can improve your outcomes.

You should also hire a service that offers standardized assessments. These kinds of tools will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your top candidates. The insights from these services will allow you to understand where to place a new hire in an organization and the specific methods you can use to motivate him.

As we start the new year, think about whether it’s time to revolutionize your hiring process. Doing so can help your organization reach the next level in product and service development and in revenue generation.