Is The Grass Getting Green?

Although no one expects 2010 to be a banner year for the print industry, we are seeing signs of business returning.  Given that so much of our industry is running very, very lean, the process of hiring new employees will be a challenge in ’10.  So, now is the time to start thinking about hiring and retention. 

The pool of available employees is practically non-existent; so, the temptation to “liberate” an employee from another employer will be the easiest option.  Therefore, what are you doing to make sure you retain your best?  Especially when they’ve been asked to work for fewer dollars, have had to work harder, their benefits have been reduced, and the specter of unemployment or business failure has hung over their head for the past year or two.  “Well, at least they are employed,” is not a valid response.  The economy will pick up and the grass on the other side of the fence is quickly going to look very green.

Now is the time to start reviewing all the changes which have been necessary to survive.  Yes, many companies are still in survival mode, but now is the time to start preparing; so when the green shoots of prosperity sprout – your company is making sure no one starts jumping fences.

Now, the issue of hiring.  Yes, it’s going to be tempting to steal an employee or two – but that’s not always the best solution.  Our industry is presently going through major metamorphoses from the world of manufacturing to one of technology.  If you are in the process of implementing major workflow changes, this might be the time to consider bringing an IT person (or sales) from another industry into your business.  They’re not cheap, but they are not restricted by “we don’t do it that way” mentalities limiting a company’s ability to truly be successful in the new world of visual communications a.k.a. print. 

Another issue is one of process.  Who is going to do the interviewing for new employees, especially if you don’t have an HR department, which is the case in 80% of the industry?  It’s a well-known fact that good hires result from good hiring practices.  So, if it’s been awhile since anyone has done any hiring, do some reading (or contact PIA MidAmerica) and get briefed on do’s and don’ts (there are plenty of those).

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