Companies in the BRICs are losing millions by hiring the wrong people

Job applicants at Asian Diversity Career Expo.
Job applicants at Asian Diversity Career Expo.
Image: Getty Images/Spencer Platt
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The BRICs are carrying a lot of dead weight.

Almost six in 10 employers globally—and many more in Russia, Brazil and China—say they chose someone who was a bad fit or performed poorly in the last year,  a new CareerBuilder survey of more than 6,000 human resources and hiring managers shows. And the bad hires cost companies plenty in lost sales and productivity.

Here’s a closer look at the online survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, by the percent of HR managers who admitted to a bad hire in the last year:

Russia – 88%

Brazil – 87%

China – 87%

India – 84%

US – 66%

Italy – 66%

UK – 62%

Japan – 59%

Germany – 58%

France – 53%

In the US, the percentage is about the same as  in 2010. CareerBuilder doesn’t have comparable figures globally since this is its first such poll on poor hiring decisions. It’s not clear how many managers made bad hires but didn’t ‘fess up when contacted. Nor is there data on how many of the bad hires have already been fired.

Countries that had lots of hiring to do—notably the emerging markets in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China)—also had highest levels of regrets, CareerBuilder noted. Those competitive job markets may mean candidates are snapped up quickly, to keep up with business demand.

Indeed, the biggest reason for mistakes was the rush to fill the job, followed by “insufficient talent intelligence,” CareerBuilder reported last year. The costs of those poor choices: reduced employee morale, bad client relations, slumped sales, the cost of recruiting a new staffer.  The most cited cost: lost productivity.

Amounts are quantifiable. In India, 29% of human resources managers say it drained more than $37,150. Almost half of Chinese managers say a bad hire costs $48,734. In the US, one quarter of managers say it exceeds $50,000.

The costs are steeper for hiring the wrong manager—as much as $840,000 for a manager terminated after two and a half years, according to an infographic prepared by Resoomay, which matches tech types to employers.

Want to figure out the cost of the bad hire you made or are about to make? Or maybe you want to laugh at the costs your boss racked up in hiring the guy across from you? Payroll company ADP offers a “bad hire calculator“—thankfully for free.