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How a bad hire can impact team morale

28 NovemberBy Rob Forsyth

If we asked you to consider the potential cost of a poor hire for your business, it is likely that a range of obvious direct factors will immediately come to mind. These direct factors might include the months of wasted salary or the costs associated with the training and educational packages that were provided to the new hire when they were first on-boarded.


‘Teamwork makes the dream work’ might be a cringe-worthy cliché, however, there is no denying that the efficacy of your team will have a defining impact on the volume and quality of the output of your business. If your team has a weak link, the effects of this will be felt right across the company.

This is precisely why it is essential that your hiring teams consistently select the very best candidate for every role your business advertises.

Let’s take a few moments to run through some of the indirect costs a poor hire can have on your business and, specifically, on the morale of your team.

Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team

John Maxwell

Additional sickness days and other absences

It is not uncommon for poor hires to take higher than average numbers of sickness days in addition to a variety of other absences. This will almost certainly have a knock-on effect across your team, with the added pressure most keenly felt by their closest colleagues.

Let's say that your mis-hire works in close collaboration with four other team members and is regularly absent. Those four colleagues will be required to take on additional tasks by way of coverage. This will either impact the volume of work they are able to complete, the quality of said work, or both.

These very same team members might be forced to work additional hours to mitigate the impact of their under-performing colleague. In turn, this will contribute to additional levels of fatigue and stress. Sadly, this situation may very well be temporary; if these employees feel underappreciated, they may soon start to consider their own options which could result in your business losing some of its most valuable and experienced team members.


The co-workers and supervisors of a poor hire will have almost invariably invested a considerable amount of time into bringing them up to speed on the role and tasks at hand. With the best will in the world, there will be a learning curve that each new employee must navigate until they become a fully productive member of the team. If that individual is a good fit for the company, this investment of time and energy from co-workers, supervisors and management teams will pay off. Not so with a poor hire, resulting in wasted time, investment and, most perniciously, an adverse effect on morale.

In practice, this can impact team morale in several ways. Not only have they invested physical and emotional energy into a co-worker who is no longer part of their team, but they will also recognise that the whole process will need to be repeated when a new hire is brought in as a replacement.

Perhaps more than once.

Whilst managers and hiring teams may want to get the now-vacant role filled as quickly as possible, it is essential to recognise that hiring in haste is often a sure-fire way to employ yet another individual who is not entirely suited to the role.

The relationship between low morale and loss of business

The lost productivity that results from a team with low morale can cost a business dearly. In addition to immediate revenue, firms can so easily lose clients to the competition if deadlines are missed, deliverables are delayed and under-performance becomes a more widespread issue.

Within 18 months, two in every five new hires turn out to be bad hires.

In the worst possible scenario, those mis-hires can have such a negative influence on performance levels that it results in the complete deterioration of an entire team. This can take considerable time and investment to correct, which is why we believe it is imperative for every hiring decision-maker to understand just how much every bad hire may really cost the business.

If you want to discover the exact cost every poor hire will have on your business, simply click the button below or visit and enter your information to receive a detailed, fully personalised report that should help you to transform your hiring process for the better.

Click here to receive a detailed, fully personalised report

Recruitment Process Audit



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