October 9, 2023

As per HBR, 80% of employee turnover is the result of bad hiring decisions.

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In the complex world of workforce management, hiring decisions stand as a linchpin that can either propel an organization forward or drag it into the abyss of employee turnover as hiring decisions are the lifeblood of any organization. Get them right, and you have a thriving, motivated workforce. Get them wrong, and you might be witnessing a revolving door of employees. According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), a staggering 80% of employee turnover can be traced back to bad hiring decisions

The Hidden Costs of Bad Hiring

  1. Recruitment Costs: When a bad hire is made, it's not just the salary that's wasted. Recruitment processes involve advertising, screening, interviewing, and background checks, all of which consume resources.
  2. Training and Onboarding: Employees need time and resources to get up to speed. When they don't perform as expected or leave shortly after joining, all the investment in training goes down the drain.
  3. Lost Productivity: A wrong hire can result in decreased productivity and performance issues, which can have ripple effects throughout the organization.
  4. Employee Morale: A bad fit can bring down the morale of the entire team, leading to decreased engagement and potential talent drain.
  5. Turnover Costs: When a bad hire eventually leaves, there are termination costs, including severance packages, exit interviews, and administrative work.

Understanding the Implications 

  1. Skill and Cultural Misalignment: Bad hiring decisions often result from a mismatch between the candidate's skills and the job requirements, or a misalignment with the organizational culture.
  2. Short-Term Focus: Rushing through the hiring process to fill a vacancy quickly can lead to overlooking long-term compatibility and potential issues.
  3. Inadequate Assessment: Failing to conduct thorough interviews, reference checks, or skills assessments can leave gaps in understanding a candidate's suitability.
  4. Ignoring Warning Signs: Disregarding warning signs or discrepancies in a candidate's background can lead to poor decisions.

Preventing Bad Hires 

Clear Job Descriptions: Start with well-defined job descriptions that outline skills, qualifications, and cultural fit requirements.

Comprehensive Interviews: Conduct rigorous interviews that include both technical and behavioral questions. Behavioral interviews can reveal how candidates handle real-world situations.

Reference Checks: Contact previous employers to gain insights into a candidate's work ethic, skills, and performance.

Skills Assessments: Use skill assessments or tests to evaluate a candidate's capabilities, especially for technical roles.

Trial Period: Consider a probationary period for new hires. This allows both parties to evaluate compatibility before making a long-term commitment.

Employee Onboarding: Invest in comprehensive onboarding programs to help new hires integrate smoothly into the organization.


80% employee turnover statistic attributed to bad hiring decisions is a stark reminder of the importance of sound recruitment practices. The repercussions of poor hiring choices extend beyond financial costs, impacting morale, productivity, and overall organizational success. By heeding the lessons shared here and prioritizing effective hiring strategies, companies can not only save on costs but also foster a more positive and productive work environment. Hiring is an investment in an organization's future, and by making informed decisions, businesses can ensure a stronger and more resilient workforce.