A study by Project Brains found that a staggering 51 percent of new hires either leave their positions or require significant support to enhance their productivity, indicating a prevalent issue of mis-hiring across industries.

The survey, which delved into the hiring and procurement practices of UK SMEs, uncovered inefficiencies in the recruitment process.

Shockingly, 16 percent of new employees parted ways with their employers within twelve months of joining, while an additional 35 percent struggled to reach optimal productivity without extensive support.

Also, nearly half of the respondents reported that it took between two to three months, and sometimes longer, to fully integrate new hires into their roles.

How do you evaluate candidates’ skills?

One of the key findings of the survey was the dissatisfaction among businesses with their current methods of evaluating candidates’ skills. Despite 89 percent of organisations expressing the desire to match prospects’ skills with business needs, approximately 7 out of 10 felt neutral or dissatisfied with their existing evaluation methods.

This frustration has led to a growing openness towards leveraging technology, particularly AI, to refine job specifications and criteria for evaluating candidates’ skills.

Balram Pal, Director at Project Brains, commented on the implications of these findings, stating, “These indicators point towards a pervasive issue of mis-hiring, highlighting the challenges businesses face in finding the right talent for their roles. With mis-hiring costing UK businesses an average of £125,000, there is a clear imperative for improvement in hiring decisions.”

Fractional work is gaining traction

In response to these challenges, the concept of fractional work is gaining traction within HR and recruitment circles. Fractional work involves hiring highly skilled professionals on a part-time or project-by-project basis, providing companies with access to specialised expertise as and when required. Unlike traditional full-time employees, fractional specialists offer agility and expertise, mitigating the risks associated with relying solely on permanent staff or consultants.

Project Brains has developed a platform that connects businesses with over 6,000 professionals across various operational functions, offering their services on a fractional basis. This approach allows companies to bypass flawed recruitment processes and address specific needs by bringing in specialists to tackle critical challenges.

New hires: The importance of technological and process innovation

Pal emphasised the significance of technological and process innovation in improving hiring outcomes, stating, “The fractional approach represents a new era in workforce evolution, granting organisations access to specialised expertise precisely when it is needed most. Today, meeting the needs description is paramount, surpassing the importance of merely matching a job description.”

As businesses navigate the complexities of talent acquisition in an evolving landscape, the adoption of innovative approaches like fractional work and AI-powered recruitment processes could prove instrumental in addressing the prevalent issue of mis-hiring and optimising workforce efficiency.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.