The cost of a bad hire: 1 in 10 recruits are regarded as a ‘poor hiring decision’

Research from Robert Half highlights the impact of a bad hire and provides tips on how to avoid common hiring mistakes

  • 77% of HR directors have taken on a new employee who did not meet expectations
  • Lost productivity the biggest impact of a bad hiring decision
  • 80% of HR directors find it challenging to find skilled professionals

Dubai, 16 June 2015 – One in 10 new recruits are regarded as a ‘poor hiring decision’ according to the latest research from leading recruitment specialists, Robert Half UAE, with 77% of HR directors admitting that they have hired someone who did not meet expectations1.

The impact of a bad hire stretches beyond the financial cost, it can have a wide affect across a company.  More than half (55%) of HR directors said that loss of productivity is the biggest impact associated with making the wrong recruitment decision. Over a third (35%) said that a poor hire reduces staff morale while only one in ten (11%) HR directors said that it has resulted in significant financial costs, such as the employee’s salary and lost performance; education and training costs to raise performance levels; impacted productivity of the employee, colleagues and management; potential loss of revenue and the ultimate cost to re-recruit for the role.

UAE hiring managers were asked, “Which one of the following, in your opinion, is the single greatest impact of a bad hiring decision?” Their responses:           

Lost productivity 55%
Lower staff morale 35%
Monetary costs 11%

Source: UAE Survey of 75 hiring managers

Gareth El Mettouri, Associate Director at Robert Half UAE, said: “Businesses are looking to hire to support growth plans, but are finding it challenging to hire skilled professionals. This is partly due to demand for skilled professionals outweighing supply, leaving UAE companies at risk of not being able to hire the right people they need. It is therefore essential that every employee demonstrates the value they can offer through measurable results.

“To avoid hiring the wrong person, employers need to constantly look at evolving their hiring process, consulting with their HR department and a specialised recruiter to develop a strong recruitment strategy.”

Further research from Robert Half found that the vast majority (80%) of HR directors find it challenging to identify and recruit skilled professionals. The prevailing war for talent is anticipated to increase substantially over the next 12 months due to an ongoing skills shortage in the UAE market.  When identifying  the challenges faced in sourcing and recruiting talent, half (48%) of HR directors cited a lack of niche or technical experts, followed by general demand outweighing supply (30%) and a lack of commercial business skills (15%). Only 7% cited slowed hiring during the recession resulting in a lack of candidates with the right skills.

Robert Half UAE offers the following recruiting do’s and don’ts:


Don't Do
1. Go it alone Consult colleagues on attributes and competencies for the open role, and work with a specialised recruitment consultancy to find the best candidates.
2. Neglect the job description Providing detail to ‘sell’ the job will result in better applications. Details such as team size, reporting lines, corporate values and training opportunities will all prove attractive to potential candidates.
3. Think the Internet has all the answers Cultivate a talent pipeline by personally reaching out to your network and recruiting sources. Online tools can be valuable, but personal interaction is the most important aspect of the hiring process.
4. Take too long Extend an offer once you identify your top candidate. Companies that don't move quickly risk, are losing good people to other opportunities.
5. Offer a low salary Offer a remuneration package that, at a minimum, meets the market standard. Stay current on prevailing trends by reviewing resources such as the Robert Half 2015 Salary Guide.
6. Fail to differentiate between must-have and nice-to-have candidate attributes Identify the skills that are mandatory and those that can be developed. The goal is to hire the person who is the best match for the job and your work environment.



Notes to editors

1 The survey was developed by Robert Half UAE and is conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on more than 75 interviews with senior HR executives from companies across the UK, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location. 

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy; a member of the S&P 500 and #1 in our industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s “World's Most Admired Companies” list (2015). Founded in 1948, the company has over 340 offices worldwide, including the UAE, providing recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal, human resources and administration professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and job seeker resources at