The Price of a Bad Decision

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Focusing on skills could surface 19x more candidates

About half of new hires tend to be average to poor performers . . . which suggests the accuracy that goes into decision-making is really no better than flipping a coin. Heads you win. Tails you lose.

There are many obvious costs to a bad decision to hire someone:

The time to create an ad
The cost of placing an ad
The time and lost opportunity cost of screening resumes
The time and lost opportunity cost to develop a short list of candidates
To interview applicants
To screen out unqualified people who might never use your company’s product or service because you rejected them
To check references
To make an offer to the winner
Who may turn down your offer for many different reasons

But what about the costs when a mediocre performer is on board?

Do you measure those? Can you measure those in lost time and opportunity? Do you track the performance of new hires for at least two years to see if they stay in your employment that long, review the decision-making that went into the hire at the time so that you can do an assessment after the failure where the decision failed to identify a problem?

You see, most of us are influenced by appearance. We know that because we all learn the lesson of dressing nicely for an interview or business meeting so we know appearance impacts the hire, even when a superior candidate may not be able to afford to get their hair cut or styled or buy a new outfit or suit is rejected. It’s why newspapers discuss wardrobe, hairstyle, and speaking manner of candidates for President instead of substantive issues.

The difference between an extraordinary, good, average, poor, and atrocious hire can be enormous.

To not review successes and breakdowns after a failure or triumph is a mistake too few organizations make.


© 2008, 2015, 2023 all rights reserved.

Reference Checks: Why Bother?


People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS Career Advice globally because he makes many things in peoples’ career easier. Those thingsJeff Altman can involve job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transition, as well as advice about resolving workplace issues. 

Schedule a discovery call at my website,

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2600 episodes.


Website: (schedule a paid coaching session, a free discovery call or ask questions using my Trusted Adviser Services)



Main YouTube: 

No BS Job Search Advice Radio Podcast:

Video Podcast of No BS Job Search Advice Radio: Spotify 



Resume & LinkedIn Profile critiques


We grant permission for this post and others to be used on your website as long as a backlink is included to and notice is provided that it is provided by Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter as an author or creator.

About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.

%d bloggers like this: