Poor Hiring Decisions Hurt in More Ways Than One


The economy, demographics, technology, and other factors have combined to create a “perfect storm” in the financial personnel market. As a result, the consequences of making a poor hiring decision have been magnified exponentially.

The economy continues to improve, giving many mid-level financial professionals the courage and confidence to look seriously for better-paying positions. At the same time, some 50,000 Baby Boomers a week reach retirement age. Today’s working world requires development of specialized skills and the ability to apply them to various situations. Far from being “bean counters,” financial professions must bring with them or at the very least show the aptitude to become strategic and operational assets to their employers. In addition to compiling data, financial professionals now are counted on not only to understand how the numbers reflect, measure, and dictate business performance, but also to explain these ramifications to various audiences. Their work is used to make decisions that well could decide the fate of the entire organization.

These requirements are revolutionizing the way companies evaluate and choose talent. Now more than ever, advanced metrics, vast, precise experience, and access to hidden and passive talent are required to avoid making hires that are costly not only in terms of money, but also productivity, competitiveness, and workforce morale.

Dead weight cannot be carried or hidden by assigning under-performing auditors and operations analysts only those specific tasks they are comfortable with. Not only do today’s finance employees have to be competent in their daily duties, they also are counted on to contribute to the company’s go-to-market strategy, improving the overall  customer  experience, brand management, cost control, and more.

Attempting to “get by” with a less-than-adequate employee is courting disaster. Poor performers require a disproportionate amount of managerial attention in the form of counseling, coaching, and discipline. They drain productivity by forcing colleagues to correct their mistakes, taking away from other tasks that demand their attention. Most critically, surveys show, they create malaise and unhappiness in their departments. Low morale among the slacker’s colleagues can also  lead them to question management’s skills and their  ability to make good decisions that have a direct impact on a company’s overall health.

When all the detriments of keeping a a bad hire are considered, it makes sense to back-fill them as quickly and expeditiously as possible. The number one reason that decision makers sight in keeping less than stellar employees on- board is their inability to replace them without investing time that they do not have in the interview process, factoring in the considerable cost in terms of time investment in weeding through countless resumes of candidates that are ultimately not qualified for the job. As more than one beleaguered manager has stated, ‘the devil you know…’.

In addition to having a ready source of viable candidates, partnering with a financial recruiter that already has invested the time in developing relationships with key players within your geographic area makes tremendous sense. In addition, working with a seasoned financial headhunter pays off in  reducing the risk and the ultimate cost of screening applicants and interviewing countless candidates that do not meet the job requirements. Professional third-party financial search consultants that have industry specific experience and a track record of success can wade through many of these pitfalls, ensuring candidates possess not only the technical and professional skills need, but also the intangibles that will make them efficient parts in a smoothly operating company.

Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of International Search Consultants, and can be reached directly at or direct dial at 888-866-7276

Anna Souers is Director of Finance Recruiters and can be reached directly at or direct dial at 800-450-3808