Monday 18 December 2017

5 Ways to Avoid a Bad Hire

Executive Connections

Hilarie Geary, Founder and Managing Director, Executive Connections

It is inevitable that at some stage your business will make a bad hiring decision. Its impact can span the width of the business, adding to costs and negatively affecting employee productivity.

Think missed sales opportunities, strained customer and employee relations, potential legal issues and  time wasted on recruiting and training that will have to be repeated again to find the right person.

So how can you avoid this drain on resources and productivity and make the right decision first time? Here are 5 ways to avoid a bad hire.

1. Know exactly what you are looking for in a candidate

Before making a hire, you should have a clear idea of what you want from your new employee. Profile your ideal candidate so you can then target your search more effectively. This can be done by looking at your best employees and what makes them successful. When it comes to interviewing candidates have specific questions prepared that prove they are the correct person for the job.

2. Resist the temptation to fill a job quickly

If you are eager to fill a vacancy, it’s easy to rush the hiring process. However quick fixes rarely work out and it you are in any way doubtful of a candidate trust your gut and do not hire them. Recruitment must be focused on the long-term benefits for your company. A bad hiring decision means you are likely to fill a position twice before finding the correct person.

3. Think creatively about finding talent

Think outside the box when seeking job applicants. Don’t just rely on job boards. While they have their value, it’s worth extending your search beyond these. Use LinkedIn to assess your competition for suitable candidates or target universities for graduates with suitable skills. You could also promote the vacancy through a relevant professional association. Be creative and think differently to ensure you’ve a large pool of applicants to choose from.

4. Don’t ignore cultural fit

Poor cultural fit is one of the biggest reasons why an employee is not likely to stick around.  When writing your job description, instead of just highlighting what you need from employees, let them know what you can offer them. Be honest and let potential candidates know if the position offers the chance to progress their career, or if flexible working hours are a possibility. Highlight the key strengths of your organisation and the type of people you want to employ so they know exactly what kind of culture exists within your business.

5. Don’t dismiss candidates slightly short of the relevant experience

While you want to employ someone who can hit the ground running,  the candidate with the most experience isn’t automatically a better hire than someone more junior. Those falling short on experience are often seeking a new challenge.and enthusiastic to prove themselves. Bear this in mind  and that it may be worth your while to hire on potential rather than experience. 


Founded in 1991 Irish company Executive Connections provides recruitment and human resource consulting services to the banking, finance and commercial sectors.  The company has recently launched a dedicated technology recruitment division focused on matching quality tech candidates with companies hiring in this thriving sector. Established and owned by Hilarie Geary, Executive Connections clients include a range of high profile blue chip companies. More information at

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