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Job Search Tips, Trends and Statistics

6 Signs of a Bad Hire – Make Sure You’re Not One!

bad-employee2With employers, recruiting is all about two things: COST and RISK: the cost of the recruitment and the risk that you won’t work out.

According to National Business Research Institute (NBRI), a bad hire can set an employer back from $25,000 to $300,000! (Yes, that’s a lot of zeros.) The five main factors to help them estimate the cost of a bad hire are:

  • loss in productivity – the annual salary of the employee 
  • training costs – 25% of the annual salary of the employee
  • HR costs – calculated using the average HR Generalist’s salary
  • interviewing costs – calculated using the average HR Generalist’s salary, and
  • employment ads for a new hire – anywhere from $100 to $1,600.

There are other indirect costs as well – negative impact on a company’s client relations, decrease in sales, and company morale. No wonder employers tend to be so picky.

What makes a bad hire?

  1. Their quality of work was lackluster
  2. They didn’t work well with other employees
  3. They had a negative attitude
  4. Poor attendance
  5. Customer complaints
  6. They failed to meet deadlines


Not only do you have to convince an employer that you have the skills and qualifications they’re looking for, but you have to assure them you’re a good hire. Here’s some things to think about:

Stay Positive. In everything you say about yourself, from your resume to your voice mail message, keep your tone positive. Even a tired-sounding greeting on your voicemail could have an impact on an employer’s impression of you.

Have a Social Media Presence. The resume can only tell so much about you. You want an employer’s “picture” of you to be a clear, sharp image. Complete a LinkedIn profile. Include not only the basic information you have on your resume, but include such extras as Skills and Endorsements, Projects, Publications and, most importantly, get Recommendations from co-workers or former supervisors. Consider starting a Twitter page. Blog about your work or your industry. The more active you are, the more employers will see that you are productive and updated on the current trends.

Have a Work Portfolio. If you are able, document projects and work samples in a portfolio. It helps to have a hard copy to bring to interviews, but have them available online as well. There are several sites, both paid and free, such as VisualCV.com, that can help you.

Have Reliable References. One lesson for employers is to check references before making an offer of hire. The lesson for jobseekers is to have a comprehensive set of references, at least three professional (if possible), at least one of which is a former supervisor (if possible), and three personal references. Stay in close communication with them when using them as such. Don’t let them be surprised when an employer comes calling.

What other ways can you convince an employer you’re a good hire?


HRMorning.com: The Cost of a Bad Hire

About.com: Portfolios for Employment


About kimberlyjmyers

I am a workforce development professional in Washington State. I have ten years experience working with dislocated workers, vocationally impaired, and people with disabilities on many levels and backgrounds from offenders to non-English speaking refugees from around the world. The One thing the clients I have worked with all had in common: there was some barrier to employment, and I work diligently every day to identify, address and remove those barriers.


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