New Hires Can Make Poor Performers Look Like Prizes

November 19, 2008 ( - Employers still looking for talent find hiring new people to be more daunting than managing even "poorly performing" members of their current workforce, according to a recent survey by Caliper.

A press release said the October 2008 survey of 190 U.S. hiring managers across industries reveals that 69% of respondents find it easier to work with “the devil they know,” than to take a chance on an “unknown” new hire. Under one-third (31%) of respondents said they find it harder to manage the people they have than to select new employees.

“You’re always taking a chance, even with the best qualified person. There are concerns as to [whether] he will fit in. … There could be a two-year investment perhaps before you have him up to speed,” one hiring manager said, according to the press release.

Some new hire horrors cited by respondents include:

  • “A fellow who, after one week on the job, asked … to go to Florida. We said no, he called in sick for a week and then came back with a tan!”
  • “We hired someone who could barely single task.”
  • “We hired someone and the second day on the job, we found this woman taking a nap in the office of the CEO.”
  • “One gentleman came in late, left early, then told me, ‘I’m going to be sick tomorrow, so I won’t be in.'”
  • An individual who ran up $5,000 on his corporate credit card, which the company has been unable to recover.

Caliper of Princeton, New Jersey, is an international management consulting firm. More information is at .