Emotional Decision Making Is the Top Cause of Bad Hires

by Kayla Garcia on Friday 17 January 2014, 2:00 AM | Category: Human Resource Management| View: 1912 views

 You're the manager of a major nonprofit organization, and you're about to launch a series of high profile fundraising sporting events. You need someone who knows the world of sports leadership inside and out.

After an exhaustive search, you think you have the right person for the job. On paper, he is perfect: the right skill set, plenty of experience in the sports management field and his references are impeccable. Yet when you meet him in person, something seems off. His enthusiasm for the cause is lacking, and he doesn't seem interested in the human side of your organization. His qualifications win out though, and you offer him the job — a decision you immediately regret, especially when a few months later you're delivering the news that you have to let him go.

The High Cost of a Bad Hire

On average, hiring a new employee costs the equivalent to 1.5 to 2 times that person's salary. That includes the costs for recruiting and training the employee, plus taxes, benefits and equipment. If you have to fire an employee, the costs only increase, when you take into account the costs for severance packages or contract buy-outs and, in some cases, legal costs should the employee decide to take action against you. Given these costs, one would think that companies would do everything they can to hire the right person the first time, but unfortunately, many hiring managers make decisions based on their emotions rather than facts — and it doesn't always work out.

In fact, emotional decision-making is the top cause for “bad hires,” or hires that are simply not the right fit for the organization. It's not that these hires are bad people, per se, it's that the hiring manager ignores warning signs or offers the job based on who they want that person to be, and not who they actually are. The results can be devastating both financially and in terms of the effect on morale and productivity in the organization.

“But He's an Ivy League Grad!”

Many hiring managers bristle at the notion that they make hiring decisions based on emotions. However, it's more common than you might think. For example, many managers a guilty of:

Hiring friends and family. This is most common among small business owners. Whether it's a cousin or a college roommate, or an acquaintance of another employee, the personal connection trumps everything else — even whether or not the person can actually do the work. Further, interpersonal relationships and their issues outside of work can spill over into the office, causing problems.

Ignoring negative gut feelings. Something just doesn't seem right with the candidate, or maybe it's something obvious, such as being rude to wait staff during a lunch meeting. Either way, you brush your negative gut feelings aside because the candidate's skills and experience align with the job description. Ignoring those red flags is often a surefire path to a bad hire.

You need someone — yesterday. When you're short-staffed and overworked, it can be tempting to get someone, anyone, into the office to pitch in. However, your desperation for help can cause you to overlook a candidate's flaws, or to hire someone who is almost a good fit. Sometimes it works out, but more often than not, a desperation hire is a bad hire.

The wrong things dazzle you. With a tight job market, candidates are doing everything they can to stand out. Learning that someone speaks five languages, has more than a million Twitter followers or climbed Mount Everest is fascinating, but unless those facts directly relate to the job, they are nothing more than fascinating facts. Unless they have relevant skills and experience and a positive attitude, they won't be a good hire.

Avoiding Emotional Decisions

Understanding why you make emotional hiring decisions is the first step to avoid making the same mistakes repeatedly. Look for patterns in your decision making, and when it's time to hire someone new, consider whether you are falling into the same trap. Be patient, methodical and process-oriented when hiring; for example, asking the same set of objective questions of every candidate allows you to compare them more effectively and make decisions based on facts.

Finally, get help when necessary. Use an executive search firm to vet candidates, seek input from team members or experts in the field and seek additional training in interviewing and evaluation to improve your hiring skills. There's no guarantee that you'll always hire the right person for the job every time, but you will have a much higher chance of doing so. 

Print-Friendly Version Email to a Friend
Related to Emotional Decision Making Is the Top Cause of Bad Hires
Total articles: 7745
    Total Categories: 22
    Updated in Last Week: 0
   Login Id
  Forgot Password?
  Enter Keywords
    Banking and Finance
    Campus Articles
Invite your Friends, your Colleagues, your Group Members, your Seniors, your Team mates...and others.

spacer gif
Management Paradise
spacer gif
arrow gif About Us
MBA Projects
Kartik Raichura
spacer gif
spacer gif
spacer gif
spacer gif
spacer gif Terms & Conditions
spacer gif Privacy Policy
spacer gif Disclaimer
spacer gif Copyrights
spacer gif Contact Us
spacer gif
spacer gif
spacer gif
spacer gif
spacer gif Zeitgeist
Our Network

MBA B School Blog

MBA Buy Entrance Exam Forms



MBA BMM Network



Copyright 2004 - 2019 Management Paradise.