Rebuilding Your Staff After the Recession

by Anya Jennings on March 3, 2010

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The past year has been tumultuous for many businesses. With the economy in recession, most companies have been faced with cutbacks that often required the lay-off of significant numbers of employees, including HR staff. If you can’t hire, HR staff seems redundant…until the time comes to replace all those laid off workers, many of whom have moved on. Once you’re back in black and ready to re-grow your business to its former glory, how do you achieve it? Skipping steps in the employee vetting process is usually a mistake. A better method to consider is the use of a staffing agency to find qualified contractors.


You can fill your offices quickly with qualified employees who have already been documented, and offer permanent positions to those who work well together. Your business, no matter what business it is, runs on teamwork. Using a staffing agency gives you the ability to judge potential employees on far more than the cut and dried information contained on their resume.

Personality matter

I once shared an office with a girl who sang, talked, and ate – constantly. If she wasn’t loudly smacking gum or chewing candy, she was in the kitchen popping popcorn or rustling a bag of chips. I don’t know if she ever did any work, but I knew that I couldn’t get any done. I was thrilled when the boss transferred her to her own office and I could get back to getting my work done. Other people are gossips, troublemakers or emotional drama vampires that suck the happiness out of a room and leave everyone in it anxious and depressed.


Another common and often costly flaw is people who can’t make it anywhere on time or who are incapable of meeting a deadline. Granted, sometimes the answer is to adjust schedules so people who are traveling significant distances during heavy traffic periods can change their hours for an easier commute…and you also have to recognize that deadlines can sometimes be impossible to meet and need to be more reasonable.


What job is really easy to define? In most cases, people wear a lot of hats, and employees who are able to adjust to changing job demands are rare and valuable. Contracting allows you to spot those who can adapt and identify those who crack under pressure.

Hiring contract workers gives you the opportunity to weed all of these people out of your workforce without the drama of having to fire them. It also gives you a competent and fully staffed HR department when you need it – and only when you need it. Working closely with your staffing rep will give you the opportunity to exactly define the kind of person you’re looking for, and developing a relationship with the company over time allows the staffing rep to fully understand your needs and the nuances of your company.

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