Research shows as many as 50 percent of all new employees are gone within the first six months on the job. With the cost to replace a bad hire estimated as high as anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000, who can afford such turnover? While the reasons the wrong people are hired can be as numerous as they are odd, the following are some of the most common reasons an employee fails to make it to their first year anniversary:Checklist mentality:Standardization, legal concerns, and seemingly endless numbers of applicants have, in many cases, forced recruiters to focus on honing in on limited candidate characteristics such as years of experience and education. Forget about talent, passion, people skills, potential, and fit — with that mind set it’s impossible to look past the paper and see candidates for who they truly are. Also, with electronic applications and resume submissions being the norm, sometimes the sheer volume of applicants can be overwhelming. Once a good (read: “sufficiently large”) pool of candidates has been selected by the recruiter, many resumes may not even be screened.Like-me bias: The EEOC Task Force Report, “Best Practices of Private Employers” acknowledges that it’s human nature for people to want to associate with others like themselves — leading to a tendency to want to employ others similar in terms of race, color, sex, national origin, etc. While these tendencies may not always be discriminatory in the context of each hiring decision, they may create a bias for hiring managers and can sometimes result in the wrong candidate getting the job.

Va va voom factor: In 2010, Newsweek conducted an online survey of both professionals and the public on their perceptions towards beauty and its impact at work. The majority of those surveyed also perceive that individuals blessed with good looks have an easier time being hired. Like it or not, research has shown when making hiring decisions, there is a beauty bias.

Best applicant vs. best asset: We’ve all met them. Resume, check; great interview, check; excellent references, check, check. You have a stellar applicant who more than meets your definition of the perfect candidate. To the hiring manger, the choice is clear and supported by all the traditional pieces of the puzzle, but the reality is your top candidate may also be one of your worst hires. There are a variety of reasons this may occur:

False representation: According to a 2008 CareerBuilder survey, 49 percent of employers said they found an applicant falsifying their resume. ADP Screening Services found that more roughly 40 percent of applicants lie about their work histories and background. With such high rates of falsification, asking the right questions, allowing candidates to talk, and being a superior listener is essential.

Failure to inform: Many candidates are so desperate to get a position with a company, it doesn’t matter how much you share with them — they will still take the job and end up being one of your less than six month departures. However, many others really want to know they will be a fit, and would decline an offer if more accurate information was provided. According to a 2010 SHRM article, University of Florida business professor John Kammeyer-Mueller found that a lack of information about the position and the company is a very powerful predictor of a new employee’s decision to self-terminate.

What do you do to ensure you make the right hire?