Study: Bad hires are a lousy lot

(Associated Press)

(Hysob Shin, hshin@ajc.com)

Follow us on Twitter @AJCBiz

Ever had to suffer the consequences of a bad hire?

A new study by CareerBuilder.com finds that 69 percent of employers say bad hires lower productivity, affect worker morale and even result in legal issues.

Bad hires are also costly: 41 percent of companies estimate such hires cost them more than $25,000 individually, and a quarter put the cost at more than $50,000.

So, why make such a hire, you might ask? CareerBuilder found 38 percent of employers said they needed to fill the job quickly, 21 percent simply didn’t know enough about the employee before hiring him or her and 11 percent didn’t check references.

“The more thoroughly the candidates are vetted, the less likely they will be a poor match,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. (Was that a collective “Duh!” we just heard?).

In addition to the impact on productivity and employee morale, bad hires also can damage relationships with clients, according to 22 percent of respondents.

Finally, most bad hires have the same thing in common, according to more than 60 percent of respondents: They fail to produce quality work, they don’t work well with others, they don’t show up for work, and they simply have bad attitudes.

(Commenting closed. Check out the wide range of views on this topic.)

94 comments Add your comment

Chilly Willy

December 13th, 2012
11:40 am

“Finally, most bad hires have the same thing in common, according to more than 60 percent of respondents: They fail to produce quality work, they don’t work well with others, they don’t show up for work, and they simply have bad attitudes”

The above statement refers to Uneducated Fast Food and Retail workers!

First

December 13th, 2012
11:41 am

and there are other reasons that of course AJC won’t list.

First

December 13th, 2012
11:42 am

closest I have ever come and still 2nd. I feel so like that idiot in Athens.

Phil I. Buster

December 13th, 2012
11:57 am

More reasons for a bad hire:

Relative or in-law
Friend of relative or in-law
Drinking buddy
Hunting buddy
Fishing buddy
Person you are having an affair with (see Arkansas, University of)
Former college roommate
Friend of former college roommate

Tom

December 13th, 2012
11:58 am

@Chilly Willy The hell it does! I find it next to impossible to find good people. Most don’t have work ethic worth a crap. They don’t produce or they are lazy and stubborn. This comes from a guy that will do anything if you are willing to try.

HR Girl

December 13th, 2012
12:09 pm

Couldn’t agree more with what is posted. One more:I have been told to my face that they prefer sitting at home, receiving assistance of all flavors than putting in a honest day’s work. Who raised you????

see no evil

December 13th, 2012
12:12 pm

Remember that this state has runn off a great number of immigrant labor, especially those that work as farm labor; that crowd was not considered lazy or bad hires! To the contrary, as a group they are glad to have work and apprciative. Bad hire: let’s put the prison population to work in the agricultural fields!

The real bad hire has come on election day in the state of GA!!! We are such suckers.

Judge Smails

December 13th, 2012
12:26 pm

Here is a good way to tell if your next hire will work out with your team. Have a peer interview. They will expose themselves to a peer, while putting on a show for their soon to be boss.

Judge Smails

December 13th, 2012
12:28 pm

Also, if I can’t pronounce your name, I’m not going to give your resume much consideration.

Truth

December 13th, 2012
12:33 pm

Or how about this?

The hiring manager is a sociopath and has turnover because they are a horrible person.
The company is a low rent sales company (the majority of CareerBuilder’s clientele) with entry level jobs (also CBs sweet spot).
The leadership are nothing but a bunch of materialistic,middle aged losers who churn 20 somethings like a fraternity.

Furious Styles

December 13th, 2012
12:38 pm

Bad hires are and will ALWAYS be a part of the process. Employers must simplify the hiring process. The best way to find out if someone can do the job, is to put them out there to see if they can do. It SHOULDN’T take long to figure out whether you’ve got a snake eyes.

When employers have 2-4 rounds of interviews, computerized testing, targeted selection style interviews and other convoluted hiring process, it further compounds the problem.

Dr. Socrates

December 13th, 2012
12:40 pm

I can personally attest to hiring one extremely bad person for an important job. Her resume looked fantastic, she interviewed well, and performed well for two days before we learned she was literally crazy. She was able to cover up her psychological issues long enough to get the job and thought she could hide behind the law once she got it.

