How real is the skilled labor shortage? In 2019, for the first time in modern history, there were more job openings than eligible workers to fill them. In fact, the state of Wisconsin projected a shortage of 45,000 workers by 2024, which posed a major threat to businesses both big and small.
Enter 2020, where a global pandemic caused an even greater disruption in what was already a growing issue in the labor force. In 2021, more than 47 million workers quit their jobs, in what many now refer to as "The Great Resignation."
You’ve likely felt the pinch of the labor shortage and have heard of other businesses taking drastic measures or even having to shut their doors as a result. So, how can your company weather the storm?
Here are five ways you can stand out from the competition vying for your ideal candidate’s attention.
1. Develop and showcase a robust benefits plan
Providing competitive pay isn’t the end-all-be-all it once was. It’s important to keep a pulse on what your competitors offer in the way of health insurance, retirement plans, wellness programs, and other benefits so that you can ensure your offerings are in line. However, in today’s market, you’ll want to go a step further than your industry peers.
Many candidates are looking for greater work-life balance, and companies that adopt flexible work schedules and even shorter workweeks have reported that productivity actually increases. Revising your time-off policy doesn’t require additional investment and you’ll be able to differentiate your company from many others. Happier and more productive employees can also become talent magnets for your organization.
2. Have a strong online presence
The majority of job searches happen online these days, so ensuring a strong presence on recruiting websites is clearly a given. Don’t neglect other ways your company is represented, however. Your website needs to be attractive and demonstrate that your organization is forward-thinking. Clearly define what you do and who you serve. Feature employees in their element and have a strong careers page. Consider video highlighting your work environment and employees.
Don’t forget social media. Not only should you reach out on social sites, but younger generations, especially, will rely on your social media presence — both positive and negative — to get a pulse on your culture and community involvement when doing their research. Potential employees will investigate multiple channels when considering where they want to work.
3. Showcase your culture
Help recruits envision themselves at your company and in your work environment. Throughout the hiring process — from your job description to the interview — talk about and demonstrate your culture. Better yet, let your employees talk about it and share why they love their work and the people they work with. Feature them in video testimonials and encourage them to post positive reviews on job recruiting sites. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.
Not sure your culture is where it needs to be? Take steps to improve your working environment. It won’t just help attract new employees, it will help you retain the ones you already have.
4. Consider paying employees for referrals
Leverage the vast network of friends, family, and acquaintances that your workforce already knows. Your current employees likely know qualified candidates from trade schools, previous employers, or other walks of life who would be a good fit at your company. Consider establishing an incentive program that rewards employees for referring candidates who are eventually hired.
5. Have a solid interview process
It took a lot of work and investment to get that ideal candidate to walk through your door for an interview. Now’s your time to shine and demonstrate why someone would want to walk through that door every day as an employee. A lackluster interview will result in lost opportunities. Ensure you have solid processes in place and can effectively communicate why someone should work for your company in addition to the benefits. Make the hiring process as seamless and stress-free as possible. Ask the right questions and show that you and your company are both professional and personal.
Becoming an employer of choice in today’s competitive job market is a lot of hard work. If you’re struggling to attract and retain talent, there are likely several factors playing a role, and we’d love to help your recruiting efforts from the inside out.
To learn more about the services, tools, and resources we offer organizations, reach out today.
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