With the presidential election a mere 13 days away and the polls showing both candidates in an even match up, it’s hard to think of much else.  Perhaps living in Colorado, one of the battleground states, makes it even more difficult to escape the overwhelming coverage.

Regardless of your politics, the issue of jobs is on the minds of Americans as they consider who will get your vote.  I have heard the frustrations and concerns of business owners across America regarding their ability and opportunity to add jobs in an uncertain economy.

One could argue that having a solid, structured and effective Onboarding process in place is, now more than ever, a critical consideration when faced with the prospect of adding jobs.  There are more than 23 million Americans out of work or underemployed and while business owners may want to hire, they may not be able to afford the risk in these economic times.

In a recent Vistage presentation to CEOs and Human Resource Executives in Philadelphia, participants had an opportunity to calculate the hard and soft costs of hiring and keeping non-performers in their job too long.  Recruiting costs ranged from $6,000 to $60,000 and the cost of keeping non-performers too long was well into the millions for just about everyone in the room.

Even after calculating the costs involved, most would hire someone if they knew the new hire was an “A” player who would get up to speed quickly and easily.

This is a time when employers have to be very deliberate and thorough in their assessment of a candidate.  There are no guarantees that your new hire is an “A” player.  It’s important that you have a back up plan, just in case you hire someone who sold you in the interview, but has not produced value in the job.

The two main purposes of an effective Onboarding process in your business are:

  1. To ramp up top performers as fast as possible
  2. To weed out non-performers as fast as possible

If the economy continues on it’s current path, small business owners will be hesitant to add to their headcount.  If you know you need people, do yourself, and your company, a big favor and have a plan to ramp them up or weed them out fast.

If the economy picks up, with a changing of the guard, and you want to add headcount, do yourself the same big favor and have a plan to ramp them up or weed them out fast.

No matter what the economy is doing, having an Onboarding strategy makes good business sense.

Small business drives our economy.  Small business owners are the creators of jobs.  When people are working and producing value not only is it good for the company they work for and good for the economy overall, it is good for them personally.  We all want to matter.  As Americans, for better or worse, we get a lot of our needs met when we feel valued at work.  When we are not working, or underemployed, we don’t get that same jolt of self-esteem that is so vital for living a happy life.

My vote is going to the guy who knows how important it is to get America working and has a solid plan to create jobs and get the economy back on track.

Merit Gest is President and Founder of Merit-Based Development, a Denver based firm specializing in Onboarding top talent.  For information about Merit’s virtual course designed to guide executives through the process of creating an effective Onboarding program, call or email Merit at 720-980-1286 or Merit@MeritGest.com


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