Bud

December 13th, 2012
12:40 pm

@Judge Smails What does a persons name have to do with anything? Christopher Seward, Grab that persons ip address and report them to the state as that is illegal!

Truth

December 13th, 2012
12:40 pm

Show me the answers from clients of the Ladders and Ivyexec and let’s look at those results.

CBuilder is a joke

George

December 13th, 2012
12:48 pm

WOW Georgia you never seems to amaze me

Charles

December 13th, 2012
12:54 pm

Candidates getting vetted???!!! That went out the door in 2007 when Obama was elected the first time.

Mark Richt

December 13th, 2012
12:58 pm

How bout them Dawgs?!

jb

December 13th, 2012
1:04 pm

@Judge Smails – I am a computer science PhD student at Ga Tech and I live with 3 roomates who I can’t even pronounce their names (also PhD students). I am pretty sure none of them are going to be submitting their resumes to you, so you don’t have to worry.

bill

December 13th, 2012
1:05 pm

They are not “bad hires”. They are people who were hired by “bad hirers”. Get it straight

Light

December 13th, 2012
1:05 pm

But what’s even worse than a bad hire is when no one tells the bad hire that their performance is not up to par and everyone has to deal with or work around the person that’s not pulling their weight.

Dylan

December 13th, 2012
1:07 pm

There are also bad employers, or simply bad organizational fits. Getting the other side of the story, not just employers, is also a good barometer. I took a job once that within the first week I was sorry I accepted the position. They were nothing less than mean. When I left the business, during my exit interview I learned they have a 90% turnover rate. That speaks more about the business than the employees. There needs to be a better way for potential to be vetted.

DH

December 13th, 2012
1:08 pm

Someone really had to do a study to figure this out????

say what?

December 13th, 2012
1:11 pm

I have worked full time for 22 years, graduated from GSU and UGA. I was let go due to budget constraints from my employer.
What I am finding is that I am overqualified. All I want is to start a new full time job in a new career field, training and organization development. For this I am unqualified.
So look at a person’s job stability rather than those assessments, and recent credit history. HR is flawed, and that is how someone above got a dishonest person who played the mental health game long enough to get a foot in the door.

And for people to keep claiming there are jobs out there, people just don’t want to work, your day is coming. Karma is gonna knock down the door and treat your children the way you seem to want to treat others.
Who wants to go to half of the hh income and utilities late, after having worked full time for most of their lives? Terrible outlook from GA.

Jed Clampet

December 13th, 2012
1:15 pm

Ran off good immigrant labor or illegal labor? When are you going illegal is illegal. Can I make and undocumentated withdrawal from a bank? How about using some one elses social securiy number for employment or credit? There are good labor pools in the US, employers need to match the correct position with the person.

Jammer

December 13th, 2012
1:17 pm

It used to be a simple process, at least for me. Did the candidate show up on time for the interview? Neatly groomed? How were they dressed? Could they carry on a conversation in compete sentences? I went with my “gut” feeling about how I felt they would fit into our company. Was seldom disappointed with this method.

Sal Monella

December 13th, 2012
1:25 pm

bill, you hit the nail on the head. Thank you! Oh, and on the application for employment if your first name appears to be a poor attempt at an “ethnic” name (i.e ‘LaQuanethra’) you can bet you will receive a “thank you for your interest” form letter in response.

stupid

December 13th, 2012
1:26 pm

how many of the bad hires vote Democrat ? I would assume about 98%.

Sara Tonin

December 13th, 2012
1:27 pm

say what?, There’s always a need for someone to make the french fries!

Arlethia King

December 13th, 2012
1:28 pm

This conclusion is not “Rocket Science!”

sam

December 13th, 2012
1:29 pm

@Jed – What do Bad Hires have to do with illegal workers? Last time I heard Mexican laborers work like there is no tomorrow- doing jobs no one else wants to do no less.

checkcall

December 13th, 2012
1:31 pm

Standard Georgia economic and social opinon: Everything is black and white. People are lazy and should be happy to work for less than a liveable wage when the federal government will pay more for you to do nothing.

