Monday, July 09, 2012
Dear Person Seeking a Job: Why I Can't Hire You
I'm afraid that to many people who have never signed the front of a paycheck do not understand business and the calculations that go into hiring. This is a cogent essay on those calculations and why rising costs crimp plans to expand through adding more employees.
Please read the whole thing.
In other words, as costs of hiring anyone to do anything have climbed while revenues have stagnated, the threshold to hire an employee keeps getting higher. Back in the day, I could hire a young person out of high school for a modest cost in overhead, and the work-value they produced to justify the expense was also modest. I could afford to hire marginal workers and as long as they didn't get in the way too much and ably performed basic tasks then I could afford to have them on the payroll.
The same was true of older workers, veterans living on the beach who wanted work, etc.--I could afford to give all sorts of people a chance to prove their value because the costs and risks were low.
That's simply less true today. The costs and risks are much, much higher.Liability has become a lottery game where anyone with assets or income is a target for "winner take all" lawsuits. I would have to be insane to hire someone to work around my property on an informal basis: if the person injured himself, I would face the risks of losing my property to the legal defense costs and potential settlements that exceed the homeowners' insurance policy.
In an office environment, I could be sued for harassment or for engendering a "stressful work environment." If you think these kinds of cases are rare, you need to get out more.
Simply put, the feeble hope of increasing revenues does not even come close to offsetting the tremendous risks created by having employees.