The True Cost of Poor Recruitment and an Unhealthy Workplace Culture and what you can do about it

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

As a Business Manager, have you really weighed up the true cost of a poor recruitment choice and how it impacts your business? You may be surprised by the actual cost as there are many costs not typically accounted for and there is a connection with your overall workplace culture.

In your experience it's highly likely that you’ve hired someone who seemed like the perfect fit only to discover that they weren’t suitable 3-6 months later. It’s likely they had all the qualifications, but:

· They refused to be taught by others because they already ‘knew everything’

· They clashed with staff and created their own group within the organisation

· They performed well for 3 months and then their performance dropped, and their attitude changed

· You’ve trained them to do the job and then they left

· They argued, sulked and refused to do their job

· They counteracted every change you tried to make in the organisation

It’s not only new employees though who can be a bad fit. Long-term employees can become burnt out, resist change and undermine efforts of management to make change.

If you’ve experienced this, have you really weighed up the true cost of a poor recruitment decision to your business?

The cost to your business of poor recruitment is estimated to be at least 30 percent of the employee's first-year earnings. Much of the true cost is difficult to measure accurately financially. Any employee who doesn’t fit into the workplace can create a rippling effect on the entire organisation creating both direct and indirect costs:

· resistance

· rebellion

· lack of focus

· Stress on other employees

· Formation of unspoken ground rules and a bad culture

· time required in training

· cost of mistakes made on the job

· Time spent managing dramas and getting everyone back on track

· Distracted on job – messaging, drugs, etc – affecting productivity and safety

· Legal fees – stress, harassment, unfair dismissal claims– even if they’re not true –it takes up time countering and disproving claims

You can skills test and reference check a potential employee, but the truth is you can’t tell from someone’s cv whether they’re a great fit for the job. A cv doesn’t show:

· If they’re going to fit in with the values of organisation

· How they cope under pressure

· Their motivation to learn and grow

· Their capacity to learn and grow

· How they get along with others

· If they’re a fit for a completely different role

· How receptive they are to learn

A bad fit can also be due to other underlying reasons from both sides of the arrangement, such as a mismatch or clash. If your business is having a run on hires and leaves, then you may want to consider that it isn’t ‘them’ and it’s something to do with your business systems, management styles or underlying workplace culture. According to surveys of employees, the top 5 reasons employees leave their jobs:

1. Poor management or clashes with manager’s leadership style

2. Lack of career progression opportunities

3. Change of career

4. A bad workplace environment – where inefficiencies and behaviours are considered normal. This can include unclear expectations, unrealistic workload, bullying, harassment, conflict – not only clashes but avoiding healthy conflict and different opinions, blame

A Better Strategy

Before you hire someone new or promote a staff member into a different role, gain more insight into their overall potential by utilising more data-based measures through professional profiling tools. These will allow you to gain more insight into an individual’s thinking preferences, behavioural and communication styles.

Equipping yourself with enhanced recruitment tools and employee potential development is an overall better strategy to grow your business. Not only is it beneficial in measuring a new employee’s capabilities, it’s also beneficial for understanding existing employees. Often there is untapped potential as an individual’s behaviour and performance is affected by the environment they are in. An employee who is a bad fit in one role may prove exceptional in another role. As a Manager it’s just as important to understand your own potential as well and how you and your team can more effectively understand and communicate with each other for the benefit of the group.

Simplistically, for a business to grow, thrive and employ more people it needs staff to be productive and be working in alignment with the objectives of the business. The face of employment is changing though with employees seeking more work-life balance. To cope with this, managers need to be more adaptable than ever at recruiting suitable employees and successfully creating a workplace culture where employees want to stay, grow and improve.

If you would like assistance with developing individual potential, team performance and a united workplace culture for your business then contact Tracy Steinhardt from One Kinetic on 1800 671 551 or email

You can also complete our free Leadership Style profile at This will provide you with a summary of your general thinking style, with more comprehensive detail on individual attributes with our full profile services.

For more great tips and access to exclusive free resources, sign up to our mailing list

Tracy Steinhardt

HR Development & Workplace Culture Specialist

P: 1800 671 551



#talentdevelopment #onekinetic #peopledynamics #performance #cohesion #leadership #culture #motivation

© 2012 One Kinetic | Ph 1800 671 551 | Email | Developing Capability

  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon