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The Detrimental Cost Of A Bad Hire In Senior Care – It’s Worse Than You Might Think

August 7, 2020 | Jenna Berris

The Detrimental Cost Of A Bad Hire In Senior CareWe’ve all heard horror stories about hiring the wrong people. Maybe that person wasn’t qualified, lacked a solid work ethic, had a bad attitude or even mistreated coworkers. In extreme cases, they might have caused physical harm to another employee or worse, were disrespectful to a resident’s family or neglectful of residents themselves.

For all of these reasons and more, senior care recruiters and HR managers strive to do their best to hire the right person for each role. However, doing that without the right processes and safeguards in place is nearly impossible. Manual tasks, as well as a lack of visibility into the status of each job opening and candidate, leave hiring managers frustrated and unable to be efficient and effective when comes to hiring—costing your business more than you know.

Let's break down the true cost of a bad hire in senior care.

Your Bottom Line Suffers

Hiring is expensive. And hiring the wrong candidate can have a major impact on your bottom line. First, there’s the cost to recruit and onboard a new staff member. Then, when this hire is either let go or leaves voluntarily, senior care providers are left to incur additional overtime or utilize expensive agency workers to avoid being short staffed.


When you factor in these costs, plus the hours spent on sourcing, interviewing and hiring, the average CNA can cost you over $7,000 while an RN can run organizations upwards of $10,000. In fact, it’s estimated that the senior care industry loses about $4.1 billion per year to this viscous circle of hiring and turnover.


These costs don’t even factor in the potential compliance or legal risks that can accompany a bad hire—which can be financially devastating for organizations.


Employee Morale Takes A Hit

As the saying goes, one ­bad apple spoils the bunch. And that saying could not be more true for senior care frontline workers, a group that must work together to achieve a common goal: providing excellent care and service for residents. Greg Scileppi, president of international staffing operations at Robert Half says that one bad hiring decision has a ripple effect throughout a company.

“Hiring a bad fit or someone who lacks the skills needed to perform well has the potential to leave good employees with the burden of damage control, whether it be extra work or redoing work that wasn’t completed correctly the first time,” he said. “The added pressure on top performers could put employers at risk of losing them, too.”

When you make a bad hire, you are essentially putting your current employee-base at risk, increasing the likelihood of burnout, disengagement and ultimately, higher turnover.

Productivity & Performance Declines

Since many employees have to take on additional tasks or correct work done by these bad hires, their own performance and productivity takes a hit. But it isn’t just the workloads of those direct-care employees that are impacted.

It’s estimated that supervisors spend, on average, 17% of their time managing poorly performing employees. That means they are more likely to neglect their high-performing employees, missing opportunities to applaud their hard work and provide any support they may need. Again, this can impact morale and lead to higher turnover.

Continuity Of Care & Service Is At Risk

Any time you make a poor hire, you put quality of resident care and service at risk. But did you know that it can also has a direct effect on the care and service your other staff members are able to provide? As mentioned above, tenured staff end up picking up the slack, becoming overworked and even disgruntled as a result, which hinders their ability provide that top-notch service residents are used to.

It can also impact continuity of care. Tenured employees are able to build stronger bonds with residents and are more inclined to notice a sudden change in their acuity or behavior. This level of attention can be difficult, if not impossible to achieve, with high turnover.

Reputations Are Ruined

How others – including employees, residents and residents' families - perceive you is everything in this business. If you’re consistently hiring employees that disrupt your culture, disgruntled tenured staff will leave. And they’ll most likely tell their friends in the industry why they left, which could lead to fewer referrals and a shrinking applicant pool.

What’s more, when word gets out to residents, families and prospects that many of your staff members are not up to par and/or you’ve had negative publicity and complaints of negligence, they’ll definitely think twice about trusting you to care for their loved one.

Quality Candidates Slip Through The Cracks 

When you’ve wasted time hiring the wrong person, there’s a high likelihood that the right candidate got away. And since 73% of providers say that finding qualified candidates will continue to be a top challenge over the next few years, organizations must do everything in their power to prevent this scenario.


Talent acquisition software (TAS) like OnShift Employ helps senior organizations streamline the hiring process so they can connect with the right candidates, at the right time. Here are some of the other ways that OnShift Employ helps providers hire top talent:

  • Automated job postings go to thousands of job boards to help providers cast a wide net
  • Texting allows recruiters to quickly connect with candidates & schedule interviews
  • An easy-to-use portal gives candidates a timeline & shows them where they are in your process
  • Automated reminders nudge recruiters & candidates to complete next steps, keeping both parties engaged & speeding up time to hire
  • Streamlined onboarding allows new hires to complete all necessary paperwork before day 1 via the portal
  • Robust analytics show you how to optimize your hiring activities for stronger results

Without the right tools in place, you run the risk of continually making bad hires. A TAS can help you optimize your process to hire more effectively and efficiently, and provide that positive candidate experience…every step of the way.


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About Jenna Berris

Jenna Berris is a Content Marketing Manager for OnShift.

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