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Staffing Issues & Insights for the Graphic Communications Industry.
Making Every Hire Count: Maximizing Your Human Capital Investment
Quality of Hire Begins With Sourcing: Pick Your Method to Suit Your Needs
Getting a grip on mission-critical "soft" skills: 5 simple steps
Forget Doing "More with Less" Older Workers Help Companies Accomplish "More with More"
For Expanding Your Value-Added Services Profitably, Hiring Is Rocket Science
Assessing job candidates beyond the technical skills
Employer Branding: The solution to attracting & keeping great staff
Successioning Your Business: Five Simple Steps that Aren't Exactly Easy
The 20-60-20 Rule: Simple Concept, Practical Applications, Profitable Results
Universal Employment Concerns: Creating Opportunity Out of Adversity
Hanging Flexible in Tough Times
Value-Driven Outsourcing
Downsizing: Don't Retreat - Motivate!
Navigating Today's Hiring Minefield: Who Is Available & Do You Really Want Them?
Today's Financial Storm Inspires Tomorrow's Long-Term Success
The case for HR: Why & how you should implement formal policies & procedures
Staffing for success in a soft market
The Challenge of Hiring Sales People
Workforce Optimization
Evolving Your Company into a Service-Oriented Business
Redefining Sales
Staffing for the Future of Print
Communicating With Employees From Start To Finish
Eight Steps to Prepare You for the Retirement Brain Drain
Job Hopping for the Right Reasons
Resumés are just the Tip of the Iceberg
How Some Hires Fail
Hire Like You Mean It
Concluding Your Hiring Workflow: Closing the Deal
A Hiring "To Do" List
Challenging Employee Excellence to Achieve Company Pre-eminence
Aim for the Top: Getting Value for Compensation Dollars
The Productivity Challenge
The Dynamics of Telephone Interviews
How People Enable "Enablers"
The People Side of Succession Planning
Tips for Effective Interviewing
Corporate Culture: What It Is, Who It's for, Why It Matters
What's In a Name?
Investment in Regulatory Managers is Money Well Returned
Flexibility in HR Management Reaps Rewards
People Drive Technology
Return on Experience
The Credible Resume
Leadership Delivers
Managing Employee Skills & Knowledge
Managing Employee Success
Profit by being a good employer
Achieve Employee Excellence with Effective Job Descriptions
Maximize your Human Capital Investment
Demystifying Job Descriptions
Benefits of Outsourcing
Surviving The Management Paradigm Shift
Invest in the Best


Invest in the Best

Many printers regard staff as a cost of doing business. Actually, this perception is incorrect. A cost is an outlay of money for necessities to get things done-things like rent and office supplies. You can and should economize on costs as much as possible, since they do not affect the value of your core product or service. By contrast, your staff is an investment-the most important investment your business ever makes. An investment is an expenditure for the purpose of producing income, and it affects the value of your product or service substantially. So economizing on your investment in staff-by paying less than market rate for skilled positions, for example-misses the point. Rather, investments are judged by their potential return and have the capability of increasing profits by much more than the initial financial outlay they require. Take computers as an example. Are you likely to buy a refurbished PowerMac 7500 with 32 meg of RAM for your business? Of course not. Although you can get the machine dirt cheap, you'd probably never consider economizing to that extent on a computer. Instead, you'd probably look for a G5 or G4 with 512 meg of RAM or better, because you know that the 32-meg limitation would greatly reduce your productivity. It would be a bad investment.* Now take a look at your staff, using the three hints below to distinguish between the 512s and the 32s on your payroll:

Hint # 1: Productivity Level
Good employees generate high productivity per dollar of salary cost through their competence, positive attitude, energy, initiative, and sense of responsibility. Not only are bad employees far less productive, but they can also generate unwanted costs and delays through mistakes, negligence, or apathy. Bad employees also tend to reduce the productivity of others besides themselves, because everyone around them has to take up their slack. Furthermore, bad employees require higher maintenance in many forms--from extra supervision and training when they lack skills, to disciplinary action for absenteeism, to lengthy documentation before termination, to costly rehiring of replacements.

Hint # 2: People Skills
Good employees are effective team players, who are respectful and pleasant to be around and communicate well. They exhibit personal integrity, encourage others, and can gain their confidence and co-operation. As managers, they foster an open work environment where, instead of killing initiative in other employees by micro managing, they spark their creativity and empower them to contribute more to the business.

Conversely, the poor people skills of bad employees erode trust and a company's positive public image and can actually drive away customers. Additionally, when good employees see a poor performer rewarded by being kept on the payroll, it has a depressing effect on their quality of work and morale. This situation may not only prompt good employees to leave; it also sends a message to promising new recruits that the company is not a place where they would want to work.

Bad employees are difficult enough as co-workers but downright terrible as managers. Since their incompetence breeds insecurity, they resist giving up control by refusing to share information or empower others. Rather than affirm the people around them, they tend to drain and exhaust them, keeping them unsettled and putting them down in an effort to make themselves look better. And of course, they never hire excellent staff for fear of being shown up, surrounding themselves instead with lackeys who present no challenge to their shaky authority.

Hint # 3: Learning Aptitude
Good employees exhibit flexibility and can learn and keep on learning as their job expands. They search for solutions and improvements and, unlike inferior employees, provide great suggestions and strategies to help their employer's company grow more profitable.

Hiring takes time & resources

Although 60% of corporate budgets typically go toward employee expenses, a recent study of major North American companies shows that on average hiring managers spend no more than 45 seconds to decide whether to accept or reject a job applicant's resume. Such a rushed approach to hiring increases the likelihood of a bad outcome. Conversely, the right recruitment methods and selection tools can greatly improve the odds of success. For companies looking to maximize the time and resources it takes to do a thorough job of hiring, perhaps the best solution is to enlist the help of an experienced staffing specialist. The main goal is for each new hire to be a profitable investment instead of a cost for your business.

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