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The Alternative Board Blog

Tips on Contending with the Labor Shortage

Mar. 21, 2022 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Labor Shortage

Recruiting and hiring aren’t easy under the best of conditions. Add to that, a global pandemic, and it’s not surprising that turmoil exists in today’s job market.

Still, the numbers are staggering. According to analysts at Goldman Sachs, the U.S. “is in the midst of its biggest worker shortage,” with “4.6 million more jobs than there were potential workers.” No wonder the financial services company is calling this “the most overheated level in postwar US history.”

While there’s no easy fix to the situation, businesses can take action steps to improve their standing among potential recruits. Here are tips and suggestions for other helpful strategies:

Explore the remote-employee option.

Today’s job-seekers often rank the ability to work remotely as one of their top preferences. If you haven’t already done so, take a close look at the positions within your organization and see how many can be done remotely (at least part-time). In your job postings, describe how your business is set up to facilitate remote workers, and “emphasize that your company culture embraces remote-based employees as key parts of the overall workforce.”

Look into outsourcing.

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Larger companies have been outsourcing key positions for years. It’s only lately that smaller businesses have tapped into this market as well. Look at third-party providers who have a network of workers with the right skills and expertise for your business.

Offer competitive wages and/or appealing benefits.

In a job market where demand far exceeds supply, it’s imperative for businesses to examine the salaries paid to their employees. If wages aren’t competitive with other businesses in the same (or a similar) industry, don’t be surprised if the response to your job openings is weak.

A complementary strategy is beefing up employee benefits, in order to make up for any shortfalls in the wages you can offer. Typically, such benefits include health insurance, retirement matching, PTO and vacation days, etc. But “the only limit is your creativity,” notes Incfile. “You can offer your employees any benefit you can think of that might help your business with retention.”

Build (and promote) an employee-centric workplace culture.

No one wants to work for an organization where employees’ needs are routinely ignored. On the other hand, job applicants are more inclined to pursue opportunities in a business that actively supports employee efforts and encourages career advancement within the company.

If you already have what you consider to be an employee-focused workplace, don’t be shy about letting the world know about it! Highlight employee activities in your company newsletter, on your business website and social media platforms, and in your marketing and recruiting materials as well.

Encourage employee referrals.

Your engaged workforce is a potentially rich source for job-candidate referrals. These employees are happy to talk up the company with friends and colleagues. Incentivizing them to do so is highly encouraged, since by offering gifts, prizes, etc., for quality referrals, “a company can gradually build a workforce of like-minded individuals—particularly those who respond favorably to a culture that welcomes their contributions.”

Welcome interns into the fold.

College students are another rich source of talent. Some businesses focus on intern-recruitment efforts only with the most elite universities, in the mistaken belief that only these students have the “right stuff” to work with them.

Don’t limit the range of diverse applications. Get in touch with local community development organizations and similar groups. Let them know your business regularly recruits interns with future employment opportunities. These organizations can help steer you in the right direction in terms of community and/or junior college students eager to tackle new responsibilities within your company.

Want to learn more? Download our free TAB white paper, “7 Steps for an Effective Hiring Process.”

 

 

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Written by The Alternative Board

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