The Real Cost of a Bad Hire

The Real Cost of a Bad Hire

A toxic employee

Hiring a toxic employee may have many costs.

The most rewarding aspect of working with good people is that you’re not alone in creating something that really matters. As a manager, watching a collection of committed, talented people working cohesively together made me proud and confident we could tackle anything thrown at us.

I think that most people come to work wanting to add value to their lives; the lives of people they work with; and the job at hand. Unfortunately, there are others who disrupt and poison the work culture, which can undermine the very existence and reputation of an organization. It is easy to measure the effects of theft, fraud, damage to property, and violence within the walls of a company, but accurately assessing the damage caused by employees who poison the culture is far more difficult.



Not only can interpersonal problems fester where these negative personalities exist… but the fallout can have a calamitous effect

These individuals sometimes possess a canny ability to convince others of their way of thinking (usually in self-serving ways) and can become the de facto boss, wielding influence through subtle or overt intimidation and other manipulations.

Not only can interpersonal problems fester where these negative personalities exist, but the fallout can have a calamitous effect on employer-employee relationships, trust, productivity, and the internal and external reputation of the organization.

A Lesson Learned

Conventional pre-employment background screening (criminal record, credit check, etc.) would not have revealed what we found…

Recently, an employee hired by an organization was causing significant disruption in the workplace. We were asked to perform a thorough background check on the employee and within an hour discovered numerous red flags. There were obvious suitability issues, and an overall disposition that crossed over into many arenas of inappropriateness, which were objectionable in general, but particularly undesirable in the employee’s position.

Conventional pre-employment background screening (criminal record, credit check, etc.) would not have revealed what we found, or provided any relevant insight. The employee was eventually terminated, but the cost, time and stress generated by the process was exhausting.

A significant amount of time, money and energy can be spent attempting to repair issues that threaten the reputation and survival of an organization. Though there is no simple answer, knowing who we let into the fold is a very good start.

A job applicant’s resume and credentials are not the totality of information available about them; it’s what they want you to see, and commonly used background checks are frequently inadequate tools for revealing the true nature of a potential hire. There is much more information provided by a thorough background screening process, which more accurately reflects character, reputation, patterns of behaviour, and associations.

So, the hard-won lesson this company’s experience teaches: all pre-employment screening is not created equally. Consider comprehensive corporate background check services that protect the integrity and security of your company from the outset. Doing so may save internal turmoil, time, frustration, money, and damage to your company’s reputation.

About the Author

Pat Fogarty is a former organized crime investigator now leading Internet research and investigations at Fathom Research Group. Read more about Pat.