What’s the Real Cost of a Bad Hire?

Source: What’s the Real Cost of a Bad Hire?

No matter what stat you use, the cost of a bad hire is significant. To compensate for this risk, many employers make an equally costly mistake: they take too long to interview. A slow interviewing process can kill your chances of consistently hiring top talent. It’s one of the most overlooked and costly mistakes employers make with recruiting. Instead of overcompensating because of the risk of making a mistake, look at eliminating unnecessary steps and focus on how to interview more effectively.

Anyone Can Find Good Employees — Why Hire a Recruiter?

MARIA TITAN  |  March 28, 2019


Would you extract your own teeth with a garden tool? Would you legally represent yourself at a trial? Would you operate on your dog because you learned how to dissect a frog in biology 15 years ago and, hey, Fido will probably be just fine?

If you answered yes to any of these questions and are not a qualified dentist, lawyer, or vet, then you, my friend, have delusions of grandeur and I am calling the SPCA immediately.

If, like most people, you tend to hire professionals for these tasks, then you likely understand dentistry, law, and veterinary medicine are, in fact, professions. People have dedicated their lives to studying and practicing these fields; they have years of experience and earn their living doing these jobs every day. Of course you should call one of them instead of trying to do it yourself.

The same idea should apply to working with recruiters — and yet, people frequently ask me why anyone would bother hiring a recruiter when they could find and hire candidates themselves.

Here’s a relevant anecdote: I understand what “credit” and “debit” mean, but I could not adequately reconcile my bank statements or submit relevant documents correctly in time for an audit. That’s why I pay an accountant to manage my books.

After working with me for several years, my accountant recently approached me for help finding an accountant for his growing firm. To be honest, I was surprised he hadn’t approached me sooner. When I asked him why he hadn’t, he said he had spent countless hours looking on his own and hadn’t been very successful. After paying for advertising, sifting through countless resumes, interviewing candidates, and even making an offer to a candidate who didn’t accept, he decided to call on me.

One week later, an accountant was sourced, interviewed, and submitted. I am pleased to report she is still happily employed and now handles my books.

My advice to my accountant was to stick to accounting and let me handle recruitment. After all, there is room enough in this world for both of us to do what we do best.

Still not convinced? Here are five reasons to let a professional recruiter handle your hiring:

1. Their Network Is Better Than Yours

Recruiters have the tools, know-how, and networks to surface candidate you couldn’t. Through the years, a recruiter will amass a database of talented candidates, so they’ll have an abundance of relevant profiles at their fingertips for your open role. Recruiters are always working to build and maintain these pipelines, whether by connecting with candidates on social media or attending job fairs to meet new job seekers in person.

If you think LinkedIn will answer your recruitment prayers, it won’t. LinkedIn makes candidates more accessible to everyone, but few people really know how to use LinkedIn properly to source new talent. Unless you know how to use LinkedIn effectively, it can quickly become an endless maze of profiles, leading your search nowhere. It takes time to build a rapport with candidates on LinkedIn; can you really afford to spend countless hours reaching out to candidates and waiting for responses? Leave it to a recruiter who knows how to get results on the platform.

2. They Know How to Attract Talent

Recruiters understand candidates’ motivations and what makes them move. They know how to analyze a job seeker’s profile and read between the lines. By looking at timelines, job histories, and current market trends, a recruiter can predict whether a candidate is really motivated to move. This allows a recruiter to target their efforts toward job seekers who are likely to be interested, rather than wasting time with candidates who don’t want the job.

3. They Save You Time, and Time Is Money

Searching for candidates takes time, and time is money. Is it wise to distract your company’s managers and leaders with this function? Do you really want senior managers scouring Facebook and LinkedIn for candidates instead of focusing on their core responsibilities?

Your managers should be leading the strategy of your company and managing processes and people, not spending endless hours reaching out to potential employees. Your financial manager might know how to make a really good cup of coffee, but would you insist they make coffee at a meeting with international clients? Is that how you would want them to allocate their time?