Is this a problem with the federal government, or is the free market economy failing to produce jobs that pay a liveable wage?

abbysenia

December 13th, 2012
1:33 pm

Truth
December 13th, 2012
12:33 pm
Or how about this?
The hiring manager is a sociopath and has turnover because they are a horrible person.
The company is a low rent sales company (the majority of CareerBuilder’s clientele) with entry level jobs (also CBs sweet spot).
The leadership are nothing but a bunch of materialistic,middle aged losers who churn 20 somethings like a fraternity
Dylan
December 13th, 2012
1:07 pm
There are also bad employers, or simply bad organizational fits. Getting the other side of the story, not just employers, is also a good barometer. I took a job once that within the first week I was sorry I accepted the position. They were nothing less than mean. When I left the business, during my exit interview I learned they have a 90% turnover rate. That speaks more about the business than the employees. There needs to be a better way for potential to be vetted.

Both are true… I get tired of conservative always blaming the worker and acting as if employers are infallible gods. There are companies that base their strategy on high turn over…so they don’t have pay decent wages or benefits or raises. We would be surprised to see the behind the scenes of some of the places we do business with!

Native Atlantan

December 13th, 2012
1:40 pm

@Sam — totally agree……incredible work ethic doing jobs no one else would/will do. BTW – most companies have a 90-day probational period. If you don’t perform during the 90-days, out the door you go with no questions.

KYHA

December 13th, 2012
1:40 pm

Tell Fulton County this..they have awful employees which I consider bad hires! While myself a great prospect candidate can not even land an interview while they employ their cousin’s baby mamma and step dad’s uncle nephew!!
I am a very good employee. never called into work in 5 years!! How about someone from HR reach out to me for an interview and I can prove what a good hire is…
and YES I am mad………

KYHA

December 13th, 2012
1:41 pm

actually I am bitter…But I am sure you can tell..

Marinemom

December 13th, 2012
1:46 pm

Wow, George, you never “seems” to amaze the rest of us.

Robert Young

December 13th, 2012
1:51 pm

Where are the sources for this information? It’s an interesting article and I would like to quote it but I cannot without the actual survey data source.

blkshepherd

December 13th, 2012
1:54 pm

@ Judge Smalls

And you win the award for Dumbest Post! The person that hired you should be fired for being an idoit. and a very Merry Christmas to you too!

blkshepherd

December 13th, 2012
1:57 pm

typo Judge Smells, Smalls, Smails Judge Salmon, whatever..all still amount to the same..Idoit.

Ace

December 13th, 2012
2:06 pm

Despite all the fun and sarcasm above, this is getting serious in this country when we see the work ethic falling in some people. I am in the mortgage business and have only missed work when too sick to drive and when hospitalized. Most of my co-workers pull their weight or they are GONE. But we still have had a couple of hiccups in hiring like all companies. There are those who can interview very well as they have practiced or trained for that, but don’t live up to their “promise”.

That is where references are the key and should not only be checked, but legally going as far as you can to see what kind of a worker the person really is. In this litigious age, many HR depts. have to give the reference and give no more than position title and dates. That’s when it would be good to ask for names of co-workers or supervisors.

Burned

December 13th, 2012
2:07 pm

I agree with the commentor, Truth. Some companies “always get bad people”. Really? Always? Often the manager IS the bad hire sociopath who lures people in with lies. Bait and switch. I’ve always followed the rules and typically outproduced my colleagues–because I’m doing the work while they are having play time. I’ve had my employment history tarnished by more than one of these people, Studies have actually shown that top managers are disproportionately sociopaths, lacking any moral compass. That’s how they get ahead. And if you’ve done well on a project you gotta go bye-bye because your name isn’t going on that–that’s how promotions get acquired. Thanks to weak labor laws, they keep getting away with it… and look at the resulting economy.

Judge Smails

December 13th, 2012
2:18 pm

Boy…That was easy!

It usually take me a couple tries to get the “wackos” all riled up.

Nicely done!

Employers are no picnic either!

December 13th, 2012
2:21 pm

Trues stories:

My company was bought out. I was in corporate. The new company didn’t need two corporate staffs,so I went looking. 28 years in the business (Chemical engineering) two degrees, (one an MBA) and exemplary work record. (Four absences in 28 years) .Polished up my resume,and started looking. There was no lack of interest. I had networked well and had always kept in the middle of the salary band. Travel is no problem- I’m Platinum Medallion from my last three jobs.

