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Hiring: Don’t Take it For Granted

Posted on June 25, 2009 by Ellen

I recently read Jason Calcanis’ newsletter regarding the current hiring environment entitled, "How to Hire – and Get Hired – in a Recession".  This newsletter spoke mostly of how important it is to be a hard worker and how important it is to hire someone who is willing to work hard. He admitted that it sounded a little obvious, but still had many legitimate and important suggestions regarding the subject. I would like to advise readers of Jason’s newsletter that our economic position can cause a lax attitude when it comes to the subject of hiring and reply with a few things to consider before making any drastic changes.

    1. Understand what the unemployment numbers are really saying:  Yes, the overall unemployment rate might be 10%, but that doesn’t mean the employee you are looking for necessarily comes out of that unemployment pool. High school grads have the highest unemployment rate at (10-15%), while college grads are in the middle (7-9%), and graduate degree earners have little unemployment problems at all (2-3%).  Jason said he received 200 resumes for one $10/hr job posting. That would make sense considering that the $10/hr job would most likely (not always) be picking from the high school graduate pool with the highest unemployment rate.  So the next time you’re thinking, “I know the pickins are good and I can just replace that person”, think of what group that person comes from and how hard it might really be to replace someone. This leads to my next warning…


    1. Don’t let your attitude turn into “my employees are dispensable”.  Remember that your employees are the people that you have entrusted to run the day to day functions of your business and these responsibilities shouldn’t be taken lightly. They can mean the difference between profits and losses. If you treat your employees as if they are dispensable, they will treat your business as if it was dispensable. This leads to my next point…


    1. Pay the Price: Jason talks a lot about hiring someone who is obsessed with work and who is willing to work late, extra hours etc.  Remember that type of employee comes with a price and you better be willing to pay that price for that type of commitment.  This doesn’t mean that you have to pay more money necessarily. Really, paying the price can be as simple as recognizing that your employees are working hard.  I’m not sure any staff member would appreciate being told that they are replaceable let alone the “work-a-holic”.  Rarely being recognized for the hard work that they do can be a larger detriment than monetary compensation to some.  Individuals that are that dedicated to their work, who spend their personal hours to improve your business, look for recognition.  A little encouragement goes a long way.


Jason is right; I agree that hiring the hard worker will be the best for your business.  Please remember however, not to take advantage of these people or let the unemployment rate change your appreciation of your employees.  Your employees are the ones running your business. Treat them with respect and they will keep making your company a profitable one.


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