From the Editor: December 2016
Robert Frost was wrong. It’s not taking the road not taken that makes all the difference. It’s having the right people along on the trip.
Whether that trip is literal, such as a Sunday sightseeing drive or a full-blown cross-country odyssey, or metaphorical, such as running a business, nothing is more important, nothing can have a greater influence on the success or failure of that journey, than the quality of the individuals involved.
A wise mentor once told me that it’s procedures, not people, that lend stability to an operation. That’s true, as far as it goes. Without predictable procedures it’s easy to foment uncertainty, and few things hamstring productivity like uncertainty.
But as anyone with a lick of experience knows, a group of talented workers who are committed to the mission and supported by fair-minded and experienced leadership can overcome almost anything — bad procedures, bad equipment, a bad economy — and succeed.
That why companies devote so much time and energy to the hiring process.
Here in the Upper Valley, employers face what David Watts calls a “triple threat” in staffing: an expanding economy, a labor market with a jobless rate of 2.5 percent — virtual full employment — and fewer workers overall in the pipeline.
Watts, director of human resources at Kendal at Hanover, a member of the River Valley Human Resources Association and this month’s HR Pro column contributor, says HR professionals can help employers address their hiring needs by serving as analyzers of a company’s compensation and culture, as marketers of a company’s opportunities, and as recruiters by managing screening and interviewing duties.
“HR can free up your time by handling the more detailed tasks,” Watts writes, “which gives you time to focus on your business.”
There’s another angle to this topic — another road in the yellow wood, as it were — which Valley News business writer John Lippman explores in this month’s cover story.
Appcast, a Lebanon-based digital startup, works one side of the hiring equation by helping major corporations find workers through job advertisements on the internet. On the other side, it has created a workplace for itself that is inviting to young people — many of them graduates of Upper Valley high schools — and last month the company was named one of the “coolest companies for young professionals” by Stay Work Play New Hampshire. “We endeavor to find the smartest people and keep them here,” Chris Forman, Appcast’s CEO, told Lippman.
That truly can make all the difference.
From all of us here at Enterprise, our best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season. We’ll see you in January.