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Study: Avoiding Toxic Hires is Better than Hiring Superstars

Superstar employees are at the top of every business’ list, but there can also be hidden dangers. For a long time, business owners have placed more emphasis on hiring top talent than avoiding toxic employees. It’s a problem that can deteriorate your organization from within. It’s important for small business owners to realize that some top talent are toxic and aren’t worth the headache. It’s not to say that exceptional workers aren’t essential for the development of your small business – it just means you should spend equal, if not more, time keeping toxic hires away. You can work with a business development consulting firm, such as IDS, if you need help identifying employee productivity issues resulting from hiring practices which overlook the risk from toxic hires. A thorough analysis of your entire business is performed, which will pinpoint problems such as this.

Toxic Employees Are Costing Your Business

According to a paper published in November 2015 from Harvard Business School, avoiding toxic employees can save businesses $12,500 per year. This is twice the financial benefit estimate for bringing aboard superstar employees ($5,300). This is a great example of why those involved in hiring need to know how to identify and avoid toxic hires.

Superstars Make Your Money Business

Top performers are four times more productive than the average employee, according to Harvard Business Review. Superstars also generate 80 percent of the business’ profits and can help attract other top talent. The study also reveals that the top one percent of an organization’s productivity stems from superstar employees. To match this, firms would have to hire others or raise their salaries in order to achieve similar results.

This is the very dilemma business owners have to deal with – how to hire the best performers for your business while avoiding the pitfalls of hiring someone with toxic behaviors.

Defining Toxic Employees

So what exactly do you need to be looking for? According to the Harvard study, toxic employees are individuals who have been fired due to sexual harassment, fraud, workplace violence or other violations of company policies. Other experts note that toxic behaviors such as jealousy, not taking accountability and consistently blaming others for their problems are signs of toxicity.

Why is avoiding toxic hires so important? Because they could potentially cost you more than simple productivity issues within your business, they can also cost you thousands in legal fees and liabilities. A business development consulting firm can analyze your company to find shortcomings in your departments, operations and employees, including the way you hire new employees.

What may be surprising is that these individuals with toxic behaviors are oftentimes rule followers and highly productive. The study shows that those who believe rules should always be followed were more likely to be toxic than those who state it’s fine to break the rules sometimes. It’s believed toxic candidates tell employers what they want to hear. Another study done by Minor and Housman shows that the output of these toxic workers is high, but the quality of work is typically on the lower end.

Consultants from a business development consulting company can help improve your overall productivity, efficiency and profitability by helping you avoid toxic hires.

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