Perhaps you have an in-house HR manager and feel they should handle recruiting. However, chances are your HR manager must also juggle budgets, strategy, performance appraisals, and coaching. Recruiting is not the only function of HR, and it therefore cannot always be a priority. Recruiters focus only on recruitment and have the ability and time to dig deep and find those hard-to-reach candidates.

4. They Have Market Knowledge

Recruiters speak to employers and employees all day, every day. This is how they earn their keep. As a result, they have unparalleled knowledge of the market. They can help you define your vacancy; fine-tune your search; and even advise you on salary, benefits, and what your competitors are offering.

5. They (Kind of) Work for Free 

Accountants and lawyers bill for every hour of their time, but recruiters only charge for success.

Recruiters guarantee their work, even though they have little control over what you do to ensure the success of their placement. They dedicate man-hours to your searches and pay money to advertise your roles — even if you end up deciding to fill the role internally or close the position at the last minute.

A recruiter has no control over what happens once a candidate is hired, and yet, if the candidate leaves or is fired, a recruiter will often give the employer money back or find a replacement candidate for free. When was the last time you bought a car, drove it for two months, and then got a free replacement?

If you are confident you can attract the best candidates using your limited LinkedIn skills or have an HR manager who can dedicate every hour of their day to sourcing, screening, and interviewing candidates, then good for you! Maybe you should open a recruitment agency.

If not, save yourself the time and money. Focus on growing your business while the recruiter focuses on growing your team.

Maria Titan is the cofounder of WorkForce Cyprus.

Key Strategies for Acing the Interview

(From an article by Lou Adler, CEO of The Adler Group, a talent acquisition consulting firm. Full text of the article can be found here: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130911212503-15454-10-things-job-seekers-must-do-to-get-a-better-job)

  1. Focus on the job, not the money. It’s better to be underpaid than overpaid. Getting promoted or obtaining a big compensation increase will only occur after you’ve demonstrated great performance. Ignore anyone who says otherwise. (For salespeople, remember that the higher your base compensation, the more scrutiny you’ll face from your employer. Isn’t it better to start out by flying under the radar?)
  2. Present your strengths and weaknesses via short stories. Without a doubt, you will be a more compelling candidate if you directly connect your past successes to each of the key competencies for the position. Be prepared to provide detailed information, including dates, measurable results, actual deliverables, and any supporting information needed to validate them. Use the SMARTe acronym to form the answers: Specific task, Metrics, Action taken, Results and deliverable defined, the Time frame, and a description of the e Don’t be shy about addressing the mistakes you’ve made, what you learned from them, and how it made you better at your job.
  3. Skip the generalities. Don’t say you’re motivated, strong, dedicated, a great problem-solver or a great team player, or whatever, unless you can back it up with proof. Let the interviewer determine if you’re strong, dedicated or a team player, based on the examples you present.
  4. Divide and conquer by asking the universal question. Very early in the interview, or phone screen, you must ask the interviewer to describe the focus of the job, some of the big challenges, and how the new person’s performance will be measured. Pick at least two from this list. Then prove each is a core strength using the SAFW response below.
  5. Practice the universal answer to any question. You need to be able to validate all of your strengths with specific examples. Form your answer using the SAFW two-minute response: Say A Few Words – Statement – Amplify – few Examples – Wrap-up.
  6. Weave the 10 Best Predictors of Job Success into Your SAFW Response. I just wrote a post for interviewers on how to evaluate your answers. Make sure you have an example proving you possess at least three or four of these strengths. Then during the interview ask if these traits are important for on-the-job success. Of course they will be. Then give your example. Note: this is a slam dunk!
  7. Use the phone screen to minimize the impact of a weak first impression. Even if you make a good first impression, it’s important to ask the universal question (see above) early in the phone screen. Answering it correctly will increase the likelihood you’ll be invited to an onsite interview. This will help focus the actual interview on your past performance, instead of box-checking your skills and experience, or judging you on first impressions.
  8. Uncover any concerns before the end of the interview. To determine where you stand, ask the interviewer about next steps. If they’re not specific, you probably won’t be called back. In this case, ask the interviewer to share the biggest concern he/she has about your background. Then ask how the skill, trait or factor mentioned is used on the job. To overcome the concern, you’ll need to use the SAFW two-minute response to prove you can handle the requirement.

