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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kiernan

The High Cost of Inaccurate Job Descriptions

Updated: Feb 25

Inaccurate job descriptions could be costing your company a fortune. But just how much money are we talking about?

The cost may surprise you.

Frustrated Employees

Inaccurate job descriptions can have a significant impact on talent pipelines, employee retention, and an organization's reputation. But quantifying this impact can be challenging.

We chose to highlight the potential financial impact of inaccurate job descriptions by estimating the associated costs of mismatched hires.

First- let's break down the potential costs associated with inaccurate job descriptions. We've categorized these costs into direct and indirect costs.

Direct costs refer to expenses directly incurred during the recruiting process, like advertising job openings or agency fees.

Indirect costs include less tangible expenses such as the impact on team productivity, additional training and development resources, and potential disruptions to customer relationships. These indirect costs can often exceed direct costs, highlighting the importance of effective hiring decisions.

Direct Costs

1. Recruiting Costs

An inaccurate job description might lead to hiring employees who aren't the right fit. This can result in higher recruiting & advertising costs, wasted time for hiring managers during the selection process, and other costs related to interviewing candidates who are not a fit.

2. Training & Onboarding Costs

An employee hired for an inaccurately advertised role may require additional training or may not be able to successfully accomplish the tasks required for the position. Forbes estimates companies spend about $4,000 per hire in hiring expenses (job boards, posts, search efforts etc.) before they are even onboard.

Indirect Costs

1. Turnover Costs

If an employer finds that their job doesn't match the job description or they're underpaid, they might leave the company. It's estimated by the Harvard Business Review that as much as 80% of turnover is due to bad hiring decisions and that replacing a hire can cost 2.5X the employee's salary.

2. Decreased Employee Morale & Productivity

Mismatches can lead to dissatisfaction which can decrease the team's overall moral and productivity. According to Gallup, employees that are disengaged cost the US economy nearly $350 Billion per year. On an individual level, a business loses a minimum of $2,246 per disengaged employee.

3. Legal Implications

Companies could face potential lawsuits or fines if discrepancies in job descriptions or pay scales lead to discrimination or inequality issues. According to the EEOC the average settlement cost for a discrimination claim in the US is $40,000.

6. Market Competitiveness

Companies not offering competitive salaries based on inaccurate benchmarking can miss out on top talent resulting in lost revenues and market share. This is an opportunity cost that can vary.

So how much can this all cost?

Based on research done in 2023 by Career Builder and Northwestern University, the estimated cost of a mismatched hire is between $15,000 and $17,000 per hire. This included considerations for both direct and indirect costs. However, we see that indirect costs could push this figure much higher depending on the situation.


  • $15,000+ per mismatched hire

Implementing job description management software can help reduce the costs of inaccurate job descriptions

Maintaining job description accuracy across an organization can be very challenging. Often times duplicate job descriptions are created, multiple versions are floating around, and there is no mechanism to facilitate much needed collaboration between stakeholders. This is where job description management can help.

If Mosh JD can help improve one hire at your organization you will save $15,000 at a cost of less than $200 per job description.

Click here to learn more and schedule a demo with us.



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