What’s the Cost of a Bad Hire in 2023 & Tips to Avoid Them!

The process of hiring a new employee in senior living / long term care can be arduous and expensive. It can also be stressful since you know that getting it right the first time is essential because a bad hire is costly.


According to the US Department of Labor, while not exact, the average cost of a bad hire in 2023 is at least 30% of the individual’s first year expected earnings. That means if your new hire’s salary is $60,000, a mismatch will cost you $18,000. Others say the cost is actually higher since some expenses are easy to quantify, others are not, including:


-Interviewing & Training. When you hire talent, you are investing in that individual. This includes the recruitment process, interview process, orientation/onboarding, specialized certifications, training, etc. These costs add up fast. However, these are all essential for getting your new hire up to speed. A wrong hiring decision means you’ve wasted all this time, money, and other resources plus, you’ll need to find a replacement.


-Lost Productivity. One of the biggest problems of a mis-hire is they could be working at a snail’s pace or totally disengaged. This lowers the productivity rate. In addition, it takes time away from a manager’s day to have to train and then retrain a bad hire. Their time equates to nearly one day per week.


-Lost Clients. If your new employee is not putting in the effort, your residents and their family members will be dissatisfied and may end up leaving you. It usually doesn’t stop there. One bad hire may cost you future clients as well.


-Damaged Reputation. A bad hire can result in negative reviews of your senior living / long term care organization. This is a turn-off when trying to attract the talent you need. Plus, bad reviews spread quickly through Glassdoor, Google My Business, and social media. You’ll not only lose potential talent but future business as well.


-Lower Employee Morale. If your new hire does not measure up to the pace of your organization or is a slacker, your team members will have to make up for it. They’ll end up working harder, which can lower morale. Unhappiness spreads like a virus through your entire team.


Even after sifting through resumes and conducting a thorough interview process, it’s still possible to make a bad hire. Sometimes there’s red flags before hiring but quite often they become most apparent when your new hire is on the job.


9 Red Flags That You’ve Made a Bad Hire:


-Lacking the skills discussed in the interview. Once on the job, if your new hire seems lost or incompetent, they may not have the skill sets needed. If this is the case, their resume was not truthful.


-Negative Attitude. Everyone can have a bad day but if your new hire is constantly complaining and making negative remarks, the chances are good that this won’t improve over time.


-Consistently Late. If they’re new to the area or got lost in the building, being tardy the first few times is forgivable. However, if your new hire is consistently late, this could be a sign that they don’t enjoy the job or are totally unreliable.


-Arrogant. Confidence is one thing but working with someone who knows everything better and makes it known is not going to be liked and is obviously not a team player.


-Repeats the Same Mistakes. We all make mistakes but if your new hire is still making the same mistakes over and over, chances are good they won’t ever get it right.


-Doesn’t Take Ownership or Accountability.  Employees who don’t take ownership are not interested in their work. If your new hire is missing deadlines, blaming co-workers for mistakes, or always having an excuse, you probably made a bad hire.


-Not Delivering Work on Time. Sometime, there are deadlines and if your new hire can’t meet deadlines or over promises and under delivers, they don’t have your organization’s best interests in mind.


-Unwilling to Adapt to Change. If your new hire keeps talking about their old company and how they did things there, they may not be able to adapt to their new environment, co-workers, or position.


Oversteps. If your new hire loves to hand out unwelcome advice and oversteps boundaries with co-workers, they won’t be a great addition to your team.



11 Strategies to Minimize the Chances of Making a Bad Hire:


-Write Clear Job Descriptions. Ensure that your job descriptions is accurate and reflects the responsibilities and expectations of the role.


-Implement Structured Interview Process. Develop an interview process that includes standardized questions for all candidates. This will help to evaluate candidates fairly.


-Behavioral Interviews. Use behavioral interview questions that ask candidates to provide specific examples of past behavior in a relevant situation. This can help you gauge their actual experience and skills.


-Assessment & Skills Test. These can provide concrete evidence of their suitability for the job.


-Reference Checks. Verify your candidate’s background, work history, and performance. Ask about their strengths and weaknesses.


-Cultural Fit. Evaluate the candidate’s fit with your company culture and team dynamics.


-Background Check. Verify your candidate’s qualifications, employment history and criminal record, where relevant.


-Involve Team Members. Have several of your team members meet the candidate, whether at an informal or structured setting, to assess how well they would fit with existing staff.


-Social Media Check. Make sure candidate’s postings on social media are appropriate and acceptable.


Consider Interim Option.  If you’re still not ready to make an offer, consider hiring an interim professional in your industry.  MedBest’s Interim Recruiters will tell you that hiring an interim affords you the time to slow down and not rush a perm hire. Thus, you’ll have time to locate and land the perfect candidate that aligns with your organization’s values and mission.


-Contact a Reputable Search Firm Specializing in Your Industry.  As senior living / long term care recruiters, we’re connected to the best active and passive candidates in the senior living / long term care industry. Only those candidates that fit with your talent requirements and company culture are presented.




Julie Rupenski is the Founder & CEO of MedBest Recruiting. Since opening its doors in 2001, Julie has grown MedBest into an award winning, multimillion-dollar national firm, garnering impressive awards including INC 5000 2021 and Tampa Bay Fast 50 2021!  In addition, Julie was named as one of the “Top 100 Women Leaders in Tampa 2022″ by Women We Admire.


MedBest has gained national recognition due to Julie’s industry expertise and high level of success. Julie has an in-depth knowledge of the senior living / long term care industry.  She previously worked in operations for both senior housing and senior living prior to founding MedBest. Today, Julie and her industry-savvy team of recruiters, make it their mission to place exceptional industry executives in senior living positions where they have the greatest impact.


MedBest is an award-winning national Executive Search Firm exclusive to the Senior Living / Long Term Care Industry. For more than two decades, we have connected senior living / long term care organizations with exceptional senior living executive talent for both permanent and interim roles. MedBest was named as one of American’s top companies by Inc.5000 and Tampa Fast 50. MedBest’s Interim Division is named on the Top 10 List of Interim Services Providers 2023!

For  more information, contact MedBest at jkrupenski@medbest.com/ 727-526-1294 (call or text)

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