tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3889388775673754833.post5622904586727583052..comments2021-11-30T18:52:32.338-05:00Comments on Stealing Commas: Ok, so, Bureaucracy chris the cynichttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06872875475212333027noreply@blogger.comBlogger3125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3889388775673754833.post-69362124818871186262013-01-16T08:31:59.176-05:002013-01-16T08:31:59.176-05:00But for the pure math of it:
Assume a random dist...But for the pure math of it:<br /><br />Assume a random distribution in the workforce. Assume hiring is done at random with no screening whatsoever so the people hired at any given time will match the distribution in the workforce. Assume that we're not considering the ease of hiring people, or the number of people currently employees. Assume the distribution in the potential workforce remains constant over time. (Simplifying assumptions, don't you love them?)<br /><br /><br />Hire first group of employees. You have 50% below average, 50% above average.<br /><br />Set as the, "We have to let you go point," the current average. Do not change this point. (So that it will always remain the average of the potential workforce, which we have assumed to be constant.)<br /><br />First culling: lose all the people below average (not just the absolute worst as above), hire replacements at random.<br /><br />Of the replacements, because of the distribution of the potential workforce, half will be above average, half below.<br /><br />Your workforce now contains 75% above average workers, 25% below average.<br /><br />Next culling, let go the 25% below average, hire replacements at random. Your work force now contains 87.5% above average workers, 12.5 percent below average ones.<br /><br />Next culling, your workforce now contains 93.75% above average workers, 6.25% below average ones.<br /><br />Now, if everyone does this the average of the available workforce will end up going down, which will change the math, but also the new hires that are eventually culled get training, so they might be making the move from below to above average themselves, and it really does get terribly complicated, but the overall point is that there's no reason the distribution in your company needs to match the distribution in the potential workforce.<br /><br />If you do your work right it shouldn't unless we have at long last reached full employment, and even then maybe not because it could be that you find someone isn't good working the front desk, but is stellar at crunching numbers/shifting files/whatever. So the below average people aren't necessarily being dumped back into the potential workforce and, as noted, at least they're getting training and experience every time they do get hired, meaning that they may go from being below average to being above average over time causing the distribution in the potential workforce to not be lowered as much when they're put back in as it was raised by taking them out.<br /><br />Now if you're going for the top 2% then that's harder because 98% of potential employees don't meet your criteria, and you're going to need one hell of a screening process. (And money to compete because the top 2% is always going to be in demand.)chris the cynichttps://www.blogger.com/profile/06872875475212333027noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3889388775673754833.post-23787413120196391232013-01-16T08:31:32.765-05:002013-01-16T08:31:32.765-05:00I don't think this is entirely valid, though. ...<i>I don't think this is entirely valid, though. If there's a random distribution of skills among potential employees, then the amount of employees who are below skill level X will be a constant proportion of the workforce.</i><br /><br />From what I've seen disposition is more important than skill level. If someone is below a certain skill level you can always give them more training, which still takes them away from doing their job, but not as much as having them stop doing that job, and it saves you the trouble of finding someone new.<br /><br />That said, assuming a random distribution there will always be a certain proportion of people in the potential workforce below a certain level, but that doesn't mean there will always be a certain proportion of people in your actual workforce below said level.<br /><br />Assume your goal is to have no one worse than average. Which is a kind of lofty goal (even though it doesn't sound like it) because half of all people are worse than average.<br /><br />If you cut your worst employee from a randomly distributed set then the odds are pretty good that just by picking at random you'll get someone better. If you have some kind of evaluation period where they're not fully hired yet just to make sure that they're not as bad or worse than the person they're replacing, then you can make sure you've improved your workforce.<br /><br />And the person you cut isn't doomed to forever be unemployed because their assets may better match another job, perhaps one that's even within your own company.<br /><br />But the question is can you do it. Consider customer facing employees. In fact, just consider those at the front desk.<br /><br />If you have one then you can't cut them until you already have a replacement, because if you do then there's no one to cover the desk.<br /><br />If you have two then you could theoretically cut them, but doing so would double the work of the person remaining.<br /><br />Three and cutting them means means 150% effort from the remaining ones until replacement is found.<br /><br />Four and it's 133%<br /><br />Five and it's 125%<br /><br />Six and it's 120%<br /><br />Seven and it's 116%<br /><br />Eight and it's 114%<br /><br />Nine and it's 112%<br /><br />So on, so forth. (And front desks can be huge, look at any large bank. Also, once you hit 4 people at the front desk there are things you can do to speed up the line beyond adding more people, Queueing theory is a branch of mathematics, they've made some interesting discoveries.)<br /><br />Anyway, assume you can afford to cut the worst person. If we assume that the hired population matches the available work force population then odds are that, selecting a person by random chance, the new hire will be better than the old one. Because the worst person comes from the crap tail of the curve, the majority of people waiting for the job are from the better section of the curve.<br /><br />And presumably you've got some screening process to make sure you don't hire people worse than your worst employee.<br /><br />[Math in next post due to character limits]chris the cynichttps://www.blogger.com/profile/06872875475212333027noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3889388775673754833.post-35965144123865684562013-01-16T04:46:54.980-05:002013-01-16T04:46:54.980-05:00I don't think this is entirely valid, though. ...I don't think this is entirely valid, though. If there's a random distribution of skills among potential employees, then the amount of employees who are below skill level X will be a constant proportion of the workforce. If anything, it's harder to fire everyone who's below a certain skill cutoff, because that's more people and more paperwork.<br /><br />On one hand it's easier to fire the single least competent person from a larger pool, because they're a smaller proportion of the workload; on the other hand, chances are they're less competent than the least competent person in a smaller pool.Firedrakenoreply@blogger.com