Lou Adler’s latest book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench, 2013), covers the Performance-based Hiring process described in this article in more depth. For instant hiring advice join Lou’s LinkedIn group and follow his Wisdom About Work series on Facebook.

The Truth About Interviews

The best interviews are always a two-way street. A fluid, dynamic conversation will impress any employer – it will tell them that you are confident, knowledgeable and, most of all, that you will be someone they’d like to work with. This quick read contains some excellent tips that’ll help you shine. The Truth About Interviews | LinkedIn

Why Direct Mail Marketing is Far From Dead

For marketers and business owners, one of the biggest urban legends is: Direct mail is dead. It was killed by the internet.

However, it’s not just alive and well, but in fact, direct mail could be considered superior to other marketing channels based on recent statistics and studies. Read the full article from Forbes magazine: Why Direct Mail Marketing Is Far From Dead

Are Executive Recruiters Worth the Expense?

Recruiting industry guru Lou Adler recently published an article for LinkedIn’s Talent Blog about a study his firm conducted looking at what the best executive recruiters do differently from their corporate counterparts. Here’s the short list:

  • More high touch career advisory role when dealing with candidates
  • More trusted, have strong job knowledge and are more persuasive with hiring managers so they don’t need to present as many candidates
  • Recognize talent and have strong interviewing skills
  • More persistent, so they engage with more top prospects, get more referrals and close deals more frequently
  • Specialists have deeper networks and can build the target list quickly
  • Better negotiators focusing more on career growth than compensation when discussing opportunities
  • Their subject matter expertise creates a relationship with hiring managers and prospects that goes beyond the current opening

He says that these are among the reasons why top recruiters deliver stronger candidates for the toughest roles more quickly and with fewer offers being rejected or countered.

Click here for the full article.

Tips for Acing a Video Interview

This content comes mostly from the following article:

8 tips for your next video job interview
Katherine Noel
Mar. 21, 2016

Job interviews can be nerve-racking, especially if you’re meeting the hiring manager for the first time via webcam in your living room.

Since video interviews are typically faster, easier, and more cost-effective than an in-person meeting or long phone call, many companies are now using them to expedite the hiring process.

“Companies are implementing video interviews more and more, and people are actually getting hired faster now, because it’s less time and less aggravation on both ends,” says Paul J. Bailo, a digital executive and author of “The Essential Digital Interview Handbook.” “The key problem with video interviews, though, is that job seekers don’t know how to do them.”

Here are eight tips to improve your video-interviewing skills and land the job:

  1. Double-check your audio, video, and internet connection

Always test your video and audio right before an interview to ensure everything is working properly. Just because it worked a month ago doesn’t mean it’s going to work today, and you don’t want to risk the headache or embarrassment of technology issues during a conversation with a potential employer.

A stable wireless connection is also essential, so be sure to choose a location where you know spotty connection won’t disrupt your video.

  1. Pick a distraction-free background

You want the focus to be on your face and what you’re saying during the interview, so choosing a clear background that’s business-like and free of distractions is key.

Avoid windows and walls full of pictures, posters, or knickknacks. Clear all books and clutter off your desk — basically, you want to eliminate anything that could draw the interviewer’s attention away from you. If you can’t find a good backdrop at your office or at home, then just use a solid wall.

Choose a location that’s free from the distractions of children, roommates or pets. (And don’t even think of doing a video interview from a coffee shop.) Hang a sign on the door asking mail carriers and package deliverers not to ring the doorbell. Make sure the background is free from clutter and embarrassing items like laundry piles. Set up lighting that’s bright but not glaring, illuminating your face from the front. Natural light is best.

  1. Make sure you’re in a well-lit room and the interviewer can see you clearly

Pay attention to the lighting. You want the interviewer to be able to see your face clearly, so try a test video beforehand to make sure lights aren’t casting any shadows on your face. Bailo says people often have just one overhead light shining down on them from the ceiling, but this creates shadows and can be unflattering.

