Avoiding the costs of making the wrong senior-level hire: a bad hiring decision at the senior level can have far-reaching implications that could impact the direction, strategy and operations of the company causing profound pain to the company's bottom line.

Author:McDonald Paul
Position:Human Resources - Statistical data

As companies and hiring managers know all too well, making the wrong hire is costly. And not just from a financial perspective, though no one can discount the potentially extensive monetary damage from a disastrous hiring decision, especially for a senior-level position.

Not only clo bad hiring decisions drain an organization's budget, they also take a toll on morale, productivity and time. Misfit recruits require significant attention, distracting both managers and team members from focusing on business-critical initiatives.

Research by Robert Half International underscores the time drain attached to ill-advised hiring decisions. Chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed said that, on average, supervisors spend nearly one day per week overseeing poorly performing employees.

But the effects of a bad hire rarely end there. A majority (95 percent) of financial executives surveyed said a poor hiring decision at least somewhat impacts the morale of the team, with more than one-third (35 percent) saying morale is greatly affected.

It's not surprising that colleagues would find it more difficult--and highly frustrating--to continue carrying out their responsibilities when they have to pick up the slack for or learn to "work around" a problem hire. Moreover, team members may become resentful if they feel top managers are not addressing the situation.

The Ripple Effect Besides the substantial hit to morale, a bad hiring decision at the senior level can have even more far-reaching implications. Financial professionals in higher-level positions have considerable influence over day-to-day strategy and operations. If they're ineffectual in their role, the business will likely feel the pain to its bottom line sooner and more profoundly.

In addition, a company's external reputation could suffer if there is a sense the firm's leaders can't make good hiring decisions, particularly for top positions. A failed hire at the CFO level, for instance, can shake a company's reputation in the marketplace of public opinion. It may even put a firm at risk of adverse reactions from customers and clients, shareholders, auditors and regulators.

It's not always a mismatched skillset that's to blame for a failed hire. A culture clash can be just as problematic, maybe even more so. Hiring a financial executive whose values, beliefs or operating style conflict with other senior managers can translate into a corporate crisis.

If a company has to eventually terminate a...

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