I'll answer your question first, tec, and maybe you can explain to him.
Most companies are overstaffed. They do this to cover for vacations, sick days, basic incompetence, peak demand periods, etc, etc. If they weren't, boards like this would go silent at noon on Tuesdays except for three unemployed dudes and a night shift worker. So, in reality, they have employees they don't need already. But, if you're not overstaffed, you'd hire an employee you don't need in anticipation of the need. Say your business makes $1000 day. You have a new contract on the line that will begin next month. You'll make $1200 a day and your already thin staff will be overworked. So, in order to properly serve your new customer, you'll need to add a worker. You hire someone a month in advance for training and evaluation. They make $100 a day. You've "wasted" $2000(20x100) in overstaffing but you'll make that back in 10 days next month and your new customer, or old customers, will not suffer because your new employee will be fully trained. That's a simplified version dealing with set numbers, employees and customers. That's not real world, in most cases, but it's why a business would hire an employee they don't need.
I guess I wouldn't classify this as an "employee that you don't need". You're hiring the employee for a specific reason, to ensure adequate coverage of your business needs. Or in reasonable anticipation of an impending business need. It's not just a random hire with no purpose behind it.
bad_luck's question seems to imply that he believes that companies either do, or should, randomly hire people for no purpose if they have confidence in the financial health of the government.
That's kind of dumb.
2/28/2013 10:45 AM (edited)