How to Avoid the Costly Mistake of Making a Bad Hire

waiting for interview
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Even the best accounting firms are capable of making a bad hire. We’ve all seen it happen.

The candidate with the broad and impressive resume, the recruit who nailed every interview question, the final round contender with the spotless references – at first, they seemed the answer to your prayers.

But over time and with familiarity, your “future rainmaker” proved to be someone else entirely – the chronic absentee, the “team player” who won’t pull his or her weight, the emotionally erratic employee. Now, you are not only faced with the unenviable task of discharging your bad hire, but also the cost and expense of hiring someone else.

According to a new survey from global staffing firm Robert Half, a strong majority (81 percent) of small and midsized business owners said their companies have made a bad hire. The Robert Half Small and Midsize Business Hiring Survey also found that nearly half (49 percent) admitted most hiring managers underestimate the complexity of the hiring process, and 65 percent cited problems with their hiring process.

Several factors complicate hiring in smaller organizations, said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half.

“Some firms lack dedicated recruiting staff or a human resources function altogether,” he said. “Multiple demands on a business owner’s time also can pull attention away from recruiting and cause it to fall to the last priority.”

But while making a bad hire is incredibly disruptive for any company, the stakes are even higher in the accounting profession, where the current talent shortage means the gulf between finding good candidates and the time it takes to place them can take months – an epoch in the business world.

“Hiring is difficult and complex for small-to-midsized firms across all industries, but right now, this is especially true in the accounting profession because the unemployment rate for accountants and auditors is even lower than the national average,” said Duane Sauer, CPA, vice president of Robert Half Finance & Accounting. “Companies also are looking for professionals with a broadening skill set that can be hard to find. In this environment, companies risk losing out if they are not decisive with their offers to top candidates.”

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About Deanna Arteaga

Deanna White

Deanna Arteaga is a professional freelance writer and public relations specialist who for the past six years has covered CPA industry trends for AccountingWEB. She also writes about CPA firm marketing, higher education and professional development for CPAs, and workplace trends in the accounting profession. She has more than 20 years of journalism and public relations experience, including her tenure as a former newspaper reporter in suburban Chicago where she covered breaking news, municipal politics, and state legislative issues.


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