What do you do when business surges after you’ve been in backpedal mode for three years? This is the situation we find ourselves in today at Graff-Pinkert & Co., our used machine tool dealership, and judging by the surge in manufacturing just reported by the Purchasing Managers Index on Monday (the best since 1988), we are not alone.
We have too many machines to get out the door in the next three months than our present shop personnel can handle. The options we are weighing include adding hours, adding employees, hiring part-timers, bringing in temps, and bringing in contract workers.
The bias that pervades our decision making is that we prefer not to hire full time workers who will get the expensive benefit packages that our core workers receive. This probably sounds harsh, but after building a bloated payroll in the ‘90s and early 2000s which we were loathe to trim, we are paranoid about retracing those steps.
If we knew that the rush of orders would continue for a year, we would be inclined to hire two or three people in the shop and office, but visibility is foggy.
So today we are adding a guy for three months at $11.00 an hour and are planning to add office help for 20 hours a week. Hours will also be added to shop overtime. Graff-Pinkert is in the interim stage of hiring where I believe many firms are today.
I wonder what course other firms are taking today regarding adding new workers.
Question: Is now the time to hire fulltime workers, or skate by with temps?