Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Worthless Employers

We ran across an interesting article on CNN/Money today entitled 'I Have Jobs, but No One Wants Them',

Amazing... as absurd and offensive a header as a heartless out-of-touch corporate news media conglomerate could use.   It both implies and overtly states that there are jobs-a-plenty in this Glorious Obama-led Recovery Revolution, and if you're not working by now, you're 'obviously' a bum, moocher, lazy layabout or other form of social dreg.

In the CNN/Money article, they give examples of small business owners who are bitching and bemoaning that they want to hire people but simply can't find anyone willing to take their jobs.  So we're going to re-post in quotes from the article, and then provide in blue font, an honest, blunt interpretation.  Because it is not necessary to reprint their full names and businesses, we'll just use abbreviations...

Example #1

Owner: D.G.
Company: Tutoring
Location: New York City
Annual revenue: projected to be $600,000 this year

"We have four full-time employees, and 500 tutors who are contractors. We want to hire more. Many of our tutors come straight out of college.

We start them out at $25 to $50 an hour based on location, travel time and complexity. We can't pay more, because we do not want to charge our clients more. Our price point makes us competitive."

~ The owner says he wishes to hire more.  Hire more what--  Full time employees?   He doesn't say, so its safe to assume he's looking to hire more contractors.   $25-$50/hr sounds like a good salary...  IF its a full time position.  Now if its contracting i.e. part time, and tutors usually work 10-15hrs a week, then really what he's offering is the equivalent of a second job.  

In addition, because contracting means 'independent contractor', it means the company does not have to pay medical benefits.   Health insurance, usually hundreds of $$/month is on the shoulders of the worker.   Deduct that expense alone and making $250-$600/wk doesn't sound so super in comparison to a standard 40/hr position with benefits provided.
Example #2

Owner: M. J. F.
Company: Composites
Location: Manitowoc, Wis.
Annual revenue: $7 million

"We're a small business manufacturing custom thermoset composite moldings. We run our factory 24 hours a day, four days a week and sometimes on Friday.

Lately, we have had to lock our front office doors. People receiving unemployment benefits are required to show that they have put some effort into finding work. Some show up at our offices to fulfill this requirement -- usually on a Friday. So we lock our doors to avoid them. We've resorted to only hiring people who have worked 90 days for a temporary staffing agency.

We have about 60 employees and are looking to hire four more. The jobs are entry-level press operator jobs. They are not difficult... we offer a competitive wage: $8.50 to $9.50 an hour.

But many people add up their constantly renewed unemployment, food stamps and housing assistance and realize that they can make as much not working, as working.  We could raise wages to $100 an hour, fill the positions and then go out of business, taking all our jobs with us."
~  First off, this guy is an Asshole.  We're being honest right?  So its got to be said.. 100% Grade-A Asshole.  

OK, let's get beyond that..  He complains he can't find workers yet he locks his offices on Fridays to prevent people from applying.  Hmm..  And Why?  He acts as if those coming to his door only want to fulfill a requirement to get more government 'handouts'.  Truth is, the Prick does not want to hire anyone out of work.  He resents them getting benefits yet won't consider them for employment.  That is why he only will consider people who are temps for 90 days or more.

See how employers talk out of both sides of their mouths?

Continuing.. This owner is very proud to offer $8.50 to $9.50/hr and his rationale is that the work isn't difficult so why should he offer more.  $8.50 is only $1.25 more per hour than absolute base minimum wage.  Its a salary teenagers who've not yet completed a high school diploma receive for working at fast-food restaurants and bagging groceries.   

The owner also says his factory runs 24hrs a day..  OK, so lets say a person is working the graveyard shift and making $9.50/hr x40hrs/wk x 52 weeks in a year.. that equals $19,760.  Then deduct 15% for Income taxes..  So that is a grand total of $16,796 for a year's labor. 

Maybe instead of offering $100/hr as he sarcastically put it, he could offer prospective employees $12-$14/hr?  Nahh.. would cut too much into profits..
Example #3

Owner: D. B.
Company: Merchant Services
Location: Downers Grove, Ill.
Annual revenue: $5 million

"(We are) a credit-card processing company. We have 72 employees and are looking to hire 45 to 50 salespeople.

But we are finding people don't even show up for the interview. Or people come for the training, but don't stay for the job.

