The High Cost of Making Bad Hires


Little else you'll do in your pharmacy business will be so fruitful as hiring the right individual, and little else will be so damaging as hiring the wrong one.

Little else you’ll do in your pharmacy business will be so fruitful as hiring the right individual, and little else will be so damaging as hiring the wrong one.

If you have a staff of 10 in your pharmacy, and only 5 of them are members of the A-Team, half of your staff is deficient, meaning half of the work may be incomplete or incorrect, and half of your customers may not be handled properly.

You can never achieve your goals or dreams with this destructive ratio working against you. If you truly want to succeed, you need individuals who can help you sell and service your customers. You need a team that can give you the strongest support possible.

In order for you to have a high-performance organization, every single individual in your organization needs to be a superstar. Otherwise, you wind up working harder and getting more frustrated with decidedly less reward.

Various studies show how just one erroneous hire can cost you as much as 2 years’ wages. Those figures are basically predicated on wasted money being paid as wages, the taxes on those wages, and the time spent by you (or someone else on your staff) on training. Then, there’s the horrendous cost of lost business because an employee is inept.

Many of the independent pharmacies I’ve worked with have employees who are technically competent in something. Unfortunately, they aren’t capable of performing the assigned work at a true level of excellence, possibly because they were hired on the wrong basis and for the wrong reasons.

In every business, the collective loss of sales due to lack of business-building skills on the part of various team members adds up to huge losses annually. As a result, tens of thousands of dollars of profits—money that belongs in your pockets—go right down the drain.

In your pharmacy, your biggest cost isn’t payroll, rent, or anything else you can see on your profit and loss statement. It lies in the opportunities you lose, including the ones your employees fail to achieve or take advantage of. And so, your pharmacy continues to suffer. Yet, those poor performers remain on the job and keep receiving a paycheck.

Hire Slow, Fire Fast

If you’re like most employers, when you have a job opening, you want to fill it fast. You want to get someone in the organization, on the job, and learning as soon as you possibly can.

And, if you’re like most employers, you jump into the process, quickly pick someone you believe is a good candidate, and get her started— only to find out much later she isn’t the individual you thought she was. You may need to fill the job in a hurry, but you’ve got to take enough time to find the right fit.

All too often, independent pharmacy owners have a tendency to select from a pool of candidates they have on file from previous applications. Instead, select from the largest pool of candidates available now who want the job you have to offer now. Launching a systematic approach to finding the proper employee is a more productive approach.

Any job opening can be filled reasonably quickly, but don’t choose from the fewest number of applicants; choose from the largest number. By taking your time, you’ll find the most qualified individual. In the long run, you’ll be a much happier employer.

Even if you quickly find a candidate you’d rate as an 8.5 on a scale of 1 to 10, perhaps there’s someone else out there who may be worth a 9, or even a 9.5 You may want to fill the position quickly, but you must hire slowly enough to find your perfect job applicant.

The Pharmacy Sage can be reached at (518) 346-7021 or

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