WITH the increase in employee attrition in job markets across the Asia-Pacific, recruiters are spending long hours browsing and filtering the most suitable candidates from thousands of resumes available across different platforms. Hiring a candidate is not an easy task. It involves a meticulous understanding of the profile and the Key Result Area (KRA) for the job, and then working on a plan that would help them understand a prospective candidate better. Most of the work in hiring activities involves creating a set of performance criteria to assess who is apt for a role.

The entire process of hiring may appear to be easy but in reality it costs a lot for a recruiter. With the upsurge of different sources of information, it becomes extremely tedious for the recruiters to scan through the information available for candidates in different social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It is not just the investment of money but also the time that human resources professionals spend on searching for the right candidate. According to Recruiter.com, the true cost comes out at a staggering US$830,000 (S$1.04 million), based on someone earning US$70,000 and whose employment is terminated after two and a half years. The cost associated with the recruitment of a candidate includes advertising, recruitment agency fees, scrutiny of application, multiple rounds of interviews, travel and accommodation, training and orientation. The extent of expenditure on a bad hire depends of the following:

  • The higher the position, the higher the hiring cost
  • Cost of training
  • The longer the unsuitable employee is associated with the organisation, the more the cost

According to a survey done by Recruit Plus in Singapore, it was found that 99 per cent of the survey respondents felt that their organisation is employing a certain percentage of bad hires, from 10 per cent to a whopping 50 per cent. Of 4,000 respondents, only 64 per cent of the survey respondents have the intention to make good their bad hires through training; 11 per cent will live with it. The balance 25 per cent is non-committal. From the numbers mentioned above, it is evident that almost every company suffers from some degree of damage due to bad hires.

A bad hire often causes significant loss in business, which can tarnish the image of a company as well. The costs that are difficult to quantify are the low confidence of customers with the company, loss of business, and cost of disruption of the business, mistakes and failures of the candidates. One of the major losses is reduced employee morale. When an employee is terminated, the entire team can be in disarray.There are various reasons that lead to bad hire. Some common factors are:

  • Uncertainty of the requirements for a particular position
  • Urgency to fill the vacancy
  • Insufficient talent intelligence
  • Inefficiently done research on the candidate
  • Lack of referral checks

How to minimise bad hires

Prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes. The incurring of loss of manpower, finance and business is enough motivation for organisations to avoid bad hires. So, how can they do so? When hiring, recruiters should remember simple tips like:

  • Understand what skills a position demands
  • Look for the intangible qualities like leadership qualities, team player and good interpersonal skills
  • Converse well with the candidates. This helps in understanding the candidate and also gives an opportunity to the recruiter to communicate to them what exactly is expected out of them
  • Make optimal use of social networking sites and available resources for background screening

Background screening is equally important for employees. With globalisation, companies are looking to the growing markets of the Asia-Pacific region to expand their businesses. Talents from developing and under-developed countries also endeavour to explore greener pastures that would allow them to lead a better life both financially and socially. This has resulted in a tough competition as there are often many candidates available for the same position. The desire to get a good job in a top multinational company with an excellent remuneration package is so high that one is not deterred from forging his/her CV. Background screening helps in weeding out individuals with forged credentials who may otherwise take the jobs of qualified applicants. This helps in widening the scope of opportunities for deserving candidates.

Benefits of background screening

Background verification also helps in providing employees with a safe work environment. While conducting background screening, companies do criminal and financial checks. This enables recruiters to know about any criminal offence like murder, theft, etc. that had been committed in the past. Criminal history and financial-related discrepancies can pose greater legal, compliance, reputational and security risks than other types of discrepancies. A criminal and financial background verification not just helps in providing a safe work environment but also helps a company from reputational damage or potential risks to workplace safety or confidential data that result from negative hiring.

To protect the company, an effective background screening programme is an essential part of any employer's hiring strategy. Conducting a screening programme requires compliance with the various - and often changing - regulatory environment of each country and local region.

In order to ensure a reliable and compliant screening programme, companies can leverage from an alliance with a background screening partner experienced in the dynamic regulatory environment. The right provider should be up-to-date on the latest legislation governing the background screening process, helping to ensure the company continually hires the right talent while checking their credentials in a safe and legally compliant manner.

A company's success completely depends on its employees. Hence it is crucial for every company to have a talented team. A bad team has always been a catalyst to a company's failure. Sustaining the talent pool and providing the employees with a safe work environment is of utmost importance for every company. Hiring suitable candidates is a time consuming process, and one should draft a proper hiring plan and execute it patiently to be successful in hiring the right talent.

The author Mr Matthew Glasner is the Managing Director, South Asia-Pacific, First Advantage.