51% of new UK hires either leave or need close support due to mis-hiring

According to a recent survey conducted by Project Brains, an AI-powered Fractional Work platform that assists businesses in scaling by matching individuals to specific roles and business needs, half of new hires either leave or require extensive support to enhance their productivity.

The survey, which delves into the hiring and procurement challenges and opportunities faced by UK SMEs, indicated that the recruitment process is often inefficient. It revealed that 16% of new employees either left or were dismissed within twelve months of their start date. Additionally, 35% needed substantial support from their organisation to boost their productivity, while 45% mentioned it took between two and three months, sometimes even longer, to fully integrate new joiners.

The findings also highlighted a certain level of frustration among organisations, with nine out of ten (89%) expressing a desire to align candidates' skills with business requirements during recruitment. However, about seven in ten (68%) reported feeling neutral or dissatisfied with their current methods of skills assessment. Therefore, it is not surprising that a majority are inclined to embrace recruitment processes that go beyond the basic job description. Indeed, 92% of the respondents indicated a willingness to use AI technology to draft specifications and set criteria for evaluating candidates' skills, and 89% are open to adopting fractional hiring and service models.

Balram Pal, Director at Project Brains comments on the survey’s findings: “These are all indicators of mis-hiring and paint a frustrating picture of businesses struggling to find the right people to fill their roles. With mis-hiring costing the typical UK business around £125,000, 89 per cent of respondents to the survey agreed there’s a need for improvement in making hiring decisions.”

Fractional work is gaining awareness in HR and recruitment circles and refers to the hiring of an employee or service provider on a part-time or project-by-project basis. Fractional employees tend to be highly skilled professionals who offer specialist services to companies as and when required. Unlike traditional full-time employees, fractional specialists offer unparalleled agility and expertise, swiftly addressing critical barriers to success, and outweighing the drawbacks of relying solely on permanent staff or consultants. Not only does fractional work save on the time and money that an organisation would normally invest in recruiting, training, and onboarding new starters, it can also reduce risk and fill in any talent or knowledge gaps that might exist.

Project Brains has created a platform that allows businesses to access a community of more than 6,000 professionals covering all aspects of a business’s operating function - from finance and sales to marketing - all available on a fractional basis. Companies can bypass bad recruitment processes and bring in specialists to fulfil a variety of operating functions, and address specific problems based on agreed outcomes.

Pal concluded: “Traditionally, SME businesses have been able to fill senior positions based on their existing networks, bringing in hires to manage a specific outcome like increasing revenues or sales by a certain amount. However, it’s not been possible to fulfil other key operational roles the same way, forcing companies into the job market. The survey’s findings show, there is an opportunity – indeed, a real need – for technology and process innovation to improve these outcomes. The fractional approach champions a new era in the evolution of the workforce, giving organisations access to specific expertise when it is most crucial. We believe that, today, meeting a needs description is more important than matching a job description.”

Project Brains polled 100 UK business executives including CEOs, founders, and directors of finance, operations, HR and technology, 62% of whom led companies with 250 staff, while 44% had revenues of £50 million.