By Max Clarke

Three quarters of employers feel regretful about having hired certain members of staff, with the most common reason for the remorse being ‘under performance’.

As part of ongoing research into the thought process that lies behind employers’ decisions to hire new members of staff, an independent online HR consultancy conducted a study of 1,091 business owners to investigate the matter further.

The study, conducted by, initially asked the respondents if in ‘hindsight’ they ever felt regretful about hiring a member of staff, to which almost three quarters, 74%, answered ‘yes’. Only 4% of the employers polled answered ‘no’ and the remaining 22% of the respondents said that they were ‘unsure’ as to whether or not they had any regrets.

“Terminating an employee’s contract is not an enjoyable task for any manager; this is why it is within the employer’s best interest to be make sure their recruitment processes are robust which gives more confidence that you are hiring the right staff for the organization,” advised Kirsty Burgess, Raebur’s co-MD. “Recruiting costs a lot of money: with the CIPD estimating it is an average of £4k per job, you don’t want to get it wrong.”

The respondents who admitted to regretting hiring a member of staff were then asked to select all that applied from a list of possible reasons as to why they felt that way.

According to the research, the most common reason for employers feeling regretful about hiring a member of staff was due to the ‘under performance’ of the person in question, with 63% of those asked agreeing. A further 21% of those who admitted that in ‘hindsight’ they felt regretful about hiring a member stated that it was due to the employee having a ‘bad attitude’.

All respondents were asked to select all that applied from a list of what possible qualities an employee would have to adopt in order for them to feel regretful about hiring them as part of the team. According to the results, the most common reasons were as follows:

1. Exaggerated their qualifications/experience on their CV — 71%
2. Not good at the job — 68%
3. Underperforming — 66%
4. Poor time keeping — 57%
5. General negative attitude — 52%
6. Cause conflicts within the team — 43%
7. Poor customer/client relations — 39%
8. Argumentative — 36%
9. Don’t respect authority — 29%
10. High number of sick days — 23%

Burgess continued: “Feeling regretful and having to terminate a contract after a short period of employment can be a difficult situation, especially within a small business where employees have more of an opportunity to build relationships. There is a period of a year where employees do have fewer employment rights, but employers rely on that too heavily, there are still risks and processes need to be followed. Before making the decision to terminate someone’s employment it is always worth checking with a HR Professional; they will have the training and experience needed to break the news to the employee in a professional and sympathetic manner, also ensuring the company’s legal requirements are met, and the risk of litigation is minimised.”

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