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Entrepreneurs confronting the unhappy task of having to downsize when business conditions change need to execute in a way that preserves the dignity of, and, ultimately, the relationship with, the employees, says an entrepreneur who laid off her entire staff in the wake of the dot-com crash. Downsizing well involves throwing away the rulebook and dealing with people on a personal level, she writes.
Every entrepreneur needs to know what federal and state employment and labor laws and regulations say about hiring, firing, compensation and discrimination.
In today's extremely tight labor market, small-company employers must approach hiring just as they approach selling. To lure able and enthusiastic candidates, the author writes, a CEO should consider such steps as contacting reluctant candidates personally, offering equity compensation to augment salaries, and sending welcoming gifts like fruit baskets. Of particular note is a discussion of factors the author says "count" in the sales-whoops!-the hiring process.
If you think hiring is tough in today's tight labor market, you should figure that retaining people is even tougher. To keep employees, small-company owners must provide more than just competitive compensation packages, the author writes. What really makes the difference is a CEO's ability to communicate an organizational vision and to recognize the people who translate that vision into revenue and profit.
Hiring the disabled allows entrepreneurs greater productivity, lower labor costs, and lucrative tax benefits, in addition to engendering goodwill, says a company founder who employs brain-injured workers.
A growing economy constantly creates new job opportunities in new sectors, but also displaces and even destroys existing jobs. The workforce in an entrepreneurial economy must always evolve as well. Government efforts to protect jobs are often misguided, hindering growth and new job creation. Pro-growth workforce rules should instead focus on developing worker skills, allowing maximum hiring and layoff flexibility, and focus adjustment efforts on getting displaced workers into new jobs as soon as possible. Small firms employ half of all private sector employees and create 60-80 percent of net new jobs in the U.S., according to the SBA. Labor rules are one of the largest barriers to entrepreneurial ventures. The World Bank’s cross-country comparison of labor regulations shows lower job creation where workplace rules are more rigid. Labor rules must move beyond the early 20th century framework of management versus labor and encourage new firm formation as well as a dynamic, not static, worker.
With board directors focusing more time on financial compliance, this author asserts life sciences and technology companies often neglect management of their technology-based product development. Entrepreneurs should establish scientific advisory boards to provide them with expert technology oversight and also to provide their formal boards with objective overviews of company technology.
Entrepreneurs struggle with how much to pay themselves and the need to use financial resources to ignite growth versus reaping cash rewards for their own labors. Once outside equity investors are involved, the struggle and decision passes to board members. This founding entrepreneur, minority shareholder in his own company, shares what has worked for his company.
This veteran entrepreneur, who currently works as COO at a fast-growing company, relays his experiences hiring the key people for his teams. To recruit top talent, he recommends several key hiring tactics, including establishing a hiring forecasting plan and exercising patience and caution during the hiring process.
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