Poor Economy Should Not Stop SMBs from Hiring


SMB hiring statistics rose slightly in November despite the state of the economy, says SurePayroll. In a survey conducted by the online payroll company, 43 percent of the businesses said that they were not negatively affected by the current climate; a slim 4 percent actually said they were doing better, reports eWEEK.


Of course, only 214 small business owners were interviewed. Still, it is good to hear some affirmation that the sky is not falling, and that business goes on for SMBs.


With massive layoffs crowding the headlines every other day, is there any way for the fiscally sound SMB to turn the situation to their advantage?


SurePayroll President Michael Alter has obviously given some thought to the matter, and is of the opinion that now is the best time to go on a hiring spree. Alter said, "If you had asked this question a year ago, the biggest problem SMBs would have had would be finding good, qualified employees. Now you have a lot of people who are being laid off from huge companies."


Qualified and reliable IT professionals who have nevertheless lost their job will probably be more than glad to come on board, and will likely do so for a lower pay package. The logical reaction from SMBs, though, is to shirk from such hires over concerns that they will jump ship once the economy gets better.


While that might be true, it is imperative to recognize that staffers from large organizations can bring valuable expertise along with them. In all likelihood, they also come from a background with time-tested procedures and established methods of doing things that can continue to benefit your organization long after they leave, should they choose to do so. While one cannot expect everything to be transferrable, their experiences-now available for a steal-might well serve to propel your IT operations to the next level.


For example, a more experienced network engineer might have a ready solution to the befuddling problem of linking up your increasing number of branch offices. Or a veteran database programmer used to handling much larger database systems might incorporate optimizations that will pre-empt certain problems when your volume of business triples down the road.


If the available headcount is already maxed out, though, an alternative to tap into their expertise would be to hire these staffers as independent contractors for existing projects. This way, SMBs can tap into their expertise, yet avoid having to pay payroll taxes and benefits.


So if you have the need-and the funds -- hire away!