Bad workers last longer in OZ

Australian IT bosses show greater leniency than their US counterparts when dealing with the fallout of a questionable hire in order to salvage the appointment.

Poor hiring decisions can cost companies one and a half times more to replace a non-performing person; IT productivity also suffers in terms of the time and money needed to re-train a replacement, according to Meta Group's senior vice president of executive directions, Jonathan Poe.

"Think of the impact that sacking a network manager would have -- that means one and a half times $150,000 when you consider the months of retraining needed to re-fill that role," he said.

"It speaks for itself when you see results, like I have, of a good employee being four times more productive than a bad hire."

Poe believes bad hires do not result from employee incompetence alone, but from organisations' poor hiring processes and he claims Australian organisations are more prone to hiring poorly than US-based companies.

Based on US academic research this year , Poe said 40 per cent of IT and business professional hires end in firing and 20 per cent in resignation within 15 months. He estimates in Australia the percentage of new hires ending in sacking is less dire at around 20 per cent, with IT pros holding longer tenure than those in America.

"IT managers here take a little longer to get rid of a poor performer. They tend to be a bit more subtle and resign themselves to having lower productivity, which translates into three out of four hires being poor hiring decisions," he said.

In the US average tenure for CIOs in large organisations is three to five and a half years, whereas the tenure in Australia is around four years.

Poe also claims the turnover rate for IT executives here is "fairly high".

"Hiring a new senior IT pro every eight to nine months is very typical here, and in that timeframe the hiring manager must ask what impact that person has had," he said.

Declining to name any companies, Poe said he was aware of "several" organisations in Australia who had hired and fired a CIO every six months.

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