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Hire And Hope . . . Is That Your Plan For Growth?
By Mason Duchatschek   Printer Friendly Version

"If they can fog a mirror we'll hire them."

"If their crimes weren't too bad, we'll give them a job."

"We'll hire whatever applicants we can get."

Sound familiar? When I hear statements like that from people who call themselves professionals, I cringe. The problem is that I have been cringing a lot lately. Low unemployment has frustrated many employers and managers who are finding that the old ways of doing things don't cut it anymore.

Sure it's easy to complain and say that there aren't enough applicants to be overly particular. After all, low unemployment is real and the excuse is a valid one. It's easy to rationalize that it isn't the company's fault that economic growth has diminished applicant pools in terms of both quantity and quality.

However, successful companies and successful people don't accept excuses, and they won't let rationalizations cover up their need to deal with formidable challenges. They won't tolerate the lowering of hiring standards.

Companies that must add employees to grow and prosper have two choices. They can either:

A. Lower hiring standards, or

B. Raise hiring standards and the effort necessary to achieve those standards.

At first glance, Option A sounds like the easiest. But is it? Additional time and resources must be allotted to deal with the increase in problems frequently associated with hiring mistakes:

  • Employee turnover
  • Excessive overtime costs (caused by absenteeism and tardiness)
  • Fraudulent workers' compensation
  • Employee theft
  • Lost clients due to incompetence
  • Negligent hiring lawsuits
  • And more . . .

Option B sounds a bit unrealistic, if not radical, given these challenging times. Or does it? Who says that employers can't compete for applicants in the same way they compete for new clients? Who says that employers can't work as hard to keep employees as they do to keep customers?

Just like Option A, this approach would obviously require additional work and investment. However, quality always costs less in the long run. For a fraction of the headaches and costs associated with hiring mistakes caused by Option A, companies could:

  • Invest more in recruiting (promote the company, available positions, and benefits).
  • Invest more in selecting the best candidates (use preemployment screening and skill, attitude, and personality testing, etc.).
  • Invest more in retaining employees.

The clock is ticking. What are you going to do?

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