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A handy resource Featured

8:00am EDT June 28, 2002
It's never easy to find qualified financial professionals, but for Paul Mooney, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp., the task is that much tougher, given the fact the company is in Chapter 11 reorganization.

While some might enjoy the challenge of helping a business work its way out of troubled waters, many others are looking for security and stability in their careers.

So Mooney turned to Resources Connections Inc., a firm that offers temporary financial professionals to fill in gaps for companies that have a short-term need for experienced personnel. For Mooney, the company has filled a need that otherwise might have required considerable resources to recruit and hire permanent replacements or unduly stretched the resources of his existing staff.

"We've been able to benefit from the bench strength that they have," says Mooney.

In Wheeling-Pittsburgh's case, the company has had the added benefit of identifying at least one person it had used as a Resources Connections temp to be hired as a permanent employee.

"They're getting experienced, talented professionals without having to go through a recruitment process, if they'd be successful at all given the situation at the company," says Lee Shull, director of operations for Resources Connections' Pittsburgh office.

Shull says companies can benefit from using temporary professionals in a variety of ways. At Wheeling-Pittsburgh, for instance, an accounting manager was moved into a special project and Resources Connections provided a person to fill in for her regular duties.

Tax season adds to the workload, and special projects can require additional people, often with skills that aren't needed on an ongoing basis, making it impractical to add such workers to the permanent staff.

While using Resources Connections professionals at first glance may appear expensive at $65 to $220 an hour, depending on skill level and position, Shull says it might be more cost-effective than hiring, in some instances. In Wheeling-Pittsburgh's situation, it can forego recruitment and hiring costs, incentives, perks and benefits that it might incur with a permanent hire.

And if it decides the person's not the right fit for the job, it can request another to fill the spot and avoid severance costs. How to reach: Resources Connections, www.resourcesconnections.com; Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Co. www.wpsc.com