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The Dangers of a Toxic Hire

Written by Emily Peirce

Everyone knows the cost of a bad hire can be high in terms of time spent hiring and training. But what about a toxic employee?  These truly bad hires can have much wider effects on the company, beyond the immediate impact on your hiring process.  Here are a few ways toxic hires can negatively impact your company.

Low Morale:

As the saying goes, one bad apple can spoil the bunch.  The same is true for a toxic employee.  Their disengagement can be contagious, and being forced to work with someone who’s rude, blames others, or just has a bad attitude can lower the morale of your entire team.  This drop can lead to decreased engagement, lower productivity, and an increased chance of turnover across the board.

Burnout:

And what about the employees who are forced to pick up the slack from the workers who don’t do their share?  A toxic employee forces the rest of the team to make up the difference.  This is frustrating not only because of the heavier workload, but also because these employees can lose faith in management if the problem persists.  This can lead to increased turnover from employee burnout and often affects some of your best employees.

Damaged Reputation:

If you think a toxic hire can harm your relationships internally, imagine what they can do to your external customer relationships.  These kinds of bad hires can damage business relationships with customers, produce substandard work, and provide bad service. It’s another way they can harm your brand, which is one of the hardest things to cultivate as a company.

A toxic hire can also lead to poor employee reviews on websites like Glassdoor.  This can affect how easily you can replace lost workers in the hiring process.  In fact, a survey found that 69% of people wouldn’t take a job with a company that had a bad reputation.  This means a tarnished reputation can shrink your applicant pool and further tank your employer brand.

Lost Time:

The opportunity cost of managing these toxic hires can be immense.  This is especially true if your high-performing employees have to spend time reigning in these bad seeds when they could be putting their efforts toward generating revenue.  Does your sales manager have to take extra time to manage a “problem” employee?  Does your account director have to focus on constantly reprimanding or retraining one of her team members?  This is time lost that could have been spent making money for your company.  In fact, one study found that managers spend 17% of their time (nearly one day each week) managing bad hires.  This is time, and money, you can’t get back.

All of this sounds pretty scary, but there’s hope for preventing a toxic hire.  According to a recent survey, 43% of companies felt they made a bad hire because they filled the position too quickly, and another 22% felt they didn’t have enough information on their talent pool before they made a final hiring decision. 

Pre-employment testing can help with both these pain points.  Pre-employment tests streamline your hiring process and help you build out a standard procedure to adhere to when the need to hire arises.  It’s an objective hiring metric that’s been shown to be more predictive of job success in a role than resumes or interviews.  By incorporating testing into the process, you can get more predictive information on your candidates early on, so you can fill your positions quickly, with quality talent.  This greatly reduces the risk of hiring a toxic employee, saving you a lot of time, money, and headaches.
Emily Peirce

Written by Emily Peirce

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