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Staff Overhaul

Should you use the tight job market to replace mediocre employees?

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This story appears in the September 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Last year, Matt DeLine, founder and CEO of San Diego Hotel Reservations Inc., was hiring almost everyone who applied. The scramble to fill jobs was insane: "There wasn't time even to do reference checks," he says. "It was a frustrating time."

He wasn't alone: A Challenger, Gray & Christmas survey last year found that three out of five small-business owners were hiring virtually anyone with a pulse-including underqualified workers who affected the bottom line with poor customer service and decreasing product quality. "[Employers] had to get their orders out, so they hired people who weren't as productive and couldn't do the job as well," says John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an international outsourcing and research firm in Chicago.

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