The True Cost of a Bad Hire

Posted on 06.15.2020

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The true cost of a bad hire is more than you might think.

According to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, the average cost of a bad hire is nearly $15,000. Between the costs of advertising the job, facilitating the hiring process, recruiting qualified candidates, training and onboarding a new staff member, salary during the probation period, and so on, the price of a wrong fit can really add up.

However, these are far from the only costs to consider.

There are quantifiable costs to a bad hire, but there are also qualitative costs that are much harder to track.

Bad hires can affect many areas of the workplace, including:

  • The impact on employee morale and engagement.
  • The impact on clients — if a client has a bad experienced they may not return.
  • The impact on reputation.
  • Lost productivity.
  • Drain other resources in the organization.
  • Increased staff turnover.
  • Decreased teamwork/collaboration.
  • And more…

A bad hire can send good employees packing. The same CareerBuilder survey found that the average cost of losing a good hire is nearly $30,000. They can also provoke unwanted behaviour in existing employees if not addressed.

"It's important to note that there's a ripple affect with bad hires,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder.

“Disengagement is contagious — poor performers lower the bar for other workers on their teams, and their bad habits spread throughout the organization.”

According to Robert Half, due to a bad hire, 61% business owners surveyed have experienced time wasted hiring and training, 30% have encountered increased stress on the manager, 56% have seen increased stress on the time, and 19% saw decreased confidence in management’s ability to make good decisions.

What Makes a Bad Hire?

The important thing to realize about bad hires is that the issue is often identifiable during the hiring process.

Some red flags that can point to a bad hire include:

  • If the employee doesn't produce the proper quality of work.
  • If the employee has a negative attitude.
  • If the employee doesn't work well with other staff.
  • If the employee has immediate attendance problems (excessively absent or late).
  • If the employee's skills do not match what they claimed to be able to do when hired.

Preventing a Bad Hire

“The best thing hiring managers can do is put in the time and effort on the front end to make sure they have the best available pool of applicants for every job opening,” Haefner said.

“And, just as importantly, have good procedures in place for evaluating candidates.”

Part of evaluating candidates is running pre-employment screenings. Employment history and education history verifications can ensure that a candidate has the experience and credentials they say they do. A thorough reference check can evaluate attitudes, attendance, punctuality, ability to work in a team, and much more.

This can help reveal a potential wrong fit much sooner and also increase confidence in current employees.

At Triton, we offer comprehensive pre-employment screenings that minimize risk and improves the quality of hires. Learn more about our custom solutions for businesses by calling 1-844-874-8667 or visiting

Have you ever had an experience with a bad hire? Let us know on social media. Triton Canada is on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.