Smart Hiring Means Smart Business

With the jobs numbers released yesterday, we once again are confronted with unemployment at unhealthy levels. But progress has in fact been made, and to take these numbers simply as signs of a gloomy economy would ignore the bigger picture. Just this week our company, College Hunks Hauling Junk, along with companies nationwide, received Inc.'s inaugural Hire Power award. The award recognizes privately held companies who have generated the most job creation over the past three years. Our company, along with the other companies on the list, created a total of 73,032 jobs in the United States in the past three years -- during what many describe as the hardest hitting financial recession since the Great Depression. It gives me great pride to know that I was able to help build the road to recovery by creating jobs in a time when our communities needed to get back to work. And, as a small business owner, the news is a strong affirmation of our franchises' vitality and ability to weather the economic storm of the past few years.

The symbiosis of the business community is dependent on the strength of the individual parts. When one business prospers, it positively impacts businesses in its tangential community. Hiring is an essential part of this process. As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money, but it needs to be smart spending. Through implementing smart hiring practices and hiring smart people, the initial investment in taking on a new employee, can reap exponential profits.

Taking on a new employee is a big commitment, particularly for small businesses. A $50,000 per year employee is the equivalent of a $300,000 loan from a bank in terms of the economic cost to the company. But the initial risk of making a new hire can be hedged with strategic planning. Before making the decision to create a new position, small businesses must assess their own individual needs. This means considering any challenges their business is facing and contemplating how a new hire can serve as a remedy. Positions should be created and filled only when absolutely vital to a business' sustainability and growth. Our own business serves as an example of this strategy. By not only hiring smart people, but strategically filling positions, we were able to expand and continue to grow, despite the economic downturn.

One of the most valuable lessons I've learned as a business owner is that you simply can't know or do everything. Every person develops a particular skillset, which they hone throughout their professional careers. It is these skills that drive them towards success, and carve out a specific role within the business community. As a business owner, you are faced with choosing between focusing your time on business development, or the actual day-to-day of the business you run. This is where smart hiring comes into play.

The reality is, there will always be someone smarter than you or someone who can do something better than you can. Understanding- and utilizing the implications of- this is a critical decipher between business owners and smart business owners. Smart business owners hire these people, knowing full well that these people aren't competition, they are assets. In my own entrepreneurial experience, my partner and I found we could only take our business so far. When we started to surround ourselves with smart people with different skill sets and expertise, we were able to transform our idea into the successful business it is today.

As a small business owner, I salute Inc. for honoring those who have laid the pavement for the road to recovery by putting people to work. Every business can make a contribution, by identifying weaknesses in their business and taking on employees who can provide the remedy. Every job counts -- every new person hired is one less person on unemployment, one more person who is making an income that they can then spend and re-invest in the economy. As U.S. based business owners, we owe it to ourselves and to our communities to take the first step towards economic recovery. We can hire more by hiring strategically, hiring smarter.