It Only Takes One Bad Hire


Innesa Burrola, CEO and President of Sales and Recruiting at Boutique Recruiting.

The engine of every organization is its people. How your employees feel about your company’s choices, their work contributions and others around them impacts the success of the company. With every new hire, the energy, atmosphere and culture will inevitably shift—and to what degree will determine the trajectory of your company.

To Damage Culture

Discussions around company culture take place in boardrooms and backrooms. It is on everyone’s minds and big business decisions and career choices are being made around the topic. Protecting your company culture and preventing disruption keeps business flowing and growing.

A company’s culture is made up of five primary things that employees feel in the workplace: purpose, appreciation, success, opportunity and well-being. Understanding these five core culture considerations is a lot to consider when hiring, and culture can be sophisticated to navigate.

Company culture is no longer thought of as a great ping pong table, trendy workspaces and great snacks. It’s a complex combination of how people interact with one another to get work done and how they feel about each other, their workloads and the ability to be successful in your organization. One bad apple or poor hire can easily tip the balance and change the way your people feel about working at your company.

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To Increase Churn

Although some turnover is inevitable, a high churn rate can cost you thousands. It is estimated that a bad hire can cost a company at least 30% of the employee’s annual salary, depending on position, seniority, industry, how long the seat is vacant after they are let go and how much damage was done.

Costs to hire, train and fire a bad hire can have a significant impact on the organization. You may see multiple employees leave, and in this tight labor market, it is increasingly hard to fill vacancies with high-quality talent. There are about 11 million jobs on the market and only six million people (about twice the population of Arkansas) to fill those jobs.

Remember, your current employees are less likely to tolerate a bad hire when they have an abundance of opportunities available in the job market. Expect movement in your company, but mitigate the possibility that your staff will be part of The Great Resignation because of a bad hire.

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To Lower Standards

Employees undoubtedly will have a certain perception about a new coworker or leader. The outlook of their new teammate is related to the quality of work the new hire performs. Making the right hire who has an elevated level of awareness about your company standards and the way that you work will be critical to the overall level of output in the company. If a new hire has not meshed well into your work environment and does not have the necessary skill set, it impacts everyone’s production.

Screening well for both hard and soft skills and ensuring that your new hires can quickly adapt takes an experienced hiring manager and a successful hiring process. Ensure your hiring managers are hiring experts; they are trained in how to hire well and look for red flags, dig deep and ask meaningful questions and test critical skill sets. Outsourcing this process and getting assistance can also result in a great employee-employer match.

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To Overburden Staff

When a bad hire is identified and removed from the organization, employees may be feeling initial relief, but someone still needs to pick up the responsibilities. Over time, employees become resentful because a bad hiring decision has been made and they are left to figure out how to carry the workload while management looks for a replacement.

Companies are under tremendous pressure to fill their roles. To add to the pressure, they create unnecessary obstacles by not accurately assessing a candidate’s technical and cultural fit. The price of a bad hire is high, and the risk of making the wrong choice is great. Ensure your company has trained hiring managers who have a track record of amazing hires.

Your ability to monetize your business is directly related to the people you hire. Protecting against a “bad apple” in your workplace will ensure that you are able to sell your product or service.


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