Good or bad recruitment – how would you know, before it is too late?


Making a recruitment mistake can result in heavy and unnecessary costs. There are a number of different reports on the subject and the sums are alarming.

The price tag for a bad employee hiring is, on average, about €50,000 according to a 2012 global CareerBuilder study, and if you hire a manager, you risk even greater financial setbacks – estimates indicate that a bad management hire can cost a company as much as €460,000.

The high cost that comes with recruitments mistakes is the result of various factors. One part consists of direct costs in the form of advertising or consulting fees, but there are also indirect costs in the form of lost working hours and use of internal resources. In addition, if you take into account the fact that the work still has to be done, that planned results are not yet achieved, and that growth and organisational goals are postponed, it’s easy to see that the hit accuracy in recruitment is a critical success factor for all organisations, regardless of industry.

Why then does recruitment so often fail? Some of the pitfalls that lead to recruitment mistakes are:

  1. Recruitment and selections are done on the wrong basis. Research and validated methods may take a back seat to more gut-feeling and traditional methods with low validity as a basis for decision. Having a great conversation with the person during an interview does not automatically mean this person is suitable for the job.
  2. The lack of a proper requirement profile. Clearly defined tasks, desired performance in the role and a clear job description should be determined before the job is advertised so that the right selection methods can be utilised in a more qualitative way.
  3. Incorrectly designed processes. For example, filtering out the majority of the candidates already in the application process means that you are often left with too few candidates for a qualitative selection. In order not to miss the gold grains, a step-by-step thinning process is recommended, where the process itself ultimately qualifies the right candidate, rather than placing too much emphasis on the first step.

Recruiting without prejudice has many advantages

What kind of skillset would actually get the job done? In traditional recruitment processes, most organisations rely on the candidate's CV during selection. But the validity of a CV is relatively low. Today, we are instead seeing a growing number of businesses looking for actual skills and so-called soft skills when they are recruiting. This means that you look for attitudes, skills and behaviours that show who candidates are at work, as well as the skills that get the work done. For example, it could be traits and skills such as communication abilities, level of creativity, critical thinking, motivation, flexibility or problem-solving attitude.

The opposite of soft skills, namely hard skills, includes things like education, certifications and documented experiences. Even though grades and certificates indicate that the candidate possesses knowledge, it is still not certain that they will be able to put these into practice, especially when taking this into the context of how it works in your workplace and culture.

To succeed in recruitment today, you need to use better and more evidence-based methods during the entire process. You also need to create a process that takes into account both qualitative selection and what works internally within your organisation, without jeopardizing a positive candidate experience.

Working, for example, with evidence-based screening tests, tasks tests, and skills-based recruitment brings with it several good effects: it eliminates the risk of letting prejudices based on ethnicity, skin colour or gender determine who you employ. You will also be better equipped in the battle to acquire the best talent. Last but not least, you will have a much greater chance of avoiding costly recruitment mistakes and be able to focus on making your employees – and your business – thrive.


Author: John Sagrelius, CMO, ReachMee

JSagreliusJohn Sagrelius has 20 years of combined experience in marketing and business development and is the Chief Marketing Officer at the Nordic SaaS company ReachMee. Through their modern recruitment software solution, ReachMee has helped over 650 organisations to find, recruit and hire talent for business success.


 Learn more about ReachMee here

Connect with John Sagrelius here



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