Have you ever calculated the cost of a bad hire ie. someone who leaves your business during the first year of employment?

In most cases, the true cost is roughly 3.5 x their annual salary

So, if you hire someone at $100,000 salary, it will cost you $350,000 if they leave in the first year.

That figure is eye-watering.

And it clearly has a hugely negative impact on your business.

So, what can you do to avoid bad hires and make really great ones?

Follow these tips:

1.Headhunt from the passive candidate market

Engage with a high-quality headhunter who specialises in your industry, to headhunt from the passive candidate market

The best candidates DO NOT apply to online job adverts. They don’t need to. They are happy in their current role and they are looked after by their current company. They are also busy people and do not have time to look at online job adverts.

You need to seduce the best talent by approaching them and selling your company and the role. Your opportunity needs to be better than what they have already

2.Use behavioural testing in the interview process

The large majority of companies only assess skills and experience. They do not assess behaviour. As the saying goes, “companies hire on skills or experience and fire on behaviour”.

Use behavioural assessment tools such as McQuaig, Myers Briggs or put together your own list of behaviour-centric questions.  You need to know how people behave at work  and learn more about their character traits

3.Take at least two references and check Linkedin recommendations

You should speak to at least two previous employers and verify what the candidate has told you about their sales performance, tenure, ability to fit into a team and career progression.

Also, check the Linkedin recommendations of a candidate to see what people say about them. No recommendations could be a red flag.

4.Have a great story to tell

One of the biggest problems when trying to attract the best talent is that your story is just not appealing enough.

Sell your company, sell the role, sell your culture.

You have to make people WANT to work for your company. If your story is not great, forget it, the best people won’t join you.

5.Ask the candidate to meet other members of the team

Get the opinion of other people in the team. See what the consensus is on each candidate.

Two or three opinions are much more valuable than one.

Your current team members will also like it as they feel included in the recruitment process and that their opinion is valued.

6. If it’s a sales role you are hiring, ask for proof of earnings

That’s right. Ask candidates to show proof of their earnings and commission payments.

Ask for pay slips or other documents. The best salespeople will have no hesitation in showing these documents.

7. Ask for a 30/60/90 day plan in the interview process

Any great hire will be able to write a 30/60/90 day plan for their early days at your company.

This will give you a great insight into their strategic thinking, organisational skills, attitude and aptitude.


If you would like help to reduce your bad hire costs, please contact me on +44 7912 997190 / philip.butler@collingwoodsearch.com