Thursday, November 3, 2011

Would YOU hire YOU?

Would YOU hire a Wall Street Occupier if you were hiring?

People are whining today that there are not enough jobs - as if jobs were like fruit on a tree in the Garden of Eden and should be handed out like free hot-meals.

And many folks believe that jobs are a "right" and that everyone should be handed a job, paid handsomely and not have to work very hard.  And it shouldn't matter whether that person is making as much money - or more - for the company than they are taking home.

No, really.  People think this.  Entire countries have tried this, in fact.  And it falls apart, every time.

As I noted in a previous posting, there is a huge cost associated with hiring even one person.  All the requirements of payroll, unemployment insurance, workman's comp, plus health insurance and other benefits, all have to be accounted for (and someone paid to do the accounting thereof) before the guy even shows up for work on day one!

And then you have to provide that person with a workplace - a desk, a computer, office space, etc. which costs so much per square foot and has to be heated, cooled, lit, and cleaned.  And add in supplies and other tools of the trade.  It costs money to hire people!

And then there is the question of whether you will make any money on the new hire - and is it worth it.  Say you hire someone at a starting salary of about $25,000 a year, which would cost you $50,000 a year, with benefits and the costs associated with hiring.  This newbie requires a lot of training and instruction - after all, colleges never were training grounds for work, and today, many kids graduate without even the most basic skills.

Maybe you make an additional $55,000 a year by hiring this lad.  Is it worth it?  Five grand a year?  Bear in mind that in addition to the cash costs of hiring someone, there is also the time it takes away from your work to hire them  - time that you could be using to make money for yourself.

But even factoring this in, what about risk?  The more people you hire, the greater the risk that something horrible will go wrong.  Your newbie employee screws something up, and you don't catch it, and you end up getting sued by a client.  Your newbie employee starts hitting on your secretary, and she sues for sexual harassment.  Your newbie employee brings his gun to work to show to all your clients and other employees (that actually happened to me!).  The list goes on and on.  You are taking on a risk with very little in the way of associated reward.

And that is the problem with our economy today - we are not rewarding risk-takers.

Oh, and by the way, as an employer, everyone thinks you are making millions of dollars and making out like a bandit, when in fact, you might be making less than your employees (as more than one Lawyer has told me).  All risk, no reward.  Hard work, no pay.  Gee, what's not to like?

And then you hire someone, train them, and after a year or two, they leave for bigger and greener pastures.  The competing firm across town is more than happy to hire your lad for $10,000 more a year, now that he is trained and productive.  You lost money for two years, hoping to recoup your losses in the third - and then BAM! he leaves.

And some people have approached me, looking for jobs, with the balls to say right out front, "I just want to get some experience for a couple of years, so I can qualify for a better paying job!"

Gee, don't over-sell yourself.

Once you sit on the other side of that interview table, you'll understand better why no one is hiring.  Whining about the unfairness of it all isn't going to get you a job, however - rather just the opposite.