Why Most New Hires Fail: Understanding the Common Causes

Pierre Ackerman

Apr 01, 2023

Why Most New Hires Fail: Understanding the Common Causes


Over 80% of new hires fail. This is according to research by training and employee engagement firm Leadership IQ, who published this startling statistic in 2021. The cost of a bad hire can be enormous, not to mention the impact on productivity and morale. But why does it happen?

There are a number of reasons why new hires fail: Sometimes, the candidate simply changes their mind, gets a better offer or the role doesn’t live up to expectations. But it can’t be denied that the quality of recruitment and onboarding processes can strongly influence whether a new recruit works out in the role.

Here are some of the main reasons why most new hires fail:

Not pre-screening candidates effectively

It's important to pre-screen in the hiring process because it can help find problems or lack of skills that could cause a new hire to fail. Employers can learn more about a candidate's qualifications, skills, and fit for the role and organisation by digging deeper into their resumes as well as using specialist evaluation and assessment tools.

Poor communication

Poor communication can cause feelings of frustration, confusion, and alienation. It can prevent new employees from understanding their duties and expectations, causing them to become overwhelmed and frustrated. Additionally, poor communication can make new employees feel unwelcome and that their contributions are not valued. Ultimately, this lack of trust and connection can lead to a new employee leaving the business.

Lack of communication can come from both sides, not just the employer. It’s important for employees to voice their opinions and express if they need help with their work/workload to avoid feeling undervalued or unsupported, so open and honest conversations should be encouraged from both sides. This should help with job satisfaction levels and to foster a more productive and positive workplace culture.

Lack of clear expectations

New hires who aren't given a thorough rundown of their responsibilities, goals, and expectations often struggle to find their feet and end up underperforming. Missed deadlines or a poor standard of work can be stressful for both the new employee & their employer, affecting their relationship with their line manager and coworkers if expectations are not set from the start. 

This can be avoided if both line managers and HR take the time to define and communicate expectations in a way that sets the tone for a successful and positive onboarding process.

Culture shock

When a new hire is not comfortable with a company’s culture, they are likely to struggle when adjusting and fitting in with their coworkers. This can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection, which can negatively impact performance and satisfaction. A new hire who isn't fitting in, may also have difficulty understanding and following the norms and expectations of the company culture, leading to further misunderstandings and mistakes.

Culture shock can also lead to decreased motivation and engagement, as the new hire may feel out of place and uncertain about their role and future within the company. To mitigate the impact, it is important for companies to provide support and resources to help understand and adjust to a company’s culture, and to create a welcoming and inclusive workplace.

Lack of feedback

Feedback provides employees with essential information about their job performance and helps them understand what they are doing well and where they need to improve. Without regular feedback, employees may feel uncertain about their performance and lack direction on how to improve, leading to decreased motivation and job satisfaction, as well as a lack of progress and development in their role.

Therefore, it is important for hiring managers to provide regular and constructive feedback to new employees, both to support their growth and development and to ensure they are on track to succeed in their role.

What can an employer do to help their new hire succeed?

Here are some tips on how employers can help new hires succeed;

  •  Create a comprehensive onboarding program that includes both training and mentorship.
  • Establish clear expectations for each role and make sure new hires understand the company’s culture and values.
  • Provide adequate resources and tools to help new hires succeed.
  • Foster an open and supportive team environment.
  • Connect new hires with peers, mentors, and other resources to help them navigate their new role.
  • Encourage feedback and communication to ensure that new hires feel comfortable voicing their concerns and questions.
  • Offer continual training and development opportunities.
  • Recognize and reward achievements.
  • Monitor progress and provide guidance and support when needed.
  • Invest in career progression and development plans.


Cast USA provides strategic, targeted, successful recruitment solutions:

Onboarding isn’t the only thing that influences new hire success, the recruitment process plays a big part. Many hires fail simply because employers aren’t able to articulate or target exactly who or what skills they’re looking for. Indeed, without a clearly defined job description and ideal candidate profile, you can end up forcing a square peg into a round hole resulting in a much higher chance of a hire failing, that’s where working with a specialist recruitment partner like Cast USA can help mitigate the risk.

Work with our specialist recruitment team here at Cast USA to find the talent you need. A strategic, targeted search of talent pools and industry networks increases the likelihood of a making successful, long-lasting hire. Talk to our experts here.