Aim to have one light coming from behind you, one light on your right, and one light on your left to create a glow around you.

  1. Angle and eye contact are critical

Where do you look during a video interview? It’s one of the most common questions people have, and it’s easy to get thrown off if you’re not used to video chatting. Although it may not feel natural at first, you want to speak to the camera, not the screen.

Maintain eye contact by looking directly into the camera instead of at the screen or at your own photo. Also, be sure to speak clearly so the microphone picks up your voice and the interviewer doesn’t have to strain to hear you.

Always position your camera at eye-level, not above or below you. “The angle is so critical,” Bailo says. “You don’t want the camera looking up your nose, and you don’t want the camera looking down at you. The psychology behind it is if I’m looking down at the camera, I’m looking down at the hiring manager, and they feel subservient.”

  1. Frame yourself from the chest up

Showing yourself from the waist or chest up is generally recommended for video interviews, so you don’t look like a floating head. You don’t want to be so close to the camera that the interviewer can count your nose hairs.

Bailo explains that the triangle formed from the top of your head down to your shoulders is the focal point, because all of your communication is going to be coming from your face — your emotion, your expression, your smiling — and that’s what’s going to get you the job.

  1. Dress for the job you want

While it may be tempting to do the interview sans pants with your nicest shirt, resist that urge. You want to dress exactly as if you were going for the interview in person. This can have a strong effect on your mindset, and if you’re too comfortable in the boxers or sweatpants you’re rocking out of frame, that will come through in your attitude and speech.

You always want to look your best for an interview, so wash your face, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and prepare the same as you would for an in-person meeting. Your dress and level of formality should match the industry for which you’re interviewing; if the job is at a firm where workers wear suits every day, you should wear a suit for your video interview.

Keep makeup natural-looking, and avoid wearing too much jewelry, which can be distracting and catch light from the wrong angle. Choose clothing colors that complement your skin tone, and make sure your clothing melds well with the background as well, Bailo advises.

  1. Keep your body language open

Just as with an in-person interview, it’s important to be cognizant of your body language in order to leave a positive impression on the interviewer.

It’s fine to gesture while you speak, but be careful to keep your hand movements contained and within the video frame, and be aware that your gestures aren’t always going to translate over video the same way they would in person.

It’s also crucial to maintain a pleasant facial expression during the interview. “You’re creating an image of yourself as soon as you turn on your camera,” says Barbara Pachter, etiquette and communication expert and author of “The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet Your Way to Success.” “You want the person to like you and hire you, so smile! If you look frozen or scared for your life, why would they hire you?”

  1. Think of it as a show

Bailo tells his clients to think of video interviews as one-man studio shows.

“With the audio, the video, the lights, and everything else, you want to realize that we’re building a studio,” he says. “And you’re the star — you have to prepare because you’re the sound person, you’re the light person, you’re the camera person, you’re the copyright person, you’re the makeup artist. You’re everything to put this show on, so you really have to think of yourself as a Hollywood star.”

  1. Hit pause

Digital connections can be delayed. To avoid talking over your interviewer or having your first few words cut out, let the interviewer finish the question and then pause for a few seconds before delivering your answer.

If you take the time to prepare your answers and follow these video interview tips, you’ll be more likely to make a great impression and hopefully score the job — or at least a second interview.





I have recruited and hired a lot of people over the years, more than I can count, but the one constant throughout the process is a simple question: Are we taking too long to hire?

Yes, I’ve been accused of that before, especially when I was recruiting journalists from the U.S. Mainland for a newspaper in Hawaii, a place that people suddenly got cold feet about when they had to seriously consider the ramifications of living and working there rather than just dropping in for a tropical vacation.

Corporate types 6,000 miles away never seemed to understand that.

I’ve also been accused of hiring too fast when it was clear that one of the very first candidates interviewed for a position was by far the best choice. Many people don’t believe that ever happens. Their view is that unless you’re interviewing lots of people and digging through an endless stack of resumes, then you’re not doing your job.

