Right now, millions of employers across the country are in a fight for workers and we’re all feeling the struggle – fewer checkout lanes at the grocery store, reduced dining hours at restaurants from lack of waitstaff, small businesses closing entirely because of staffing shortages. So, what’s up with this huge shift in the workforce, and what can you do to fill your open positions before you’re forced to close your doors?
First of all, the gigantic shift is due to what Bharat Ramamurti, the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, has coined “The Great Upgrade”. While that phrase may sound positive, it’s left job seekers essentially holding all the cards, and employers pulling their hair out.
“The Great Upgrade” began with a record number of Americans quitting their jobs over the last couple years, with an astonishing 47.4 million people leaving their positions in 2021 alone. From the 2.5 million still missing from the workforce, 800,000 are those that retired early; however, there are still 1.7 million left to bring back into the job market.
This is where the upgrade comes in – with plenty of open jobs, the 1.7 million that are about to return to the work force can be a little choosy in picking their new employer. They want a job with better pay, more benefits, attractive scheduling, sign on bonuses, an on-site gym, daily naptime, free unicorn rides, etc.
Okay, maybe not unicorn rides, but seriously, what is a small business owner to do? Here’s a hint: money and huge perks aren’t the only things jobseekers are looking for.
1. Listen to your employees’ needs.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we really want to stress the importance of this simple step. If you don’t currently have an exit interview strategy in practice, now is the time to get one. Are people leaving in search of remote work to lessen their risks of contracting COVID, or to more easily care for their children? If remote employees aren’t a possibility for you, perhaps revisiting your company’s COVID precautions or offering more flexible schedules may help you gain and retain more employees.
People talk, and whatever the reason(s) for your turnover may be, showing that you care enough to know about them and address them will get you far.
2. Showcase your workplace culture.
A full-time job takes up a large chunk of our lives, so it’s no wonder now that jobseekers can be pickier about where they choose to spend that time, that they want employment where the culture aligns with their own. Is your company’s atmosphere laidback, with jeans an appropriate clothing option Monday through Friday? Put it in your employment ad! Do you value teamwork and hold weekly brainstorming sessions with your crew? Shout it from the rooftops! Sometimes it’s the little things that make your business – YOU – that will make someone choose to work for you rather than take a position making a couple more dollars an hour.
3. Embrace new application methods.
It’s tough enough to find employees right now, but if your hiring process starts with a trip to your location for a paper application, you are only making it harder for yourself. It’s no surprise that people are more wary about personal contact since the beginning of the pandemic, so providing a means to apply for your position online makes perfect sense to reduce those fears. Plus, filling out pages and pages of an application by hand is tedious and not attractive to even the most dedicated jobseeker. Moving your application process online is actually a win-win – applicants can quickly and easily apply for a position, and you don’t have squint through hard-to-read handwriting.
Need help building your crew and need a HR marketing strategy customized for you? Midwest Marketing is here to help! We will evaluate your business and employee recruitment needs to create a plan that brings the perfect employees to you. Contact us today!