The Cost of a Bad Hire: Why Hiring the Right Marketing Candidate Counts


Business leaders want to find the right candidates for job openings within their companies. However, the intention is often not matched by the resources and time needed to follow through. As a result, they can end up with people who are a poor fit.

How much does it matter? What’s the difference between hiring someone who’s “just okay” versus getting the exact right hire for the job.

The answer is that it matters a lot. A poor hire in any department is costly in a variety of ways, but a poor — or even just OK — hire in marketing is especially impactful.

Seeing the actual cost of a bad hire is enough to get you to commit more resources to proper hiring. Here’s what you need to know to avoid learning the hard way.

The Impact of a Bad Hire in Marketing

The cost of a bad hire financially is well-documented: it can easily cost 30% of the employee’s first-year salary, and some sources put the price even higher. You not only lose out on the unproductive salary you paid, but you have to recruit and hire all over again — doubling the resources required.

There are also problems on the team when you hire a poor fit. For instance, if the person is incompetent, team members may lose productivity trying to train them. If the new hire is toxic, they can drag the office culture down with them. 

The customer experience also suffers while a lousy employee is on the team. The new hire isn’t providing the level of service customers expect, and you may have customer retention issues as a result. 

However, the most significant impact of a bad hire in marketing is the lost sales revenue.You’re looking for someone to make a difference in bringing new customers and leads into your business. When you hire the wrong person, you not only have the costs listed above, but you also lose weeks or months of productive sales and marketing. 

How much revenue does that amount to for you?

As you can see, it’s well worth putting resources toward hiring the right marketing candidate, whether it’s a social media manager or a search specialist or other role from the very beginning.

Targeting the Right Marketing Skills

If you’re going to hire a new employee for marketing, they must be up-to-date on the latest best practices. Pay close attention not only to how successful they’ve been in marketing but in the techniques they’ve been using.

People tend to stay with their tried and true strategies, so if those techniques don’t match your company’s processes or culture, the hire will be a bad fit. Also, look for someone well-rounded in both online and offline marketing. The best marketing strategies are multi-faceted, and you want someone who can support that, especially if you’re hiring a manager.

Suppose you’re looking for an employee to execute a specific set of strategies, such as focusing entirely on pay-per-click (PPC). In that case, you obviously want to see previous success with that tactic. However, don’t hire someone with expertise so narrow that they aren’t flexible or able to advance within your company.

Be Flexible With Benefits

We’re a long way from the era where every full-time job had standard benefits, and you didn’t have to negotiate with new hires. In today’s hiring market, companies offer a variety of perks and bonuses to attract and retain top talent.

What can you be flexible with to entice the right candidate to accept your offer? Maybe you don’t typically cover relocation expenses, but you can see that this candidate will make you a lot more profit than those expenses will cost. On top of that, this candidate has taken the initiative to ask about relocation benefits. Use some discretion and get them to your location!

Many employees are also looking for schedule flexibility and the ability to work from home at least some of the time. In today’s digital world, there’s no reason marketing work can’t be done remotely, so don’t be stuck in “we’ve always done it this way.” If someone gets you great results, you can afford to be adaptable.

Be Ready for a Robust Hiring Market

All signs point to a growing hiring demand for marketing professionals, and that means increased competition for both new candidates and your existing employees. If you want to attract and retain the right people, it pays to understand the cost of a bad hire.

Finding the right skills can be a challenge, but once you’ve discovered someone, be as flexible as possible to win them to your company. In marketing, in particular, the upside from finding the right talent is enormous. Don’t miss out on it by being stuck in old models or unwilling to commit resources to hiring.

The right marketing candidate can make you tens of thousands of dollars. It’s worth the time and expense to find the right one!