Costs of Making a Bad Hire and Ways to Prevent it

November 6, 2017 - 11:58 am / News

Costs of Making a Bad Hire

Law firms can take a long time to hire someone, ever wonder why that is? Well law firms have to consider the cost’s of selecting the wrong person. These costs can run into the thousands and not to mention the possibility of negative effects on a law firms morale and productivity.

The Harvard Business Review says that as much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions.

The Labor Department estimates it can cost on average one-third of a new hire’s annual salary to replace him or her and that those costs increase the higher up in the organization the turnover occurs. In some cases, it can total in the millions of dollars if that person is the CEO.

Others say it could be even higher than that. According to a study by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), it could cost up to five times a bad hire’s annual salary. SHRM also found that the higher the person’s position and the longer they remain in that position, the more it will cost to replace him or her.

Why Are These Costs So High For Law Firms?


Some various costs with hiring include interview expenses such as travel, hotel and meals, training and orientation, employment testing, unemployment and potential litigation expenses should the candidate decide to sue you for wrongful dismissal, plus relocation costs and outplacement or career transition costs. But the worst cost of all is you need to repeat the entire hiring process to replace the wrong hire, which includes time and expenses.

There are also hard-to-quantify costs that could be lethal to your business such as lower employee morale, customer dissatisfaction, lost customers.

Why Law Firms Hire the Wrong Person


A recent survey by Robert Half showed that one-third (36%) of 1,400 executives surveyed felt the top factor leading to a failed hire, aside from performance issues, is a poor skills match. The second most common reason (30%) was unclear performance objectives.

A lot of the time the law firm’s hiring managers and human resources people confuse the job description with the job criteria.

Another possible reason why a legal assistant may not work out within the law firm, is when the legal assistant seemed perfect on every level in the interview process but once they are in the culture of the law firm the legal assistant no longer fits. For example, the legal assistant could clash with other legal assistant and with other lawyers within the firm. It’s very important that the culture be established within the interview process.

How Law Firms Can Avoid Hiring the Wrong Legal Assistant.


Working with a recruiter such as Boost Legal Support who specializes in several different fields of law can help hiring managers identify job candidates with the appropriate skills. While at the same time the law firm can give key information on what the firm wants to see in a legal assistant. Key factors to making a good hire within a law firm; know what you want, make a personal connection, and use all your resources