How to Attract and Retain Employees in a Tight Labor Market
With unemployment rates at historic lows, every owner has employees top of mind. Will you be able to attract the talent you need? Can you keep the skilled employees you have? The short answer is yes – if you are strategic and follow through on things that matter.
In a tight market, you must work harder for quality employees that represent your company well. Worker availability can also affect plans for growth. So when you put out that “help wanted” sign, keep these tips in mind:
Be a workplace where workers want to be
There are some things money can’t buy. A sense of purpose, company values, being part of a team of good people. Think about the kind of people you want and what they value. Make employees part of your mission. Be choosy – good people want to work with good people.
Benefits matter. Flexible benefits matter more
One size does not fit all. Salary, health insurance, long-term care insurance, retirement, vacation, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs) – different people want different things. Young people may value vacation over salary; parents might value health insurance most. Work with your benefits partner to offer a good mix and adapt to employees.
Listen to employees and help them succeed
Hiring is one thing. Retention is another. Employees want to be heard and supported. If employees lose momentum, they’ll look for new opportunities. Invest in training. A mentorship program or regular check-ins with leadership where workers share ideas will show you’re invested.
Engaged employees are happy employees
Give your employees a reason to work hard every day – and make it fun. Team-building activities, productivity contests, and incentives allow employees to have fun while supporting the business AND doing something for themselves.
Think of candidates like you do customers
Customers need information and persuasion. Job seekers need information – and yes, marketing – too. Figure out what your value proposition is for employees and sell your workplace to candidates. Make sure employees (your best source of leads) are happy and know what you stand for. Offer testimonials and attract attention. It’s just good business.
Even today, you can find and keep good people. Invest in things that make your business special to employees. Some things you control: culture, mission, being a good employer. For others, you’ll want a benefits partner and business consultant. Your business is only as good as your people. Make sure they’re the best.