One of my favorite blogs was tied to a poll we did a couple of years ago at Halloween. In the poll, we asked employers to tell us what scares them most about hiring new employees.

The poll, of course, was all in fun. And the results are worth a second look.

So, in the true spirit of Halloween, I urge to take a closer look – if you dare – at some of the characters the poll identified, including the likes of zombies, Dracula, and Frankenstein.

Beware, the results are frightening! Here they are in reverse order.

# 5 Frankenstein – Matches your hiring profile, but the pieces just don’t seem to fit.

Roughly 10% of our readers are gripped with the fear of hiring people who may have the right qualifications but wash out on the job. These employees have the right training and experience. Their interests and preferences match those of top performers.  But somehow, those individual factors don’t add up to a good hire. Either these employees lack key jobs skills, or they simply are not a good match for the company’s culture and values.

#4 Count Dracula – Draining valuable training time and resources.

Many of our readers lose sleep because of employees who are sucking the life out of their training budgets. While training new hires on company policies and procedures can be quick, training critical job skills is not. If new employees don’t already have effective problem solving, customer awareness, and critical thinking skills, they can bleed you dry in mentoring time and training costs.

#3 Grim Reaper – Always negative. No one likes to see them coming.

A lot has been written recently about toxic employees. And the Grim Reaper is the classic toxic employee. Eighteen percent of those polled worry about hiring negative people who are constant complainers. These are the employees who don’t like their teams, don’t like their accounts, don’t like their offices, and don’t like anyone else’s ideas. They alienate coworkers—and drive away customers. If you see the Grim Reaper coming, quickly head the other way.

#2 Zombie – Drags in late, disengaged, just going through the motions.

We all want employees who are excited about their jobs and who share their enthusiasm with colleagues and customers. What we sometimes get, however, are people who are only there for a paycheck and are just marking time. If you ask them to do anything extra, they’ll let you down every time. I’m sure you’ve encountered zombies in stores and check-out lines. They don’t smile, don’t say hello, and sometimes don’t even acknowledge you’re there. Zombies are scary—and frightfully bad for business.

#1 Mr. Hyde – You think you’re hiring Dr. Jekyll, but you end up with Mr. Hyde.

With 42 percent of the vote, Mr. Hyde is clearly the hiring nightmare that scares us most. And it’s easy to understand why. If you’ve ever hired someone who charmed you in the interview, then transformed into an entirely different person once they were on the job—you know why Mr. Hyde is #1. This is not surprising. Employment science tells us that the most frequent hiring mistakes occur from false assumptions and superficial impressions. Effective hiring is further complicated by the tendency of applicants to put their best face forward and to tell you what they think you want to hear.

Fortunately, new hiring technologies make it possible to predict top performers with scientific precision. So don’t let hiring nightmares keep you up at night. Give us a call and discover how to sleep easy, knowing you’ve hired the best.

Happy Halloween!