Call us today for a free consultation on 0333 772 0611

Avoid making a bad job of recruitment

Published 07 April 2020

We all make mistakes and it is the impact and corrective action that will usually determine how costly a blunder can be.

When it comes to employers hiring the right candidate, the selection process can sometimes – and often does - go wrong.

The search for the right person for a job can occasionally result in the wrong applicant landing the role.

If this is the case there can be a considerable cost to an employer with what is known as a ‘bad hire’.

A report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) in 2017 revealed that UK businesses were failing to hire the right person for two out of five roles and it was costing businesses billions of pounds a year (1) .

The research found that although many companies believe hiring mistakes cost them nothing, a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000 due to the accumulation of costs relating to training, lost productivity and more.

Getting recruitment right is even more important during a time of economic uncertainty because businesses need to ensure they are not wasting money.

As well as the financial cost of a bad hire with the wrong skillset, attitude and temperament it can damage team morale and negatively impact on productivity.

But why do employers sometimes get it so wrong? A list of the top ten common recruitment mistakes included (2):

  •  Not creating an accurate job description.
  • Failing to consider recruiting from within.
  • Relying too much on the interview.
  • Using unconscious bias.
  • Hiring people less qualified than you.
  • Rejecting an overqualified candidate.
  • Waiting for the perfect candidate.
  • Rushing the Hire.
  • Relying too much on references.
  • Expecting too much, too soon from a new recruit.

There are numerous high-profile examples of what can go wrong when a recruitment mistake is made.

Earlier this year a senior NHS boss who gained his job by falsely stating he had a degree received a suspended prison sentence (3). He reportedly admitted a charge of fraud ‘intending to make a gain, namely a salary’

There will understandably be a temptation to want to dismiss a bad hire as quickly as possible. If this is the case caution is advised.

It can be apparent, maybe even during the probationary period, and certainly in under two years that the wrong candidate has been recruited.

This should be approached with caution. It is a common misconception among employers that dismissing an employee who does not have two years of service will mean that there is no need to worry about any subsequent employment tribunal claim.

However, there are significant exceptions to the general rule on qualifying service such as a claim that the dismissal was discriminatory.

It is advisable that even when an employee is in the probationary period that an employer follows a fair process before taking any decision to dismiss (4).

Crucial to ensuring mistakes are not made during the recruitment process is to have an effective recruitment policy in place.

A leading recruitment agency has provided a list of the seven key steps it says employers should follow every time they hire (5):

  1. Know what you need – good planning and have an in- depth understanding of the role.
  2. Prepare the job description and person specification – helps to attract the right applicants.
  3. Choose where to advertise – job sites, internally, social media or recruitment agency.
  4. Review your applications – good candidates can quickly stand out.
  5. Conducting interviews – good preparation is vital.
  6. Checking references, drawing up a contract and offering the job - it's essential to check your candidate's background to help make sure they are everything they claim to be.
  7. Welcome your new rising star as they settle in.

An effective recruitment process is important. Not only is it cost effective it will ensure the right candidate is hired to fit the business.


(1) A report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation: [Internet] [Cited 1/4/2020]

(2) Top ten common recruitment mistakes: [Internet] [Cited 1/4/2020]

(3) Falsely stating degrees could result in a suspended prison sentence: [Internet] [Cited 1/4/2020]

(4) The probationary period: [Internet] [Cited 1/4/2020]

(5) Seven key steps it says employers should follow every time they hire : [Internet] [Cited 1/4/2020]

“A reputation built on success”

 For employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 0333 772 0611

A reputation built on success

For employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 


Copyright © Castle Associates | Company Number: 01015126 | Designed with care by WebWorks