BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE: DECEMBER 4, 2000 ISSUE

Frontier -- Letters

The Wrong Stuff

The article ''Those Soaring Salaries'' (Oct. 9), about why business owners are giving themselves raises, contained critical factual errors. Amy R. Lewis is quoted as saying, ''I wanted to embrace the latest and greatest stuff.'' In actuality, Lewis did not use the word ''stuff'' but rather the term ''technology.'' The quote makes Lewis seem unprofessional and uneducated. Also, the article quotes Lewis as saying: ''Once we had venture capital funding, I decided it was time for me to have a break.'' This is not true. Lewis has not, is not, and will not ''have a break'' from her position. Lewis remains at the helm of PerfectPractice.MD and is instrumental in all aspects of running the company. The reporter incorrectly states that Lewis expects to take an additional $50,000 per year raise. At no time did Lewis mention a dollar figure to the reporter.

CYNDEE PRIVITT
PerfectPractice.MD
Sandy, Utah



Room to Grow

The story about labor shortages, ''No One Left to Hire'' (Sept. 11), implied our company has given up on growth. In fact, Alessi Manufacturing Corp. has continued to grow in spite of the depleted labor market. To combat the overwhelming shortage of qualified machinists, Alessi has purchased over $3.5 million in modern, state-of-the-art equipment within the past two years. This has enabled us to grow by eliminating some of the technical skills otherwise required in operating manual equipment.

While going through this transition, Alessi had to decline several thousands of dollars of business that could have been handled on existing equipment if skilled help had been available. I think our business could have, and should have, conservatively, grown to be a third larger than it is today had we been able to hire skilled machinists. But we still continue growing to serve our customers.

RICHARD ALESSI
Alessi Manufacturing Corp.
Collingdale, Pa.



Are You Hiring?

Regarding ''No One Left to Hire,'' I would greatly appreciate knowing where the labor situations described in the article exist. With 20 years of experience, 2 college degrees, and knowledge of 3 languages, I have been unemployed for over a year and would welcome the opportunity to have someone chasing after me to fill a position.

DENNIS SACASA
Coral Gables, Fla.



Knowing What You Want

I always chuckle when I read these 'I can't find anyone to hire!' articles (''No One Left to Hire''). Having been part of the human-resources staff of a major New York corporation, I speak from a position of experience. If your organization can't solve its staffing needs, then you are looking in the wrong place for the wrong person.

Recently, I had the displeasure of watching an open position remain unfilled at a company we were working with. The client needed an office manager with a wide range of previous experience. To me, that means someone with maturity, HR exposure, and a variety of prior supervisory positions. The client was presented with a choice of candidates and, of course, the client was unhappy with them all.

In fact, any one of the candidates would have worked fine, and there was one who was ideal. The client found fault with every single one of the candidates, with comments ranging from ''too aggressive'' to ''not the right experience.'' To make matters worse, the position had been filled three times in the past three years; obviously, something was wrong on the management side.

I believe we see these articles because clients don't know what they want, have a problem articulating their needs, and, most important, fail to keep their expectations in line with reality.

And I am sure that some of your readers cringed at the suggestion that companies hire people with checkered pasts. In the financial world, this is something that you legally cannot do. The banking and security firms require fingerprint and credit checks as a prerequisite to employment. Consultants and temporary staff are also subjected to this intense scrutiny.

BEN BASSARO
New York, N.Y.





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Cover for Dec. 4, 2000 issue of frontier
Contents for Dec. 4, 2000 issue


STORIES:
The Wrong Stuff

Room to Grow

Are You Hiring?

Knowing What You Want

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