How do we find people to help us?
Traditionally, hiring someone during a recession should be easier than during a time of full employment. But we are not looking for just bodies today. We are looking for someone who can be interested in what we are doing and who we want to have working for or with us and who will be easy to train (if necessary).
We may also add to the requirement (in some cases) that the candidate be innovative or teach us something without their wanting to take over our job. That leads to questions like, “Would that put them in competition with us, to the detriment of both of us?” Now what? Where to find them for the least expense or the least amount of time?
We can start with networking and putting the word out with vendors, suppliers, customers, and in some cases competitors. After trying networking, it may be possible to contact the Human Resources departments of other companies that are in a downsizing mode. This can be especially useful if you are in a position to accept an even part-time candidate on a temporary basis while conducting a wider range search. If you’re looking for experience it’s one thing, if you’re just looking for someone to train, it’s another.
However, if you remember the human factor, you can find the perfect person to hire and train – in order to meet your needs as an employer and theirs as an employee. Here’s how.
The Human Factor
In hiring someone in this computer age, we find that without a face-to-face interview there are elements of the Human Factor that may be important to us that don’t show through easily in an email or application. For instance, is the person a good communicator? Do they have the ability to discern potential problems? Do they finish what they start? Do they want to learn new techniques? Are you comfortable in their presence?
Sometimes someone who doesn’t have all the credentials we would like has lots of life experience that can more than make up for the demands of a job. The resume may not indicate many things that we refer to as the Human Factor. That’s why a personal interview can greatly supplement a resume. Rejecting someone because the resume can’t show all is an exercise in “human opaqueness.”
Hiring someone can be a two-way street. If you are fortunate enough to find someone who appears perfect for the job, there may be obstacles. For instance, their salary requirement doesn’t quite meet your limits, your benefits are too small, or the requirement to work certain extra hours is a burden, what do you do? Perhaps you can apply your creative talents to being flexible. There are many ways of dealing with people if you consider them worthwhile. It’s called paying people “in their own currency.”
This means giving them something that is more important than just hard cash, like being assignments that they would love to have. How about working with someone who can teach them things that they couldn’t learn in any other job? How about providing a person with an unusually flexible schedule? All this is possible during the hiring phase.
If handled well, the human factor can create a mutually supportive environment of immediate value. That’s how profits increase, when people all respect each other and work together.
Filippo B. Galluppi founded Venus Scientific, Inc., a high-voltage power supply company, and Ultravolt, Inc., a company that designed and manufactured high-voltage power supplies. While Galluppi expanded and built each business, he learned how balancing management and employees, finance, and sales are essential to an organization’s long-term success. This ultimately led him to write the book, The Missing Human Factor. A current resident of Long Island, New York, Galluppi holds two bachelor’s degrees from Columbia College and a master’s degree from the Columbia School of Electrical Engineering in New York City. The Missing Human Factor will be available in print and as an ebook. The book can be purchased at themissinghumanfactor.com, Lulu.com, BN.com, or Amazon.com.