When to Cut Bait
By Rebecca Matchette
A former client of mine is an avid fisherman. He goes to the wilds of Canada several times a year to enjoy the company of friends, commune with nature and fish. The curious thing is that he and his companions release all the fish (after taking the requisite ‘fish’ pictures of course!).
When we are seeking new employees who will fit into the culture of our company, make significant contributions and be an overall ‘good fit’ we are fishing in a sense. Our lures are the recruiting methods we use, the reputation of our organization, salary/benefits, professional development opportunities, geographic convenience to the workforce, quality of life, etc.
One of the biggest mistakes in hiring (and it happens often) is the tactic that says ‘we just needed a warm body’. Pressures to fill a position quickly to relieve burden on existing employees, to use of end-of-year budget money or various other reasons can lead to quick and less than well-thought out hiring decisions.
Usually this reasoning is applied to lower level positions where there are more superficially qualified candidates and the cost of a hiring mistake is perceived as being negligible. How wrong that is of course!
The chart below provides figures that help quantify the cost of turnover for an employee earning $30,000 annually.
|Finance||# of Employees||10|
|Accounts Receivable Clerk|
|Initial Hiring Expenses*|
|*Examples||Please select region of the|
For any company but especially a smaller one, losing this kind of money on an annual basis is just bad business. Note the turnover in this example is given as 20% and only addresses a single department. If turnover is higher, the average cost goes up accordingly.
The bottom line is just because you CAN catch and keep a ‘fish’ does not necessarily mean you should. If that ‘fish’ does not have a good chance of job and culture fit, longevity and productivity within your organization, let him/her go! Follow the example of my fishing client and ‘cut bait’.
Next month we will address how to ‘cut bait’ if a hiring mistake has already been made.