The Top 5: Ways to Attract Employees
If You Build It, They Will Come
As we’ve been discussing for months, the job market is more competitive than ever. Companies need to prioritize these steps to better attract employees – both new and existing.
- Implement truly competitive compensation. While it’s true you can’t solve every problem by throwing money at it, in this area it will certainly help. Between inflation, high demand and poaching from other industries, industry employers need to revamp their compensation packages to compete. Remember that generous wages paid to your skilled and experienced people isn’t just money out the door. Harvard research indicates that raising your employees’ income can encourage their loyalty, make them feel valued, reduce their stress, raise their productivity, and more. In your calculations, be sure to account for the high cost of employee turnover: lost knowledge from key people, expense of retraining, strain on understaffed departments and lost income from missed opportunities.
- Improve your benefits package. This is similar to #1 – you’re competing with other industries and can’t risk coasting on old expectations. Take a good look at your benefits to see what options can be added or upgraded. If you haven’t offered insurance to the whole company in the past, consider expanding to the roles you’re losing/struggling to fill. The pandemic changed many people’s perspectives, especially when it comes to health – any improvements you make won’t go unnoticed.
- Offer more flexibility and commit to making it work. The US Chamber of Commerce reports “increasing work schedule flexibility” is one of the top strategies to attract employees to small businesses in Q1 2022. COVID has left its mark on the office with lockdowns, mandates, employee health concerns, rotating schedules, remote work and the loss of childcare. Some of these changes aren’t going away. The attempt to force all remote roles come back to the office full-time contributed to the Great Resignation. Allowing those roles to continue remotely or adopting a hybrid model makes them far more attractive to today’s workers. Parents in any role are looking for flexibility as childcare and in-person school can be closed with short notice. Empowering your employees to work around these challenges helps reduce their stress and decision-fatigue which will increase their productivity.
- Train new and existing talent. You may have seen articles talking about “reskilling” or “upskilling” strategies in response to workforce shortages. This concept isn’t new, it simply comes down to training your people. When there were plenty of candidates to choose from, employers could afford to look for the perfect candidate. Now, you have to hire for potential and provide the training yourself. The industry needs to look ahead and realize there are not enough entry-level people coming in to keep everything running in the years to come. Moreover, employers need to invest in their existing people, training them for more responsibility and expertise. We’ve said this again and again, demonstrating a clear career path and providing the training to advance is incredibly attractive to candidates and employees.
- Start rewarding retention again. It’s no secret that 21st century business model rewards workers who strategically job hop and punishes the employees who stay. This Forbes article (from way back in 2014!) reports employees who stay in companies longer than two years get paid 50% less over their lifetimes. When the only way for a worker to get a raise above inflation is to leave, you are encouraging them to go. And when they do, they take their experience, their knowledge, their contribution to company culture and many other intangible values with them. Like we said last month, you have to plug the leaks!
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