Hiring decisions can be daunting, can’t they? You advertise the opening, read lots of resumes, conduct interviews, and check references. But how do you really know who is the best fit for your marketing team? And how do you avoid costly mistakes, like a bad hire?
No doubt about it, hiring the wrong person costs a business dearly. In a 2016 article published in Forbes, writer Falon Fatemi quotes Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, as estimating that bad hires had cost his company “well over $100 million.”
The same article states that “according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire is at least 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings.”
Yikes! No wonder so many companies seem to extend their hiring processes.
Why does a bad hire cost a marketing team so much?
There are lots of reasons. From our observations and experience focused specifically on marketing teams, here are four of them:
Missed lead gen opportunities. When marketing team members leave, their absence can be felt for a while — with declines in lead generation and overall marketing campaign activities. Hopefully, reliable systems are in place to ease the transition, but it takes time for a new person to get up to speed.
Contagious morale damage. Dysfunction rarely stays isolated. For instance, when one team member doesn’t carry out assignments reliably and others have to pick up the slack, they tend to get grumpy. If someone is always difficult, the discontent spreads. Other employees may decide they’ve had enough and leave, and customers pick up on the negatively charged atmosphere.
Potential legal issues. Assuring compliance takes time, expertise, and therefore money. We don’t even want to think about the expense of not complying.
Hiring and training expenses. This is the most obvious. From listing a job opening or paying a recruiter’s fees, to onboarding the new employee, significant resources are required. All of this costs money to your business.
“According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire is at least 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings.”
The role an independent marketing partner can play
When you know you need to grow your team, hiring a new employee may be your ultimate answer, but think for a minute about the advantages of working with an independent marketing partner or freelancer to begin with, on a project or interim basis. Your immediate needs get met, and you gain some breathing room to decide strategically and carefully.
Hiring a marketing consultant or freelancer has several advantages. First and foremost, it will allow you to postpone the expense of hiring, including training and onboarding. With no permanent commitment, you maintain flexibility to meet and clarify your needs, with less exposure to lawsuits. You’ll get a marketing expert with tons of experience who can be productive right away, and who may also be able to provide insightful consultation in refining your job description and search.