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A third of newly-hired employees fail to pass probation, costing UK businesses tens of thousands of pounds each year 

Up to a third of new employees aren’t passing their six-month probationary reviews, costing companies thousands of pounds and creating long-lasting negative effects on businesses. New research, published by recruitment-tech firm, Worksome, provides detailed insight on the troubled state of recruitment in the UK.

Our research found that, on average, businesses spend nearly £6459 a year on recruitment and hiring. If a candidate doesn’t work out, not only are these fees lost, but the salary for the probationary period is also wasted. With the average advertised UK salary being c. £35k (according to Adzuna), this equates to potentially £17k lost over a six month probation period.

In total, that means that one in every three new hires could be wasting businesses £23k.

Further research by Worksome:

  • Over a third of candidates don’t pass their six month probation
  • On average, businesses spend £6459 a year on recruitment and hiring
  • 30% of businesses spending between £5- £10k on new hires each year
  • Only 8% of businesses feel new hires have all the skills needed for the job
  • Over a quarter of businesses prioritise cost over quality when it comes to recruitment, but 21% say they later come to regret that decision
  • 32% of business owners say recruiters are too pushy, and rush them to make a decision
  • Only 6% of business believe that recruiters have access to the best talent
  • 14% of businesses owners say that recruiters are too expensive, and 13% say that recruiters do not understand their business

According to Mathias Linnemann, Co-founder of Worksome, there are many reasons why a business may turn to a recruitment consultant. “The prospect of saving time can be a major lure especially in a world where it’s essential to fill positions quickly, and promise to deliver a quality of candidate that businesses are otherwise unable to access. For business leaders lacking confidence in recruitment, the promise of quickly supplied talent is enough to make the recruiter’s commission fees seem worth it.

“However, our research demonstrates that the traditional recruiter method of securing talent is simply no longer working. Businesses are clearly feeling that there is lack of knowledge in their business which – in a fast moving world where getting the right skills, at the right times – could be the difference between success and failure.”

This is bad news for the businesses that are spending large amounts on this route to talent sourcing. However, this is also bad news for recruiters, whose industry risks being disrupted if it can’t find a better way to help businesses find the right skills. Unhappy or badly matched candidates who may be ending up in the wrong roles — and are forced to start the job hunting process again after just six months, leaving business owners picking up the tab.

Linnemann shares his thoughts on how employers and recruiters can ensure that they don’t fall foul of the failings in the recruitment process:

“With a third of candidates not making it past their six-month probationary period, we can see that something is broken in the recruitment and hiring process. While our research suggests pain-points relating to the use of recruitment consultants, there is no one single factor to blame. For many businesses, recruitment consultants offer a vital service and so shouldn’t be dismissed, or all tarred with the same brush. If hiring managers can feel more confident about candidates and recruits before they walk through the door, they can take back a level of control and feel more empowered to make the right decisions.

“Using technology alongside the traditional recruitment methods is the best way for hiring managers to access the talent they need in a smarter and more sustainable way. The right recruitment-tech can help businesses validate and hire talent more quickly and more affordably than traditional recruiters. These systems, which use AI to automate CVs and applications for the best fit, can also remove any subconscious bias that plays into decision making. As well as empowering hiring managers, such solutions can also improve the way recruitment consultants operate by making it impossible to fill a role for the sake of filling it — with the wrong candidate for the job.”