Companies often feel pressure to fill positions. Teams and Departments may be clamoring to get candidates in for interviews today – just as likely, they want the candidates yesterday. To make matters more difficult, the job market is much tighter in 2016 than it was in 2008. And the result: low unemployment rates often results in a smaller candidate pool.

Does this mean if a candidate is only an 85% ‘good fit’, they should be hired? Absolutely not.

The cost of a bad hire is steep, and has a lasting effect on an organization; the lasting effects are also not just financial.

A bad hire can demoralize an entire department, and do so quickly. The bad hire can also disengage an entire department within weeks. Often , the best employees can also get burned out picking up the slack. And worse, bad hires can lower the work performance bar substantially. After the bad hire leaves, getting a team back to the cohesive, high-performing group that it once was, can be a momentous task.

If the decrease in department morale is not bad enough, consider the department manager. Approximately 17 percent of the manager’s time will be spent on the bad hire training, retraining or managing personnel conflicts; almost one day out of a manager’s week will be lost to the bad hire.

For example: Amazon would not be the world leader it is if they did not deliver on their promises to customers. The same principle applies to any company–their reputation is vital to its success and growth. In today’s era of information available ‘24/7’, a bad hire can ruin a reputation – one need only to look at reviews on Glassdoor, Yelp and TripAdvisor as examples.

Lastly, there’s the financial cost of a bad hire. According to a CareerBuilder survey, about 25% of employers say a bad hire can often cost their organization as much as $50,000. Three bad hires within a year can cost an organization up to $150,000; however, the impact of this staggering number can be mostly avoided by making better hiring choices.

Tips for Better Hires

1. Define the job description – yet again. Don’t rely on existing job descriptions, revisit the description and clearly identify the knowledge and skills that are required. Posting exactly what is needed will increase the number of truly qualified candidates.

2. Hire for ‘attitude’ and train for skill. If the candidates have the proper attitude, for the most part, the skills can be taught.

3. Checking references is important. In fact, it is very important. Talking to prior managers and co-workers provides invaluable information – clarifying insights and providing new ones. When checking references, remember to not “lead” the reference and allow them to talk.

4. All stakeholders should have the opportunity to meet the candidate and spend some one-on- one time with the candidate. Their feedback – regardless of who provides it, is valuable.

5. Take time and do not rush the process. On average, it takes 5 weeks to fill a department position and 7.5 weeks to hire a manager. If it takes 10 weeks to fill the Business Analyst position, it takes 10 weeks.

The recruiting process needs to be both thoroughly planned and executed.

The bottom line is that, quite often, no hire may prove to be better than a bad hire.