Chances are there’s someone in your company who’s a know-it-all. They always seem to think 10 steps ahead, and because they do so, they’re incredibly valuable to your company.

And since they’re incredibly valuable to your company, they get all the perks — promotions, compensation packages, and recognition.

You want some of that too. Heck, we all want that! It’s part of what makes us human. So you start thinking about the possibilities …

… If only you could outshine them…

… Beat them at their own game. Finally wipe that smile off their …

Well, well mate. Gonna have to stop you there. Sorry to break it to you, but I’m not here to talk about how to beat the know-it-alls.

What I am here to tell you, however, is how you’re going to save your company money and safeguard your coworkers from unnecessary emotional trauma.

I’m willing to bet you landed here because — somehow — you’re tasked with procuring the right people for your organisation. Whether you’re in corporate HR looking for the youngest and brightest minds, or you’re the leader of a hot tech startup, there’s one principle that always applies:

Hiring the wrong people doesn’t just cost money — it also destroys your company from the inside out like a flesh-eating virus.

How exactly? First, a story:

Tim’s in charge of making hiring decisions for Company X. His workflow consists of an age-old technique called trusting his gut feeling. So far, every candidate Tim has screened and onboarded has been productive, efficient, and a worthwhile investment.

Then Bob happened.

Bob’s a smart guy. He’s got a degree in Computer Science, rock-solid developer experience, and a killer personality. He knows the right buttons to push to get the interview. Face-to-face, Bob has a knack for saying and doing just the right things to make anyone fall for him.

And that includes our friend Tim. Some hearty laughs and a hand-crushing handshake later,  Bob becomes a Senior Developer at Company X.

We now travel six months into the future. Bob’s just completed his 6 months probation period. Ever so proud of his superstar, Tim brings Bob into the office and says “Bob. You’ve been terrific these past 6 months. We’d like to hire you full-time with full benefits. What do you say?”

Bob says yes and the contract is signed. Bob then leaves the office, with glee on his face and a devious look in his eyes.

Bob gets comfortable. Bob gets lazy. He knows he’s the hiring manager’s darling, and the big boss can’t help but be entranced by his charm.

He starts to slack off. Bob does the bare minimum to avoid reprimands from the Development Manager. He comes in late and leaves early, while his coworkers slave away. They secretly hate him, which puts a dent in teamwork and company culture. Less teamwork means less achievements. Less achievements means less business results.

Let’s call it like it is: Bob’s killing Company X. Bob needs to go.

And go he does, but not before leaving thousands of pounds in accrued costs. Again, Bob’s a smart guy — and he knows just how to game the system.

He’ll argue that his dismissal is unfair, and may even threaten legal action. Company X finally gets rid of the menace, but the damage is done — thousands of pounds spent in compensation, an emotionally scarred workforce, and hours of lost productivity.

Right. With that done, you’re taking one of two positions:

The Unrelenting Sceptic – You deem the story a work of fiction. You assume that people like Tim aren’t susceptible to charm, or else they wouldn’t have reached positions of such responsibility. You further contend that no one could possibly be as charming as Bob. Your finger’s on the mousepad, microseconds away from clicking out of this article. Stay for one minute. Let’s see if I can’t turn you into a believer.

The Agnostic – You’re biting the proverbial fishhook. You’re thinking some elements of the story above are true, yet are completely exaggerated. You’re willing to believe that there exist people as gullible as Tim, and as sharp as Bob. What you’re not willing to accept, however, is the implied negative consequences of hiring someone like Bob. Surely one man can’t destroy a whole company?

No matter what side you’ve taken, the facts speak for themselves:

Bob problem is not only real, but it costs UK companies billions in lost revenue each year.

In 2017, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation commissioned a study to survey the impact of bad hiring decisions in UK-established businesses. Here’s just some of the findings:

  • – A bad hire with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000.
  • – The hidden costs of bad recruitment include wasted time and money on training and lost productivity.
  • – 40% of hires turn out to be bad hires within the first 18 months of employment — plenty of time to leave a dent in your company’s profitability.

And it’s not just the UK. Bob problems also happen in Australia.

  • – 65% of HR managers in Australia admitted to hiring the wrong person.
  • – 70% of candidates would purposely lie to get the job they want [paywall].
  • – Hiring the wrong person can cost the business 2.5 times the bad hire’s salary.

Across the Atlantic, Bob problems also wreak havoc among American businesses. Here’s just some of the findings uncovered in a US-based study:  

  • – 74% of companies admit to having hired the wrong person for a position
  • – A bad hires costs, on average, $15,000 in damages.
  • – On the other hand, not hiring the right person costs, on average, $30,000.

Right. So now you’ve seen that a Bob problem is a real thing, and can cost your company dearly.

So how DO you avoid a Bob problem?

Assessing whether a potential candidate is good at their job is straightforward: Take a look at the candidate’s CV, see what sort of companies they’ve worked for, as well as what projects they’ve been involved in. Put them through a technical test if the are a software developer, or have them produce eye-catching content if they’re a designer or copywriter.

But how do you assess whether they believe in your company? How do you make sure they have your company’s best interest in mind, and are not just another mercenary type looking for the next payday?

That’s where expert recruiters come in.

What do you, as the person in charge of making hiring decisions, get when working with a recruiter who has mastered their craft?

A lean, mean, human-reading machine. Seasoned recruiters have seen just about any trick in the book. They can detect the first hints of lies and half-truths from a candidate, which protects you from expert manipulators. And that’s a good thing, since roughly 30% of candidates have admitted to lying or stretching the truth with regards to their qualifications. From passive-aggressive comments about previous employers, to years-long gaps in their CV, a recruiter can analyse the data and filter out who’s a star and who’s a dud.

Someone who speaks a jobseeker’s language. Recruiters are also good at finding the candidate with the right skills for your company — no matter where they may be. Do you, as a business owner or HR manager, have the time to sift through linkedIn to find a pool of potentially good candidates? Can you spare the hours to craft engaging messages inviting these candidates to apply to your job? Let an expert recruiter handle that for you. Instead, use that time to keep making your business grow!

At Digitalent you’ll find a team of seasoned recruiters waiting to work with you. We can tell who’s a fit, and who’s a Bob so you don’t have to.

What’s more, any candidates hired through us come with a 3 month ironclad guarantee. If, for any reason, a new hire leaves or is fired within the first 3 months, we will find you a replacement candidate 100% free of charge.