Company Number One: Put off phone interview twice. Called a couple of hours late when the call finally came. Asked desultory questions. The whole thing lasted about twenty minutes.Then silence.Not even a thanks, but no thanks canned email (I sent a thank you the next day).
I had honestly forgotten those people when they called FIVE WEEKS later asking how soon I could do a second interview.I politely told them (truthfully) that I had already found another position and was no longer available. These jokers asked if I would be willing to leave my new position if the situation was right. I told them I’d get back with them. I hope they got the message.

Company two: (Big employer in Atlanta,BTW) Advertised a job I was interested in and I applied. There was no answer at all for about three weeks. Then they arranged a phone interview. It went okay,and I was optimistic,but realistic.I got a follow up interview and then met with peers. I did well and was told to expect an offer. The company abolished the job soon thereafter and I had to find this out from a friend that worked there.Again, dead silence.

Can you people in business not communicate?

SMH

December 13th, 2012
2:30 pm

1) Education has nothing to do with a bad hire. They can have all the education in the world and still be an a**wipe. We had one of those at my job….she gave no flips whatsoever and she was on probation. You would have thought she would have at least faked it until she made it. She didn’t even try. Lost her job after 3 months.

2) Why everytime someone mentions persons that are lacking morale and interest in their jobs it somehow relates to persons working in the service industry? That’s not cool at all.

Judge Smails

December 13th, 2012
2:33 pm

Hi blkshepherd!

It’s acxtually spelled IDIOT

Have a nice day ;)

gdfo

December 13th, 2012
2:34 pm

Hiring the right person to do a specific job is the responsiblity of the employer. Georgia is a Right to Work State. OK. What is happening is that people who are making the Hiring decisions maybe unqualified to make a good business decision. Many people that I have met and done business with may have been good at one thing but not other things. Hiring the right person, at some point, has to involve a judgement of a persons ability and capacity to do that specific job and also that persons character. Any business is much better off when the final Hiring decision is made by the actual owner of the company AFTER the tests and interviews are finished.
There are managers who are afraid to hire anyone who they think is smarter or more accomplished than they are. Whether it is true or fact is beside the point with them, it is about power. Managers are afraid to hire anyone outside their culture,and anyone who is Older than they are. They want someone they can control, not someone that can do a good job or accomplish something or excel in a project.
I met a woman recently, who claimed to be a former CEO of a company and she stated that all people are dishonest and cheat, by nature. Then she complained about the very workers she hired. The problem was her judgement and her readiness to BLAME other people for her own lack of ability.

VR

December 13th, 2012
2:37 pm

@JudgeSmails:

A. You probably can’t pronounce any names more than one syllable.
B. You probably never have been nor ever will be in a position to make a hiring decision.

Somer

December 13th, 2012
2:38 pm

The worst employees are old union workers. I work for a fortune 500 company that closed many depts & just dump old unskilled workers that won’t retire(taking care of grown kids & grand kids) into more technical positions to simply keep them employed. They rely on skilled coworkers to help them all day, every day. The mgrs act like their hands are tied cause they don’t wanna fight the union. I litterly work next to 60-70yr old people making $25/hr who have to be shown how to email or add an attachment while the Ga Tech grads wait on us at lunch time at the bar & grills. They don’t like me cause I made up a sign for my cubical that read “It’s NOT my job to help U earn your paycheck!” We just received a nice bonus & they won’t buy their younger, year round trainers a cup of coffee. My job take a month to learn. My dept has been open 2yrs & their are many who still don’t get it. They are ALL over 60 & have never been in a tech job in their life. This is the real reason your kids can’t find jobs. This is why companys can’t stand unions

First

December 13th, 2012
2:42 pm

The HR dept at most firms is a joke and that is why the hiring manager will keep the employment agencies employed. I have been hired 3 times (15 years) without going through the idiots in HR.

kuhndog

December 13th, 2012
2:45 pm

Your best BS’ers seem to be the most sucessfull, I don’t think that translates to a good worker.