Hiring Practices — Finding the Right Fit

CHOOSING THE right employees is a key decision for printing companies. Facing short deadlines and tight margins, the addition of a below-par performer can prove costly for a graphic arts provider.

“There is a lot of data which says that the cost of a bad hire is about two and a half times the person’s annual salary,” says Debra Thompson, president of human resources consulting firm TG & Associates in Tucson, AZ. “That is measured in terms of the wages paid, the cost of rework that was necessary, the cost of customers lost because of bad service, and even the cost of replacing good employees who got fed up with carrying the load for the bad performer and left.”

On the other hand, Thompson states that the benefits of having a top performer include:

• 40 percent improvement in productivity, meaning much higher sales-per-employee.

• 49 percent improvement in profitability because of better management skills and the higher sales-per-employee.

• 67 percent improvement in revenues due to better customer satisfaction leading to more sales.

According to Kris Lerdahl, human resources coordinator for Suttle-Straus in Waunakee, WI, finding workers with the right skills remains a challenge for printers. Suttle-Straus attempts to make itself more attractive to potential candidates by offering competitive benefits, a professional atmosphere and a great workplace, she notes.

“When we advertise for open positions, we sell our company and benefits first,” Lerdahl explains. “Informing potential employees what we’re all about makes them want to work here. We often have local high school and vocational school classes come through for tours to generate interest in our company and the opportunities that we provide. We try to generate local news stories that keep our name in the public eye. We also work closely with our temporary help agency to identify workers who can transition from temporary to permanent status.”

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