Hiring mistakes hit small, midsized firms hardest

Hiring the right people is hard for every organization, but the stakes are often higher for smaller employers, according to a new survey by the Robert Half International staffing firm.

Eight out of 10 business owners and HR professionals in small and midsized businesses reported having made a bad hiring decision—and that it took up to 17 weeks to recover.

Several factors complicate hiring in smaller organizations, according to Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. “Some firms lack dedicated recruiting staff or a human resources function altogether,” he said. “Multiple demands on a business owner’s time al­­­so can pull attention away from re­­cruiting and cause it to fall to the last priority.” That lack of capacity explains why it often takes so long to replace a bad hire. The time frames:

  • 58% of small business owners said it took less than a month to realize they made a bad hiring decision
  • However, it took an average of 8.8 weeks to let the person go
  • Nearly five more weeks passed before a replacement started working, with 68% of businesses putting the workload on existing staff during this time.

The unseen cost of hiring mistakes