Why Your Last Hire Failed

November 28, 2016

Toronto, ON — Recent research from Robert Half Finance & Accounting reflects a continuing trend: Aside from poor performance, failed hires are a result of a mismatched skill set. Nearly half of CFOs interviewed (47 per cent) responded this way, up 18 percentage points from a similar survey conducted five years ago. Another 29 per cent of financial executives think unclear performance expectations is the top reason new employees don’t work out. 

While executives at firms of all sizes cited a mismatched skill set as the leading contributor to hiring failures, CFOs at the smallest companies (20-49 employees) were more likely than their peers at the largest organizations (1,000 or more employees) to fault unclear performance expectations.

 

CFOs were asked, “Aside from poor performance, which one of the following factors is most likely to lead to a failed hire?Following are their responses by company size*:

# of Employees

Total

20-49

50-99

100-249

250-499

500-999

1,000+

Mismatched skill set

47%

50%

48%

34%

24%

41%

46%

Unclear performance expectations

29%

30%

22%

36%

51%

35%

7%

Failure to fit into corporate culture

13%

14%

4%

18%

12%

22%

25%

Personality conflicts

10%

7%

19%

10%

13%

3%

23%

Don’t know / no answer

1%

0%

6%

2%

0%

0%

0%

 

100%

101%

99%

100%

100%

101%

101%

*Some responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

 

“Often, when companies hire the wrong person for the job it’s a result of failing to clearly define what it will take for a candidate to succeed in the position,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. “Set potential new employees up for success by going beyond a generic job description; outline the necessary skills and provide a roadmap for how new hires can excel in the role initially and in the future.”

Hiring for new or existing positions creates an opportunity to demonstrate what makes your company a great place to work, added Scileppi. “Create an engaging job posting that highlights corporate values, employee benefits, and career growth opportunities to attract the professionals with the skills that match your business needs.”

Robert Half Finance & Accounting offers four tips to avoid making a bad hire:

  1. Identify the must-haves. Make a list of essential skills and those that can be learned through training. While technical expertise can help people land the job, it’s their soft skills that ensure they’re a fit for the company and can take on greater responsibilities.
  2. Don’t shortcut the reference check. Talk to candidates’ former managers to get a better sense of whether employees might do well at your firm. Ask about individuals’ work styles, strengths and areas for improvement.
  3. Get outside help. By tapping the extensive networks of a specialized staffing firm, you gain access to a larger talent pool. A recruiter can help evaluate each job seeker based on the required skills and performance expectations and accelerate the hiring process.
  4. Act immediately. If you find a great applicant, move quickly and offer attractive compensation. Separate Robert Half research shows promising candidates lose interest when companies delay making a decision. Don’t prolong the process.

About the Research

The survey was developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.

About Robert Half Finance & Accounting

Founded in 1948, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a division of Robert Half, is the world’s first and largest specialized financial recruitment service. The company has more than 325 locations worldwide and offers job search and management tools at roberthalf.ca/finance. For career and management advice, follow our blog at blog.roberthalf.ca. Follow Robert Half on Twitter at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]