There comes a time in just about every hiring manager’s career when, despite their most valiant efforts, a bad hire manages to slip through the cracks. According to Brandon Hall Group, some 95 percent of employers make a hiring mistake each and every year.

Making a poor hiring decision can cost a lot more in the long run than just the headache of dealing with a bad employee. In fact, with the US Department of Labor putting the price of a bad hire at around 30% of the employee’s first year’s earnings, the financial implications alone can run anywhere from several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars.

To counteract this, some companies – like the popular shoe brand Zappos – even offer separation bonuses so that, in the event that a new hire doesn’t work out, they can cut their losses and mitigate financial impact on their bottom line.

Hopefully, separation bonuses won’t have to be something your company has to implement, but it’s important to have a clear understanding of exactly what impact a poor hiring choice can have. Knowing this can help make the importance of hiring right the first time even more of a priority. Additionally, taking a few proactive measures, such as those listed below, can help improve your odds of hiring right.

Mastering the Interview Process

One of the easiest ways to reduce the risk associated with hiring the wrong candidates is to improve the interview processes. In fact, according to the Brandon Hall survey referenced above, 69 percent of organizations surveyed listed broken interview processes as having the greatest impact on the quality of their hires. To avoid these problems, try the following:

  •       Create and stick to a consistent interview strategy
  •       Make a checklist of questions for each phase of the interview process
  •       Implement a protocol for who will conduct each stage of the interview (i.e., recruiter, first-line supervisor, manager, etc.)

Improving Candidate Experience

Investing in the candidate experience can improve your quality of hires by up to 70 percent. There are a number of ways you can accomplish this, including the following:

  •       Leverage social media
  •       Participate in talent communities
  •       Go mobile to make the process easy and convenient
  •       Use video technology
  •       Ask new hires and recent job applicants to share their experience on review sites like Glassdoor

Invest in Employer Branding

Brandon Hall’s survey also revealed that organizations that invest in employer branding are 3x more likely to make better hires. The two main areas you should focus on when working to improve your branding are your company image and its reputation. Your image involves the language you use in your job postings and any other external recruitment tools you use. Your reputation encompasses everything that others say about your company online (hence the importance of positive comments on third-party review sites).

Perhaps Steve Jobs stated it best when he said: “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.” By employing the tips listed above, you can improve your chances of getting it right the first time, every time, and save your company from the high cost of bad hires.