We hosted a job fair where we hired 40 people. Twenty-five showed up for training. Only two lasted more than a couple of weeks. People work for three months and get themselves fired so they can collect unemployment for another year.

We've raised wages from $12 per hour to between $15 and $18 per hour plus commission, meaning a salesperson starts between $24,000 and $38,000. An employee can make up to $80,000. We've found people do work harder for more money. But their training, which used to take 30 days, now requires 90 in order to prepare them to make the higher numbers."
~  If you do the math, and take the low number of $15/hr x 40hrs/wk x 52 wk/yr, it comes to $31,200.   Yet the woman says salary starts at $24,000.  That's a discrepancy of $8,200.    So what does that mean?  It means while she's whining about how hard it is to get workers, the jobs being offered are more commission-based than she wished to admit.

It states she has 72 employees.  But that's not who she's looking to hire.  She wants salespeople.   These are subtleties but it makes a big difference, and once again shows how disingenuous these business owners are.

Commission based jobs offer little to no job security.  The only profession more transient for people is seeking work in the profession of acting.  There are very few jobs more cold, cut-throat and 'what have you done for me lately?' than a commission-based job.  And frankly, most are not cut out for the pressure and stress which those types of jobs induce.

She mentions that only a couple of employees lasted a few weeks out of 25 or so who made it through training and that her business is a credit-card processing company.   So how does one make commissions from that?   Are they expected to cold-call other merchants to offer Visa/Mastercard, when virtually all businesses already use credit-card transactions, or are they expected to go door-to-door like vacuum cleaner salespeople? 
Example #4

Owner: J. A.
Company: Finance
Location: Miami
Annual revenue: $1.9 million

"(We) provide U.S. government agencies with financial services, such as payroll. We are experiencing difficulty hiring qualified people who have Department of Defense secret clearance and financial expertise.

Since the Patriot Act was passed, the time frame to get a clearance went from 90 days to nine months. While we conduct in-house due diligence, the 32-page trust application is forwarded to government agencies, such as the FBI, NSA, etc., and costs the firm upwards of $25,000 per candidate.

If a criminal record, psychological issue, poor credit or other problem, comes up, a candidate could be disqualified. we then eat the due diligence costs.

Without proper staffing, we work longer hours, nights and weekends included. We have to if we don't want to lose business. We have six employees and wants to hire five more. By adding qualified representatives, we project tripling our revenues.

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan conclude, we are more optimistic about getting qualified people. Former military applicants have held or can get security clearances. We find they make excellent representatives for our company. Having been in harm's way, they are very disciplined and mature."
~ If the owner wants to blame someone for his difficulty finding employees, blame the US Government for demanding such intricate background checks that are costing you $25k per person, and blame the Government for its intrusive & unconstitutional Patriot Act.  Don't blame those out of work.

In addition, why should 'poor credit' be a barometer as to who you hire or don't.  All that should matter is education, work history, criminal and psychological background.  Someone's FICO score or timeliness in paying a bill should have nothing to do with acquiring any kind of position.

The last part of his tale was the most pathetic.. He can't wait for the soldiers to return home from Iraq & Afghanistan because spending years in service, stripped of their personality and individuality,and exposed to physical, emotional and psychological stress on a non-stop basis, makes for "excellent representatives" for his company.  And according to the owner, this will allow him to triple his revenue.

God how we hate Employers!
So in summary, what to take from all this?

1) If you're unemployed, unless you simply make zero sincere effort, it is not your fault.  Repeat:  It is Not your fault.  There really are few quality jobs out there that allow someone to have a basic standard of life.  And if you are fortunate to find something decent, you better assume your boss is going to be a complete Bitch or Bastard, and make you work as hard as possible with threat of firing always dangled over your head.

2)  Employers are in la-la land.  They want quality employees yet wish to offer bottom-dirt salary or a commission-based employment.  To them, the recession was a good thing-- it was a perfect excuse to fire workers making too good a salary and eating into their profits, and now those same people are supposed to be crawling back and happy to accept 15-25% reductions in pay and/or benefits.

Yet they're not crawling back, or not as great in numbers as the employers would like... so they're pissed.   Bitter, frustrated and will raise their salary offer begrudgingly and through gritted teeth.

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