Poor hire | Rec boss admits squandering £1m on poor consultant hires

Rec boss admits squandering £1m on poor consultant hires

It is common knowledge that finding the right candidate with a suitable skillset is a top priority for recruiters; there are many reasons for this.

A poor hire can cost the business a lot – both in terms of money and resources - particularly if the business starts to crumble at the hand of an incapable charlatan. Unfortunately, stats have indicated that many employers are making poor hiring decisions.

Research by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has found that UK businesses are failing to recruit the right candidates for two out of five roles.

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A poor hire at mid-management level with an annual salary of £42,000, for example, can result in business costs of more than £132,000. So, there is a lot to be lost or gained when casting your hiring decision.

In a recent interview with managementtoday.co.uk, one recruitment boss admitted squandering £1million on poor hires. Founder and Chief Executive of Bright Network, James Uffindell explained:

"Historically, I wasted over £1million in wages, paying people who essentially delivered no value to the business.”

Uffindell said that making a rash hiring decision proved to be very costly. "It’s very tempting to rush to fill the role, but the costs of filling of it for the sake of it are so much higher than taking the time to find the right person. Early in my career I spent about five per cent of my time on recruitment. Now it’s probably 20% - getting the right hire is absolutely critical."

The seasoned recruiter – who founded his business with little corporate recruiting experience – said that he previously experienced poor performance across various areas of the business. This left him “wondering is it the process, is it the market, but in most situations, it was a people problem”.

However, he cites closer attention to personnel as something which eventually fixed Bright Network's business model. Uffindell said that longer probation periods are a good way to gauge a new recruit’s suitability, work ethic and overall performance. But what is the solution if existing employees are the crux of the problem?

This led Uffindell to question the level of support and the number of second chances to give underperforming consultants. "Ask yourself, if I knew what I know now about a person, would I still hire them for the job? We all get lazy, but if the answer is no, then it’s hard but you need to make a change."

But how can recruitment bosses stop poor hires before they trickle into the business?

Allbusiness.com provided the following five tips:

Involve other team members in your hiring decisions

Having a single viewpoint may provide a narrow insight into a candidate’s suitability. Invite additional team members to final-stage interviews who may spot glaringly obvious areas of concern.

Check references

If you have a strange gut feeling, be sure to follow your instincts and check-in with previous employers to get a reference.

Check the candidate’s online presence

A quick Google search will likely flag up a wealth of social media accounts or interesting and related articles that you would be unlikely detect in an interview.

Go with your gut

Candidates that show limited knowledge of the company could indicate a tell-tale sign that they aren't right for the company.

Ask complex questions

Start with some obvious job-related questions and follow-up candidate answers by asking ‘why?’ and ‘what makes you say that?’.

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