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NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 17, 2000--The most important asset for any e-business today is ``human capital,'' according to Robert LoCascio, CEO of LivePerson, a provider of online sales and customer service solutions for Web sites.
LoCascio, who was speaking on a panel conference sponsored by the New York Electronic Commerce Association (New York e-COMM), said that while many entrepreneurs are focussed on securing capital, they have to make sure they have the right management team and employees in place if they want to attract investors.
One of the key missions of New York e-COMM is to educate and support New York area e-commerce businesses on issues related to the new economy.
``Attracting and retaining the best employees is on every e-business owner's mind right now,'' said Bob Johnston, NY ECOMM president. ``The fact that this e-panel seminar sold out, shows just how critical the situation is becoming.''
Michael Flannery, founder & managing partner of Redwood Partners, said that a solid management team is what sets a company apart with venture capitalists. However, he added that finding those people is difficult in today's job market and that, as a result, companies are employing new methods of recruiting including paying employees ``finder's fees'' for new hires.
Michael Drapkin, panel moderator and chairperson of Columbia University's E-Commerce Program, said that a good business model helps ``sell'' a company to prospective hires, especially senior level staff.
``Mid- and junior-level staff may be attracted by large salaries but senior level people are looking at salary plus options, hoping they can stay in the game long enough to cash out,'' said Drapkin.
Dimitri Boylan, chairman and COO of HotJobs.com, an Internet-based recruiting company, said that more e-businesses are recognizing the value of having a human resources person or department that focuses on retaining employees.
LoCascio said that his e-business spends just as much of its HR resources on retention as it does on recruiting.
``We consider the HR department the mother of our company, putting her arms around everyone to make sure they are happy,'' he said.
Ed Speidel, director of executive compensation for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, noted that a company with a good retention program has less than 20 percent turnover.
Non-compensation employee ``perks'' noted by the panelists included pizza on Fridays, foosball tables and videogames, and allowing people to bring their pets to the office.
``Workers want a company that brings value to their life,'' said LoCascio. ``They want the workplace, where they spend so much time, to be like an extension of their home.''
About NY ECOMM: The New York Electronic Commerce Association is ``The Business Association for the New Economy(TM).'' It provides senior executives with access to information to help them manage and expand their companies, represents the interest of members on public policy issues and works to attract additional capital, customers and employees to the state. It represents start-ups as well as brick and mortar companies coming online. For more information on New York eComm, please visit http://www.NYeComm.org/
New York Electronic Commerce Assoc. Cyndi Nicholas, 212-508-9614
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