Recruiters who struggle with hiring managers who constantly want just a few more candidates, no matter how many great ones you’ve already sent over, can appreciate that.


I bring this up because of an interesting survey from Robert Half, the staffing firm that specializes in accountants and financial professionals. It pops up in all sorts of Google searches and resonates because of its simple premise — Are You Taking Too Long to Hire?

As the Time to Hire survey points out:

Hiring is one of the most important decisions any organization makes. But stretching out the process can cause good companies to lose out on the best candidates.”

And what talent management professional hasn’t struggled with THAT?

The survey data does a good job of supporting the report’s basic premise:

  • For almost six in 10 workers (57 percent), the most frustrating part of the job search is the long wait after an interview to hear if they got the job.
  • Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) lose interest in an organization if they don’t hear back within one week after the initial interview; another 46 percent lose interest if there’s no status update from one-to-two weeks post-interview.
  • When faced with a lengthy hiring process, 39 percent of survey respondents lose interest and pursue other roles, while 18 percent decide to stay put in their current job.
  • Nearly one-third (32 percent) said a protracted hiring process makes them question the organization’s ability to make other important decisions.


That last point is an important one, according to Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half:

The hiring process provides a window into the overall corporate culture. If people feel their career potential will be stifled by a slow-moving organization, they will take themselves out of the running.”

Of course, all of this discussion about taking too long to hire raises yet another question: What is the proper time frame to make a hiring decision, and what is considered “too long?” According to the survey:

  • From the day of the initial interview to the day an offer is extended, the largest percentage of workers – 39 percent – said a process lasting 7-14 days is too long.
  • One quarter of the survey respondents (24 percent) felt a time frame of 15-21 days was too lengthy.

These are pretty mind-boggling numbers when you consider that in 2017, the average hiring time (from start to finish of the interview process) was 23.8 days, according to a Glassdoor survey. And it was longer for some employment categories, with government hiring taking the longest at 53.8 days (no big surprise there).

Hiring remains one of the most critically important decisions a company makes, and, as the Robert Half survey analysis notes, “the risk of making a mistake causes some firms to draw out the process, adding days or weeks until a final decision is reached.”

But doing so often results in losing top candidates and starting the search over from scratch. “The key takeaway is for firms to tighten their timelines without skipping steps,” McDonald said.


Here’s my take: Hiring is about getting the best people, yet at far too many companies, the internal systems for doing that get in the way of actually finding and landing them.

What the Robert Half Time to Hire survey reminds us of — again — is that candidates aren’t willing to endure a long wait for a company to make up their mind, and given that we’re in an economy with record-low unemployment (at least as measured by the flawed but familiar Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers), people have more job possibilities and options than they had even a year ago.

This video below, and that you can click to here, is an easy-to-understand explanation of why government unemployment statistics that get touted everywhere are so terribly wrong.

If you deal with talent acquisition in any way, you know this to be true: If you leave candidates hanging and don’t get back to them in a timely manner, you’ll not only hurt your ability to hire people now, but you’ll send a message about your organizational culture that can be terribly damaging long-term.

My experience is that candidates will stick with you as long as you’re regularly communicating and helping them to understand where you are in the hiring process — and where they stand as well.

I say this a lot, but it bears repeating: A new job and new company should be at it’s very best when you’re at the beginning of the relationship.

If it’s not great then, it probably never, ever will be.

If you leave would-be employees hanging when they’re talking with you about a job, don’t be surprised if they get a message that you never really intended to send.

John Hollon is an award-winning journalist and nationally recognized expert on leadership, talent management, and smart workforce practices. He currently is Editor at Recruiting Daily.com. He also was founding Editor of the popular talent management website TLNT.com, and before that, Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com. John also held editing positions at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the Orange County Register, and was top editor for Gannett at two statewide papers —Montana’s Great Falls Tribune and The Honolulu Advertiser. He also has deep experience in magazine and online publishing as editorial director at Fancy Publications, VP of Editorial at Pets.com, and Editor of the San Diego Business Journal. In addition, John is an adjunct professor in the College of Communications at California State University, Fullerton, and a board member at the Kronos Workforce Institute.