Placed Article: Alice Waagen Writes Featured Post for Employment Crossing

Article by Alice Waagen, Workforce Learning
Employment Crossing
Featured HR Article


RESTON VA, November 1, 2008 — Human resources expert Alice Waagen, PhD, president of Workforce Learning of Reston, VA, is the HR Career Feature writer this month on Employment Crossing / HRCrossing, one of the leading job-opening research companies in the world and the go-to website for executives, administrators, managers, assistants and entry-level workers, providing access to thousands of lucrative job openings in the human resources field.

Alice’s article, Know when — and how — to hire the right staff, describes the three steps to hiring success.

1. Know when it’s time. Just like a sneeze can mean the flu may be around the corner, here are some business ‘‘symptoms’‘ that can mean it is time to grow your workforce.
• No matter how long the work day, you and your staff leave with a ‘‘to do’‘ list mostly ‘‘not done.’‘
• You know that your business will grow in a predictable manner, either due to market trends, seasonal issues, drop in competition, increased referral or any other reason, you are anticipating steady growth.
• You are experiencing an increased demand for your product or service.
• You need to build pipeline of talent and resources for backup.
• You are burning out your current staff (including yourself). Signs of burnout can be an increase in sick days, missed deadlines or, worst of all, customer complaints.
• An unplanned opportunity comes knocking on your door.

2. Determine what type of help you need. It takes a lot of talent and expertise to run a business, but I have seen businesses both large and small make the mistake of starving the infrastructure to save money. In the heyday of downsizing years ago, in fact, it was commonplace to eliminate infrastructure positions and leave business operations at full force. With the economy taking a hit again, this lopsided logic is taking root again. Executives take note: This approach does not eliminate the need to do any of the daily functions required to run your business. It simply pushes those responsibilities on to the business development team—leaving them less time to generate revenue. Conversely, by using strategic staffing strategies, companies can avoid lopsided growth in an economic downturn.
A better approach is to map your business infrastructure by listing that is now covering the core business functions (see below). Then, when your plans call for business growth, determine how your infrastructure will grow with it.

3. Decide if you should go the full-time-employee or contractor route. Full timers vs. contractors—this is a question without one right answer. But like all growth decisions, you need to examine this in the context of your business plan.
To find the approach that works best for your company ask the following:
• What skills and experience is intrinsic to your business?
• What value does this person provide to the customer?
• What type of a company are you trying to cultivate right now?
• Is your long-term strategy to grow a business for many years, or are your plans • to grow for possible resale to another owner?
• What is the exit strategy for your business should you decide to sell it or close doors?

“The true currency of any business is not price—it is value,” Waagen explains. “Ultimately, if the talent you need to grow your business perceives that there is more value in being employed than working on contract, this will determine your growth strategy. If, on the other hand, key team members are happier to work as contractors, don’t shun them as an important resource.”

For more, visit