The Staggering Cost Of A Bad Hire [Infographic]

cost of a bad hireAccepting a job is a bit like dating: It sometimes takes a while to learn that you and the other party aren't a good fit and then you must go your separate ways.

While that can be demoralizing for workers, it can be downright expensive and potentially disastrous for employers, especially if the ill-fitting employee was tapped to lead the company.

So-called "bad hires" aren't as unusual as it might seem. More than two-thirds of employers said they were affected by a bad hire last year, according to recent a CareerBuilder survey. The results mirrored those of a similar poll taken in 2010.

Of the nearly 2,700 employers surveyed in August and September, 41 percent estimated that a single bad hire cost them more than $25,000, while a quarter or respondents said it cost more than $50,000.

Further, CareerBuilder says, a bad hire costs employers much more than the average cost for each hire. Forty percent of employers reported that a new hire typically costs $1,000 or less, while a third said such an expense ranges from more than $1,000 to $5,000 each. The remainder reported spending more than $5,000 on each newly hired worker.

Why do companies make bad hires? Needing to hire someone quickly, noted by 38 percent of polled employers, was the top reason companies gave for making a bad hire. But nearly as many said they weren't sure or that mistakes happen.

While costs are a key reason for employers to avoid bad hires, workers' concerns are more focused on how a poorly suited position can affect their careers and emotional well-being.

CareerBuilder's Ryan Hunt advises newly hired employees who find themselves in unsuitable positions to first ask if the job is the one they hired to do

"If you feel the employer didn't communicate the duties of the job or you misunderstood them, it's best that you take the lead in those first few weeks to clarify any doubts," says Hunt, a career adviser, via email.

At worst, he says, workers may learn that their suspicions were right. On the bright side, however, a manager may reconfigure job duties or even find a better-suited position within the company. But don't wait to raise any concerns.

Another option, of course, is to simply quit. That may be difficult, Hunt says, but a hasty departure may be the best thing workers can do. Otherwise, the situation might become unmanageable and lead to dismissal, a much harder scenario to explain to recruiters when searching for your next position.

Lastly, Hunt says, if you find you can't quit, do the best you can. Learn all you can and ally yourself with colleagues who can help you deal with the position's challenges.

And if the situation doesn't appear to improve, he says, 'Keep your eye on job openings that provide a better fit.' "

For more on the costs associated with a bad hire, check out this infographic from, a provider of online training programs.

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February 29 2012 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
john Doe

There are jobs out there everywhere. The problem seems to be that no one wants to work anymore. After earning a post-graduate degree, I was willing to work and I found a job right away. It wasn't in an office, but rather 150 feet in the air connecting steel I-beams to structural columns on future skyscrapers. I sucked real bad, but it paid my bills. Finally, at the age of 31, I was offered the job that I went to school for. There are too many people who want everything handed to them. They have such a distorted sense of entitlement. As i look back, i could have fallen off of the steel to my death, but i showed up every day. Jobs are not a guarantee, they are a privilege. A privilege for the hard working man.

February 09 2012 at 10:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sounds pretty rock solid to me dude. Wow.

February 09 2012 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How do you quit when you live paycheck - to - paycheck? Are we supposed to starve and let our bills go unpaid? I don't think the author is aware of how hard it actually is to find a job in this economy. I have been looking for years. I have a very part time job in sales where alot of times, I only work 6 hrs a week. Sometimes less, sometimes more. It is not my dream job, but it's employment, and I like my co-workers. I am STILL looking for a weekday job, after 4 years! Wake up and smell reality.

February 09 2012 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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