Our Head Office will be closed for the Easter period from 5pm on 18th April 2019, and will reopen on 23rd April 2019 at 9am. Please email us with your enquiry and we will get back to you once the office is open.

Call us for a free Consultation on: 0333 772 0611

Hiring the wrong person for the job


Mon 26 November, 2018

recruitment sign

We all make mistakes from time to time and when employers do correcting it may not always be as straightforward as it seems.

There can be pressure to fill vacancies. When a candidate who impressed during the recruitment stage turns out not to be what was expected, it can have serious repercussions.

The new recruit may not fit in with the organisation’s culture, they may have a damaging impact on workplace morale or make mistakes which have financial repercussions for an organisation.  Hiring the wrong person can frustrate managers and be bad for business.

A study carried out last year by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation found that 40 per of all hires end up being bad ones (1) The report highlighted the following:

  • 85 per cent of HR decision-makers admit their organisation has made a bad hire, and a third (33 per cent) believe that these mistakes cost their business nothing.
  • a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000.
  • the hidden costs involved in bad recruitment include money wasted on training, lost productivity, and increased staff turnover.

When the wrong person is recruited recognising it and acting quickly and fairly to address the situation is essential.

Almost two in five businesses (39%) take just two weeks to discover that they have hired the wrong person, according to independent research commissioned by Robert Half, which quizzed 5,000 managers in 13 countries.(2) The study also revealed that one in seven (15%) employers realise they have made a mistake within a recruit’s first week on the job.

The reasons vary as to why employers get it wrong when it comes to hiring the best person for job. Such mistakes are said to happen because of a mismatch of skills, underqualified candidates and dishonest and misleading CVs.

A lot of focus, time and effort can be spent searching for the best candidate. In doing so it is important for employers to ensure they have good procedures in place for evaluating job applicants.

After realising that the wrong person actually got the job a business may want to persevere with the individual and invest in training, or look to terminate the employment contract as soon as possible. The latter may sound easy enough.

As many employers quickly realise when they have made a mistake, the temptation to dismiss the employee on the spot may be irresistible.

Be warned, because as ACAS point out it is a myth that employees can be sacked without notice or warning (3)

Without following due process a dismissal can be found to be unfair, or wrongful if it is in breach of contractual terms.

Employees are afforded basic rights from the start of their employment, including the right not to be dismissed on grounds that are classed as 'automatically unfair' (4)

New employees will usually have a probation period, which can be extended if necessary. Within that period reviews can take place and problems identified, discussed and addressed.

If this does not satisfactorily resolve any concerns the employee can be dismissed. Although they will not have the qualifying length of service for an unfair dismissal claim (5) it is still advisable for an employer to follow some degree of a reasonable procedure.

In following a fair procedure for probation dismissal (6) it will ensure that there is a paper trail setting out an employer’s motivation for terminating the employment contract if the decision is challenged.

An employee can be dismissed during the probation period without any process being followed, but there are risks associated with terminating without any warning or discussion.

Businesses go to great lengths to find and attract the right candidate, but the cost of making the wrong hire and wrong decision to correct it can be significant.



1. Hiring mistakes are costing UK businesses billions each year [Internet] The recruitment and Employment Confederation [cited 26th Nov 18] Available from: https://www.rec.uk.com/news-and-policy/press-releases/hiring-mistakes-are-costing-uk-businesses-billions-each-year-rec

2.Two in five businesses realise they’ve hired the wrong candidate within two weeks [Internet] Robert Half [cited 26th Nov 2018] Available from: https://www.roberthalf.co.uk/press/two-five-businesses-realise-theyve-hired-wrong-candidate-within-two-weeks

3. Myths of the work place [Internet] Acas [cited 26th Nov 18] Available from: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4240

4.Employment tribunals – automatic unfair dismissal [Internet] Citizens Advice[cited Nov 18] Available from: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/problems-at-work/employment-tribunals-from-29-july-2013/making-an-employment-tribunal-claim-is-it-worth-it/employment-tribunals-automatic-unfair-dismissal/

5.Dismissal:your rights [Internet] GOV.UK [cited Nov 18] Available from: https://www.gov.uk/dismissal/what-to-do-if-youre-dismissed

6.Can an employee be dismissed during their probationary period [Internet] Castle Associates [Cited Nov 18] Available from: http://castleassociates.org.uk/support-centre/can-employee-be-dismissed-during-their-probationary-period-without-formal-procedure


“A reputation built on success”

For free 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

Were here to help when you need it.

   "A reputation built on Success"

We offer support on a wide range of employment law and HR issues. Our dedicated adviser are here to answer your questions and help you with your concerns. Your call is free and with no oblgation. Calls may be recorded for monitoring and training purposes.

Call us today on 0333 772 0611 or request a call back

Minimize close

Request a call back

Recent Posts




Really helpful initial free advice on an employment law issue. Friendly and approachable which made the call really easy and informative. Definitely recommend the service.



Great service straight to the point legal advise would recommend it to everyone and anyone.



So friendly and helpful thank you so much. Precise advice that really was useful and explained in an easy to understand manner, would definitely use them again.



Great service, received valuable and sympathetic advice that helped to clarify my legal situation. Strongly recommend this service to anyone looking for initial legal advice on employment matters.



Received the best advice and support when going through a difficult time. They are experts and know the best way of approaching an issue. Can’t thank the adviser enough.



Had the most sound advice today. Very friendly and honest application to my questions great support. A big thank you.



Really useful and helpful. Would recommend.



The advice given has helped me progress forward in my forthcoming misconduct meeting and I know where to access further legal assistance should I need it.



Most thorough advice I have received while looking for guidance on my employment question. I felt reassured and well listened to, thanks so much for taking the time to go through the details of my case.



Very informative conversation with the adviser. Made me feel like someone cared and wanted the best for my welfare.