The Impact of a Bad Hire on Your Practice

It’s happened to the best of us. You’re in a crunch for time, feeling the pressure to fill those open positions and, as a result, end up jumping the gun on a new hire that turns out not to be the best decision. Even with the best intentions, bad hires are inevitable. And their impact on the success of your practice may be far worse than you even realize. Let’s take a look at the true costs associated with a disappointing new employee and, more importantly, how you can avoid such situations in the future.

Financial Impact

The monetary cost of a bad hire can run anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor pins the price of a poor staffing decision at around 30% of the new employee’s salary. So, if the average salary of a vet tech is $35,000, you’re looking at a loss of about $10,500 each and every time you miss the mark filling that position. It’s easy to see how this can really add up.

Loss of Productivity

Whether it’s the time you’re wasting trying to bring the steady stream of new employees up to speed on your practice philosophy, policies and procedures, or the poor quality work those new team members are bringing to the table, lack of productivity can and will affect your bottom line.

Other Issues

In addition to the direct financial impact that comes with recruiting, training and replacing lousy employees, having a revolving door in your practice can have a serious impact on the morale of the rest of your team. This can lead to frustration, burnout and mistrust, which can all result in higher turnover in other areas of your practice. Poor morale can also trickle down to your clients, leading to a greater risk of churn.

In other words, a few bad hires can cause a snowball effect, costing you in ways that extend far beyond a simple staffing issue.

Common Causes of Bad Hires

There are a variety of reasons an otherwise savvy business professional might make a bad hiring decision. The most common of these include:

  • Inexperience with the hiring process
  • Pressure to fill open positions quickly
  • Lack of time to conduct thorough candidate screening
  • Taking shortcuts, such as failing to check references or conduct background checks
  • Poor employer branding and/or lack of culture

How to Avoid Bad Hires

Just as with veterinary care, when it comes to staffing decisions, prevention is always the best medicine. The best way to limit the impact a bad hire can have on your practice is to take proactive measures up front that will weed out the bad apples and improve the quality of the candidates you’re considering. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Know what you are looking for and be intentional.

Be clear about your practice’s values and culture, as well as the role, from the job description through the interview process. Being upfront about this helps candidates opt out before they apply if it isn’t what they’re looking for.

Hire for cultural fit, train for skill.

Skills can be taught or improved upon. Cultural fit cannot. Either someone’s going to meld well with the rest of the team or they aren’t. By focusing most of your recruiting efforts on finding candidates that have the attitudes and attributes that match your practice culture, you’ll be more likely to make a better hiring decision.

Work on your branding.

Part of recruiting – especially in today’s competitive job market – is marketing. Candidates are evaluating employers just as much as hiring managers are evaluating them. Demonstrating what makes your practice different and why it’s such a great place to work can help you attract the kind of individuals you want to have on your team.

Don’t cut corners.

Be thorough in your screening, interviewing and follow-up. Ask the right questions. Do your homework. Check references. It’ll take a little extra time on the front end, but the time, money and aggravation you’ll save in the long run will make it well worth the effort.

Enlist help.

Lastly, if you’re struggling to find the right people to fill your positions, always seem to make poor hiring decisions or simply don’t have the time to commit to getting it right, there are other options. Enlisting the help of a veterinary recruiter like Dream Team Elite can take the burden off you and make staffing your clinic exponentially easier. Get in touch today to learn more or get started!