How Buying a House Is Like Making a Hire

If you had a chance to think about it, you’d realize that, whenever you hire a $10.00 per hour employee, it is the same investment as if you were to buy a $350,000 house! (Your monthly cost would roughly be the same; 40 hour employee = $1,600/mo. wages; 30 year mortgage loan payment = $1,600/mo.)

And this is precisely why you need to choose your next hire as carefully as you would a new home.

  1. When you buy a house, the first thing you look at is curb appeal, but you’d never buy based on just that. (Same goes for job applicants and first impressions.)
  2. You would never buy a house that didn’t meet all your basic needs. (Likewise, never hire anyone who doesn’t have the required mental and physical capacities, attitudes, personality, and skills you require.)
  3. You would also consider the neighborhood the house is in and pay for a professional house inspection. (Never hire without contacting both personal and professional references and doing background checks.)
  4. You might buy a fixer upper; something with potential. (You’ll maximize your ROI if you hire for attitude and train for skills.)

While both “purchases” represent an ongoing outflow of about $1,600.00 per month, the employee comes with all kinds of added costs, including training, management time, supplies, etc., as well as the fact that the employee’s costs will rise over time.

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This is precisely why hiring managers should “shop” carefully, evaluate every hiring decision as the long-term liability it is, and ask if the cost of the new asset will be more than paid for by the returns delivered.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.

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