More than Half of Surveyed U.S. Small Business Owners Recognize the Risks of Making the Wrong Hire

New Research from Monster Reveals the Significant Time and Money Small Business Owners Invest in Hiring New Employees

Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW), a global leader in successfully connecting people and job opportunities, today released the results of their Small Business, Big Hire survey. Conducted by Braun Research on behalf of Monster, the study found that nine-in-ten small business owners (89 percent) identify hiring the wrong person for a job as a risk to the company, with half (51 percent) saying it is a major risk.

Small business owners today are very mindful of how hiring the wrong person can put their business in jeopardy. Among small business owners who view hiring the wrong person as a risk to their business, top reasons include a negative impact on the company’s reputation (68 percent) and decreased productivity (62 percent).

The ‘Right’ Hire
While most small business owners consider talent to be the greatest asset to the success of their business (82 percent), the majority believe it can be time consuming (89 percent) and expensive (70 percent) to find the right person for the job.

“We’ve heard loud and clear that small business owners struggle to find the right person for the job, and as a result have made the wrong hiring decision on more than one occasion,” said Meredith Hanrahan, Senior Vice President of Small Business Solutions at Monster.

On average, small business owners spend $1,872 to hire someone new and up to 4 months searching for the right candidate, depending on the job level. Furthermore, about four in five owners are looking for a strong skill set for the industry (78 percent) and past job experience (77 percent) when hiring someone new, while half (52 percent) also look for something less tangible: grit.

“When we have a really great hire, it means to me that we have someone we can rely on, is here for the long-term and really becomes part of the Meyer Sound family,” said Helen Meyer, co-founder of Meyer Sound, a Monster small business customer (Meyer Sound’s Small Business, Big Hire story can be viewed here.)

Small business owners like Meyer Sound have unique needs and limited time, but without the necessary resources and data in place, the employee search can take a toll not only on them, but also on their business as a whole. As a result, more than half have settled for a candidate who was not as qualified as they would have liked (56 percent) or have previously made a wrong hire (62 percent). In addition:

  • 58 percent of owners fear laziness more than any other quality of a new hire.
  • 44 percent of owners fear the employee not getting along with customers; whereas 41 percent worry they do not have the right skills for the job.
  • Small business owners that have made the wrong hiring decision generally realize their mistake quickly – 70 percent realized it within the first three weeks, with about one-third (30 percent) being aware of it after only a few days.

Risking it All
In addition to being a financial burden, hiring the wrong person can have an emotional effect on small business owners. About three in four owners who have hired the wrong person before feel frustrated (73 percent), stressed (47 percent) and discouraged (36 percent) as a result. The survey also found that:

  • Over half of those who have hired the wrong person before have experienced a loss of time (69 percent) and money (56 percent) due to wrong hires.
  • Specifically, one-third or more of these owners estimate wasting over 50 hours of their time (34 percent) and over $1,000 (42 percent) due to their most recent wrong hire.
  • Other issues caused by hiring the wrong person include product errors (51 percent) and loss of customers (24 percent).

Experience Needed
While many of today’s small business owners continue to devote more of their own time and effort to finding the ideal candidate, some are actually not improving their search whatsoever. Of those who have hired the wrong person before, 56 percent are investing more time to make sure they don’t do this again, but only about one in five aren’t doing anything at all (18 percent).

Although nine in ten (89 percent) small business owners find the hiring process time consuming and three-fifths (61 percent) wish they had more help in finding the right person for the job, significantly fewer owners are currently hiring an outside service to help recruit (11 percent). Monster’s goal is to make small business owners aware that these resources and solutions exist, all within their budget.

“Monster has been able to reach the type of person we want, in the way they’re searching for jobs, be it a smart phone, social sites,” said Brian Bailey, co-founder of Old Carolina Barbecue company, another of Monster’s small business customers (Bailey’s Small Business, Big Hire story can be viewed here.)

As the small business industry and recruiting process continue to evolve, owners will need to expand their current approaches to find the right candidates. Specific tools such as social recruiting and talent CRM targeted emails, as well as campaigns and alerts from potential candidates, can increase their search results, ultimately saving time and money. To learn more about these specific tools and more, visit:

Survey Methodology
Monster commissioned Braun Research to poll the views of a representative sample of 639 small business owners in the U.S. who have 1-50 full-time employees. The survey was fielded between March 16-21, 2016 and was carried out online. Margin of error was +/- 3.88% at the 95% confidence level.

About Monster Worldwide
Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW) is a global leader in connecting people to jobs, wherever they are. For more than 20 years, Monster has helped people improve their lives with better jobs, and employers find the best talent. Today, the company offers services in more than 40 countries, providing some of the broadest, most sophisticated job seeking, career management, recruitment and talent management capabilities. Monster continues its pioneering work of transforming the recruiting industry with advanced technology using intelligent digital, social and mobile solutions, including our flagship website® and a vast array of products and services. For more information visit

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