How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong People…

How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong People…

Hiring the best person for your role is probably up there with the most important decision you will ever make as an Employer or Manager. Your success hinges upon their success so it stands to reason you wouldn’t want to get it wrong. But sadly, getting it wrong happens all too often and when it does, it costs far more than most realise.

We asked some of our clients to take a look at the true cost of a wrong hire, feedback was anything from £20-40,000. As well as taking into account the first 3-6 month’s salary and associated costs, we also asked clients to work out the cost of both formal and informal training (note the cost of the hourly rate of the person training informally is usually the Manager or a colleague) and then the unseen cost of how the rest of the team perform or under perform as a result of the wrong hire – this is where the unseen cost really ramps up.


So, is it fair to say that choosing a wrong hire is an expensive mistake?

Anyone who has ever recruited knows how hard it can be to find and hire the right person, especially when the pressure is on to fill the role as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, decisions made in haste usually lead to bad hires and within a couple of months, you’ll be looking again – not what you want to be doing!

If this sounds familiar it could be time to evaluate your recruitment process; check how watertight it is and find out why costly mistakes are happening.

I know it’s not easy, especially if you are a small company with limited funds, but by following some tried and tested strategies you can create a system that will reduce the risk of a bad hire.


Back to basics
I know this sounds obvious but have you got a formal recruitment process in place? We speak to loads of companies who either have no process in place or have an overly complicated process. Both unfortunately can lead to disappointing results. Consider what you are looking for and map out a process that will give you clear actions and direction, if you don’t have time to do this we strongly suggest you consider hiring a recruitment expert to help or do it for you. Please don’t underestimate the value of having a well thought out recruitment process that will allow plenty of time for recruiting, interviewing, negotiating and offering!


Don’t act in haste
Most roles are urgent, but most hiring mistakes come from offering the job to the first person who impresses, the fear of losing out means skipping over important parts of the recruitment process. Be realistic about the hiring timeline. Typically, you need at least six weeks to advertise and attract enough candidates to give you an adequate selection. It may feel like a long time to have an empty seat in the office, but it will be worth the wait when you get the right person first time!


Are you clear on the requirements of the role?
Again, I know this sounds obvious, but I see so many job descriptions that are woolly, loose and vague. They are quite frankly not fit for purpose. I have lost count of the times I have read a generic summary of the company, followed by a blanket set of responsibilities, followed by (if I’ve managed to stay awake) a broad-based and uninspiring sounding set of job requirements. Investing extra time in putting together a compelling job description that is exciting and sells the role and your company will be paid back tenfold in the long run. When YOU know exactly what you need from the role, you can easily identify the perfect candidate when they come along.


Dive into the passive market
Did you know that around 73% of jobs filled NEVER get advertised on a job advertising board and the best candidates are rarely looking for a job? So, what should you do instead? Think about your network, how can you leverage your network, family, friends and colleagues to get introductions to potential employees.


Be Fair and Legal
Remember that your goal is to hire the best person for the role, not the most likeable! You need to remove all subjectivity from your recruitment process and you also need to make sure you are working with recruitment guidelines and be aware of what you can and cannot legally specify, this is a potential legal mine field so visit or or consultant your legal / HR department for more information. Plan your interview process, from advertising and vetting to interviewing. Use a scoring system to rate candidates. There are plenty of examples of how to do this online and there are also plenty of online testing tools to measure personality traits. People are never themselves in an interviews, try to put them at ease as soon as possible, help them relax and you will be more to see the real person. Also, try assessing their skills – perhaps set job relevant task like a role play or excel test.


References & Social Media
Always take references and check out your potential hire on social media. Another thing you might consider doing is inviting your second interview shortlist in to meet your team for a couple of hours, let them see the job first hand and talk to your current team.

The time you invest in perfecting your hiring process will not only improve your success rate and save a lot of money but will add to team morale, staff retention and your overall reputation as an employer.

If you have any questions about this or any other recruitment subject, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


About First2Recruit 

First2Recruit, are an owner managed recruitment consultancy providing a full recruitment service including; permanent and FTC positions in Accountancy Practice and Insolvency across the UK.  

Alternatively, visit or call one of their friendly team on 01722 440 168.