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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kiernan

The hidden cost of inaccurate job descriptions

Updated: Sep 21

Inaccurate job descriptions can have recruiters spinning their wheels bringing in candidates with mismatched qualifications resulting in high turnover rates and low employee moral.

But just how much can this cost an organization? We did an analysis to put a number on it.

Frustrated Employee

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. So we decided to outline all the potential cost implications inaccurate job descriptions could have to estimate the potential cost associated with inaccurate JDs. The conservative estimate was shocking.

First- lets break down the potential costs associated with inaccurate job descriptions:

1. Recruitment 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 HR managers during the selection process, and costs related to interviewing candidates who are not a fit.

2. Training & Onboarding Costs

An employee hired for a misadvertised role may require additional training or may not be able to succeed at successfully accomplishing the tasks required for the position.

3. Turnover Costs

If an employer finds that their job doesn't match the job description or they're underpaid, they might leave the company. This can result in lost productivity during the vacancy period, recruitment costs to replace the employee, and onboarding/training cost for the new hire when found.

4. Decreased Employee Morale & Productivity

Mismatches can lead to dissatisfaction which can decrease the team's overall moral and productivity.

5. Legal Implications

Companies could face potential lawsuits or fines if discrepancies in job descriptions or pay scales lead to discrimination or inequality issues.

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.

So how much can this all cost?

Let's put some numbers to this using benchmarked costs from the technology industry. Let's assume ABC Tech has 100 employees and 10% of it's job descriptions requirements, salary ranges, etc. are inaccurately represented. Here is what the scenario may look like:

**Recruiting costs**

-Additional advertising- $500/role= $5,000

-Wasted HR time: 5 hours/role at $30/hour= $1,500

** Training & Onboarding Costs**

- $2,000 training expense per employee= $20,000

**Turnover Costs**

- Lost productivity: $10,000/employee= $100,000

-Recruitment costs: $5,000/employee= $50,000

-Onboarding & training: $2,000/employee= $20,000

**Decreased Morale and Productivity**

- Challenging to quantify- but if we assume a 5% decrease in productivity for a company with a $5m payroll that would yield a $250,000 loss.

In this example we assumed no legal implications or issues related to market competitiveness. The end result was a cost of $446,500 for 10 employees or $44,650/employee.

However, this is a hypothetical scenario and the actual costs can vary significantly based on the company location, size, severity of the mismatch, and other factors. Companies can do a similar analysis to get more granular, however, it is clear that even with more conservative figures the cost of inaccurate job descriptions can be staggering.

Implementing a 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 a job description management can help. Learn more about our solution at


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