What to Do if You’ve Made a Bad Finance Hire


It happens. In spite of our best efforts we make a bad accounting or finance hire. But to mitigate the impact of our misstep, we need to take action quickly. After all, a bad finance hire not only impacts the output of that role, but can also derail a high-performing team.

Step 1: Know the Costs
Let’s take a quick look at the costs of a bad hire. Costs escalate depending on position and include:

  • Initial recruiting costs
  • Salary
  • Training time
  • Lost business opportunities
  • Reduction in team morale
  • Negative impact on company culture

In fact, hiring the wrong person can cost an organization up to 5 times their annual salary.

Step 2: Evaluate Why
Evaluate why the hire isn’t successful. Is it a cultural mismatch? Are their technical skills not up to snuff? Is it a quick fix that can be resolved with some targeted mentoring? Decide, in other words, if the situation is beyond salvaging. If it is, what is the timeline for bringing someone else in?

Step 3: Miscast
One caveat – occasionally the individual has valuable skills that the organization can still use, but they’re miscast in their current role. In this best case scenario, you’re able to transition your new hire into another position where their strengths can shine and their weaknesses are minimized.

Step 4: Cut Your Losses
Time is of the essence. A bad hire can impact the productivity of your team and as such the situation needs to be managed quickly.

Read: For tips on how to let someone go, read “How to Let an Employee Go Graciously.

Step 5: Re-evaluate the Process
There are a number of signs that your hiring process needs a makeover, including not attracting the right talent.  If you’re losing candidates in the 11th hour, or your interview process is suspect, revisiting how you hire candidates make sense.

Here are some tips for improving your hiring process this spring:

  • Alignment – Make sure that everyone involved in the hiring process is on the same page, including HR and the line manager
  • Remove inefficiencies – Top talent is usually being courted by multiple firms, so at the very least shorten the time between interviews and remove other inefficiencies in the hiring process
  • Access to the line manager – If you’ve chosen to work with a recruiting company, make sure you give them access to the line manager
  • Scorecard – Create a scorecard that compares candidates across a variety of factors. Scorecards inject objectivity into the hiring process and help make sure that no key requirement is left unexplored.
  • Research – Understand what the market can offer and what is reasonable compensation. Research the candidate in advance so that you can ask targeted questions that get to the heart of their skill set
  • Job Postings – Speak directly to the candidates that you want to attract. Don’t depend on tired, old postings to bring in top talent.

DownloadHelp! I’m Interviewing Accountants – The Definitive Guide” for tips on how to re-work your interview process.

Key Takeaways
According to research commissioned by Glassdoor, 95% of organizations have admitted to making a bad hire, so you’re certainly not alone. Evaluate why the hire isn’t working out, and take action quickly to rectify the situation even if it means letting the hire go. Take a hard look at your hiring process and make the necessary changes to ensure you bring the right candidate on board next time.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.

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