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The costs of hiring the wrong candidate are on the rise due to the pandemic: Study

The global pandemic has taken its toll on many aspects of the economy, from entire sectors closing down to the rise of remote work. New research has found yet another coronavirus consequence: the increasing cost of making a bad hire.

More than half of employers surveyed (56 per cent) report that the true costs of an unsuccessful new hire are up since the pandemic struck. Companies today have more at stake if they make a hiring mistake, and it is happening quite frequently. Over three quarters of senior managers (77 per cent) surveyed admit to recruiting the wrong candidate for a role.

Time lost over a bad hire

When it comes to their most recent regrettable hire, senior managers said it took an average of 11 weeks to realize the person was a bad fit and to let them go, and an additional 5 weeks to restaff the role. That’s a total of 16 weeks, or four months, of time squandered on a recruiting blunder.

The bad hire has other consequences besides just the four months of lost productivity from the candidate who didn’t work out. Employers lament the time and resources spent hiring, onboarding, and training the failed hire, along with the loss of morale from the whole staff over a poor match being added to the team, as well as increased stress on the supervisor.

A consequence of COVID

Rapid changes to the hiring process that the COVID-19 crisis forced on businesses are at least partially to blame for many of the miss-hires, and the time it takes to recover from them.

David King of staffing firm Robert Half, the company behind this research, explains. “Companies across the country have been forced to make swift and significant changes to their recruiting and onboarding practices over the past year as a result of the pandemic. When new hiring strategies are introduced quickly, mistakes are more likely to happen. And, unfortunately, a bad hire can have far-reaching consequences for an entire organization.”

Research has shown that in dollars, making a bad hire can cost roughly 30 per cent of the annual salary for the role – an average of $25,000 – $50,000.

Even when you can’t meet in person and are screening candidates through video interviews, it is important to assess more than their credentials. Take the time to assess their character and their fit with your company and team culture.

Also, be sure to check a candidate’s references and investigate any connections your network has to their past work to see if there are any red flags.

See also: How you can safely engage with candidates remotely while still protecting everyone’s health and safety.

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