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<i Finding good people and keeping them is hard. Sometimes they pack up and ship out before you're done training them. Other times you're looking but not finding anybody. Our poll this week was almost a tie. More than a third (37%) of voters say their offices are constantly seeing new faces and saying goodbye to others. A slightly larger number of readers (42%) believes recruiting workers is difficult, but retaining them is a cinch. Just under a quarter of respondents (21%) said maintaining and restocking their workforce are equally challenging. Rick Fisher, the human resources partner for Eisner LLP, was kind enough to lend us his expertise on the subject.

“For the last three or four years, recruiting has been much harder than retention. Firms are looking for talent but there just aren’t enough people. There’s a tremendous vacuum in the industry. The long hours of the job, competition from Wall Street and competition from other firms take their toll.

“Clearly the economy is affecting recruiting and retention. Having been in human resources since 1990, I’ve seen the peaks and valleys. Right now, we’re coming to the end of a peak and going into a valley. That will definitely increase employers’ ability to have tighter control on the work force. There will be more people in the job market and recruiting will be easier. Everything revolves around supply and demand.

“People do tend to jump from job to job because they feel they’ve learned all they can from their job. My generation believed that you never can learn everything in a job, even if you’ve been there 30 years. You don’t want to be a jack-of-all trades but a master of nothing.

“Clearly the millennium generation is moving more quickly and has less patience, but they said that about our generation too. We must recruit them and train them from the ground up. The entire generation asks, ‘What can you do for me today?’ Let’s try to find out what it is they’re working for if you want to be an employer of choice.

“The companies are going to have to evolve for the employees. They’re all going to have strengths and weaknesses. The companies are going to have to listen to experts and get into the minds of people that are working for them.

“If you treat people fairly, provide a good place to work and respect them and their demands, word is going to spread and people are going to want to work there. If you have the mentality of a sweatshop and treat people like machines, you’re going to reap what you sow.

“At the end of the day, you have to treat your people well. Listen to what they have to say and keep them happy. A good place to start is asking them what it is that they like about their job and what it is they don’t like. Then see what you can do and throw down a constructive theme such as a bonus, reward and telecommunication to show them you’re addressing the situation. If you want to keep people, you’ve got to let them know you love them.”

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