Every Worker You Hire
is a Vote of Confidence
by Tim Triplett, Editor-in-Chief
The American economy has eliminated 8.4 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007—about 1.2 million more than initially estimated, according to revised data released by the Labor Department earlier this month. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped slightly in January to 9.7 percent—a positive trend but just the beginning. By some estimates, in order for the economy to fully rebound, employers will need to create an average of 400,000 new jobs per month for the next three years. Perhaps you are in a position to help.
Employment is a lagging indicator of economic recovery. Most experts agree that the recession is behind us and GDP should grow by a strong 3 to 4 percent this year. Yet businesses small and large remain reluctant to hire. After so much downsizing and economizing, they naturally do not want to add back personnel costs until absolutely necessary. However, there are good reasons to begin staffing up sooner rather than later.
Chances are your company has changed due to the difficult market conditions. It’s time to take stock of your existing workforce and identify the skill sets you must add to be successful in the post-recession market.
There are countless highly skilled and experienced professionals out there who are un- or under-employed. The first employers to dive into the labor pool will have the first shot at scooping up the best and the brightest among them. Rescued from the deep end of joblessness, these individuals will no doubt bring a special dedication to their daily tasks.
Some service centers are already seeing order activity pick up and are making due by relying on overtime hours from their existing workforce, but at some point this strategy becomes self-defeating. Overworked individuals are more likely to drop the ball, causing customer service problems and perhaps even an unsafe work environment. Monitoring sales trends and overtime costs carefully will help anticipate when new hires are justified.
Congress and the Obama administration are working out the details of a jobs plan that is likely to involve more federal dollars for banks to loan to small businesses and more tax incentives for employers who hire new workers, offering further financial incentives for hiring.
Beyond all the sound business reasons for growing your workforce, there is a patriotic reason as well. As we have all learned during the past two years, there is only so much the government can do about the economy. As employers, service center owners have the power to take matters into their own hands, similar to a voter on Election Day. Except that instead of wondering if your one measly vote will really make a difference, you can be assured it will. Every time you hire someone, you cast a vote of confidence in your company, and your country, and you make a profound difference in the life of a fellow American. What’s more patriotic than that?