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How to Avoid a Failed recruitment? 

While the cost of a failed recruitment can vary depending on, for example, industry and salary level, there are average figures that are both thought-provoking and worth looking at. In this article, we also look at the signals that can indicate a recruitment error and how you can deal with those situations and also avoid them in the future.

That a failed recruitment can be a costly affair is nothing new. Although costs may vary, there are still average figures to consider. According to author and researcher, Malin Lindelöw, a failed recruitment can cost anywhere between 27.000-100.000€. In the US, the Department of Labor estimates that a failed recruitment can cost as much as 30% of an employee's income in the first year.

What Indicates that Your Company has Misrecruited? 

There are a number of indicators of a failed recruitment. Of course, this can be obvious things like laziness, lack of co-operation and other characteristics that do not match the workplace's expectations, norms, values, etc. However, a lack of performance may be the clearest indication of an actual a failed recruitment.

For example:

  • The new employee does not have the skills you thought.
  • The new employee underperforms and does not reach the goals you have set.
  • The new employee does not have the qualifications he/she claimed during the interview.

How Should You Handle a Failed Recruitment? 

First of all, of course, it is important to find out why recruitment did not go as expected. Did something go wrong in the communication? Did the new employee have too high a workload for his or her skills? Did the employee not fit into the culture or was he/she given wrong tasks? Is there another role better suited to the employee?

Also consider whether the HR function at your workplace can help address the issues through interviews with the new employee.

It can be difficult completely to guard against underperformance among new hires, but often the company's lack of recruitment processes is actually behind the a failed recruitment.

How Do You Avoid Failed Recruitments? 

  • Avoid making decisions based on gut feelings
    Even if the recruiter has a "good chat" with a candidate, this alone should not form the basis for hiring the candidate. Too many recruitments are based on gut feelings, rather than concrete knowledge and research into whether the person is suitable for the job.

  • Set the right expectations
    The employee must agree on the content, scope and expectations of the job he or she accepts. Therefore, it is important that the job description clearly defines the required skills and the level of experience for which your company is looking. Make sure you think long-term, make the job description very clear and don't make the wish list unreasonably long or unrealistic.

  • Recruit on the basis of competences
    Your selection methods are important to avoid a failed recruitment. Using the right test items, personality tests, screening tests, etc. can have a big impact and ultimately increase your chances of recruiting the most suitable candidate.

  • Get more perspectives
    Let the candidate meet those who will potentially be his or her new colleagues. For example, if the role is cross-departmental, it is beneficial to involve some of the other departments in the process so that their experiences of the candidate are also considered. It is also important that the new employee fits in with the culture of the workplace.

61% believe that finding qualified and experienced new employees is among the biggest recruitment challenges.