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Poll: 98% of CFOs have hired the wrong person

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Singapore employers do not always get it right when it comes to recruiting and they are not the only ones, according to a new survey.

It found 98 per cent of chief financial officers polled admitted to a bad hiring decision, with 24 per cent taking two weeks to discover they have hired the wrong person.

There were similar results in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Britain.

"Hiring the wrong person is not unique to Singaporean employers; unfortunately it happens in numerous workplaces globally," said Mr Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Singapore managing director of recruitment agency Robert Half, which conducted the survey.

"The cost of a bad hire... far exceeds the impact of lost time and money spent on the recruitment process, as companies can potentially lose customers, suffer a decrease in productivity and even damage staff morale."

He added: "Essentially, it is more difficult for hiring managers and their team to accommodate a poor performer than it is to invest in an effective candidate evaluation process."

The poll of 150 chief financial officers here found that the most common reasons new hires did not meet expectations were a mismatch of skills, under- or over-qualified candidates and a misalignment in attitude.

It also found 35 per cent said they terminated the employee contract, while 33 per cent tried to lift the worker's skills to the desired level. The poll noted that the main consequences of a bad hire were increased workload for colleagues - and more stress on managers and co-workers. Higher recruitment costs were also cited.

Mr Imbert-Bouchard said determining an applicant's suitability for a role can be challenging for any interviewer.

His advice for managers is to have clear hiring criteria in mind, attend the interview prepared, and implement a rigorous process to identify the "best fit" candidate. - THE STRAITS TIMES