What is worse, no hire or a poor hire?


As the mining industry heads into another skills shortage, it may be time to weigh up the cost of a bad hire vs no hire.

There are a lot of methods to calculate the cost of a poor hire or no hire at all. To any business the cost in time and money is significant, but few organisations consider the impact on a business that aren’t immediately visible.

As the mining industry heads into another skills shortage, it may be time to weigh up the cost of a bad hire vs. no hire. On one hand you want to ensure you find a great addition to your team. On the other, there are times it seems that all the applicants are not meeting the criteria. Do you keep holding out or progress with the best of the applicants received?

No hire

Deciding to continue to look for a better fit may seem like a great option, but consider these points before you do, as there are potential ramifications on you and your team.

  • What is the cost of the work not being done? Within some organisations, teams are incredibly lean, and individuals within these teams have zero capacity to take on additional work. Will you miss deadlines, not meet targets, or reporting obligations?
  • What is the impact on the people left to cover the gap? When a single team member is missing in a large team, it is possible the workload can be spread among several people. But spreading the workload through a small team can have a significant impact on team members. Even worse is if a single person is left to do the work of two.
  • Could you end up with even more vacancies? The increased workload on the remaining team to continue to meet target often results in increases in work-related stress and dissatisfaction. Most people are willing to step up for a period, but their effort and commitment will decline over time if they feel there is no end in sight as to when the team will be back to full strength.
  • If a position continues to be advertised on a website such as SEEK, what is the message that is being sent to prospective employees? Are you being too selective, taking too long in the recruitment process, or simply not willing to decide? If you continue to advertise the role, a prospective employee may think your company has high turnover as they don’t have an insight into the inner workings of your company.

Poor hire

Many of us have been in a situation where an individual is employed, and as a collective group we wonder “why?” A poor hire has similar impacts to teams as no hire.

  • There is a gap to be filled as the poor hire is not contributing. With a poor hire, there can also be additional work created with managing poor performance, giving additional training and supervising at a higher level.
  • There can be an impact on customers, both internal and external. While in mining this is potentially less of an issue, consider if the poor hire is within a team that engages with external providers? Consider the impact on supply chain if invoices or purchase orders aren’t processed? What if the poor performer is engaging with the community where your operation is located? Or if they are the first person people meet within your organisation?
  • A one-off poor hire can be viewed as a mistake by a team. We’ve likely all experienced a colleague not pulling their weight. If a manager or team leader routinely employs people who are viewed by the rest of the team as a poor hire or fit, the team’s perspective of their manager’s ability to make robust decisions will change.
  • The impact on morale of the team and other employees is impossible to measure with either a no hire or a poor hire. Often employees will not approach their supervisor or manager to discuss issues. Particularly if they are working remotely, on shift, or have lost faith or belief in their manager.

Finally, remember top talent is in demand, so when you identify an applicant who meets most of your criteria, don’t waste a moment. Secure that person with a formal job offer, now!

Mining People International has more than 24 years’ specialist experience helping mining companies find the best candidates across every job category. Find out more here or get in touch today.