What Are The Costs Of A Bad Career Move?


There are many articles published about the 'cost of a bad hire'. Whether they discuss interviewing and recruitment costs or the subsequent loss of productivity, it is clear there is a lot at stake for the company when hiring for an executive position. In fact, a study by Right Management reveled the cost of a single bad hire could be up to 5 times the salary.

Preventing a bad hire

These statistics demonstrate the great importance of getting it right, and using retained executive search firms is one way to do this. Retained executive search firms often can provide many case studies of successful placements and generally have higher long-term success / satisfaction rates for the client and the executive. In addition, they will provide deep market analysis and complete a comprehensive 10 step process of finding the right person, for the right position. Thus, the initial cost of a retained executive search firm – often 30-35% of the first year’s salary – is relatively low compared to the potential loss outlined in the survey above.

What about the executive?

The process undertaken by executive search consultants and executive recruiters also helps to align organizational requirements with the needs of the executive. For example, AESC member Dasein Executive Search describes hiring for executive jobs as a unique match between the lifecycle of the company and the precise moment of the executives career. Consider your next career move in these terms and you will be heading in the right direction.

Be vigilant.

A 'bad career move' consitutes taking a position that will not professionally stimulate you or develop your career, and one that often regresses your career progress by stalling momentum and diluting direction. Such a move can result in psychological problems (loss of confidence, depression), problems in the future of explaining a gap in work history (if you exit early or are fired), and create a diversion from your career trajectory that may take years to correct. To avoid this situation executives must be extremely vigilant when considering new executive jobs, not allowing external circumstances such as unemployment to comprimise your career direction or decisions.

Many executives who face recent redundancy, quickly grasp the first position available. However, as Peter Felix, president of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), asks in the BlueStep career network planner, ‘Yes it’s a job, but is it one where you can thrive and progress your career?’ Convincing yourself it is the right move (when deep down you know it is not), may be enough to convince them. If the opportunity is not right, you must have the strength to turn it down and continue your executive job search.  An easy decision now, will lead to a harder one later.

During your executive job search, consider alternative income generators such as consulting or interim positions, but never lose sight of your overall career goals. It is imperative that you keep your job search in full swing during temporary options. Some articles that may help you assess options and manage your career include:

Gain Worldwide Exposure to AESC Search Consultants

BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more.

The Ultimate Executive Career Guide: Connecting with Executive Search

As a senior-level executive, you can use this guide to:
- Learn about executive search and how it differs from other forms of recruiting
- Discover the best ways to connect with executive search professionals
- Understand how the search process works
- Implement strategies that will help you become visible to the search community
- And more!

Download Now!

About the author

BlueSteps's picture

About BlueSteps

BlueSteps empowers executives to reach their career goals with strategic career planning.


At BlueSteps, we thoughtfully create career management solutions that are designed to help leaders advance their careers, stay on track to build a long-term career playbook, and become a strong leader. Our tools and resources will help you:
  • Advance your career with tools to keep you on track. 
  • Access insider job market intelligence from the experts.
  • Identify and network with the right recruiters.
  • Discover executive jobs and board positions not found elsewhere.
  • Connect with world class career advisors for support when you need it.

Start Owning Your Career Journey >>

Other posts by this author

Share your thoughts

Stay Connected