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The True Cost Of Making The Wrong Senior HR Hire

Whether it is change in political leaders, or the usual turn of the year speculation about change in football managers, it often makes us look back and ask “how on earth did they get the job in the first place?!”

Unfortunately, it can be the same in HR too.

So, what’s the cost? Forbes Magazine could only manage , but that won’t impress those of us who want quantification. The answer starts with, if you have used a search firm for the wrong hire, you have been hit with about 30% of the first year’s compensation; or if you have tried to attract and select online, you might want to convince others this has been a negligible cost, despite the time wasted.

But this is not the true cost that new clients talk to us about for previous HR hiring that has turned out unsuccessfully. They highlight the tangible and intangible costs of:

  • Real impact on business performance through weakness in HR support
  • Bad execution of key HR interventions and programmes
  • Reputational cost for the HR function and the CHRO.

If, for example, we took a Divisional HR Director role for a FTSE 150 company undertaking significant change, it would not be hard to see the direct write-off costs of a bad hire decision as upwards of £0.25m, and indirect costs at least the same again… probably much more.

Perhaps the exact amounts do not matter after all, and its all about impact: for example, the much-quoted McKinsey finding the 80% of all employee turnover is due to poor hiring decisions.

Using our extensive experience, our start-point on making the right HR hire is listening to clients and helping them be very clear on what they need from the appointee now and in 2 years’ time, and be sure they have the best possible candidate pool.

Strategic Dimensions’ reputation for finding our clients the best-fit senior HR candidates from a diverse candidate pool is proven time after time.



The support we give to clients and candidates in rigorously defining and matching needs is crucial for avoiding costly hiring mistakes. Our senior networks and multi-sector experience provide the best platform for finding the right, highly capable leaders to fill senior HR roles.

Contact our team today for a confidential discussion.