Are you struggling finding new candidates for open positions and losing staff at the same time?

I am hearing this more and more all of the time. There are a variety of issues naturally but let’s begin with unemployment benefits. The incentives have made it more palatable for some to just stay home and ride it out. I have referred a few people for jobs that I felt could/should consider the opportunities but the response from some of them are…for now unemployment is good. So I ask, what will you do when it ends? Maybe these good jobs won’t be there for you…common response..I will wait it out. So maybe you want those people to wait it out. They may not be the best candidates with the work ethic you desire any way. Who knows, but that’s how some look at it and perhaps that’s accurate.

The other thing is your reputation. How do employees feel about working for you? Do you do exit interviews to determine how those leaving felt about their work experience? Why should you? Because they are out there talking about their experience and if it isn’t good, you can forget attracting the quality desired.

I do a significant number of exit interviews and from that I guide clients as to how to improve their work environment to retain good employees as well as a reputation that is critical to business success in many ways. If you do not do these, especially third party, I would strongly recommend this simple process that can lead to easy but substantial changes to improve your business reputation.

Do you offer training opportunities specifically on the job? While I appreciate formal stand up training the most effective training is when it is on the job and through guiding staff on implementation of new ways. That’s how I focus my consulting and it is tried and true.

Do you have any type of succession planning? Do you have opportunities that one can reach for to grow with your business?

How well do you communicate with employees? Do you include them in decisions effecting their work? Do you offer performance evaluations for effective feedback? Whether you like it or not, people need it and want it despite them saying otherwise. I hear this as a complaint from employees often, “I haven’t had an evaluation in XXX years”. It’s important. It shows you care enough to do one and spend the time with them. These are just a few of the easy practices to implement that will make a huge difference in how well your business performs and how favorable you may be to others seeking employment. The ball is in the court of the job seekers right now! Be ahead of others and make your business practices stand out.

Compensation is also very important in a tight job market situation. While you may not be able to be at the top of the pay scale, you sure do not want to be lagging. That alone will be a first screening for strong candidates. Remember how important work/life balance is as well. That’s “money” to some people. Flexible scheduling, benefits, paid time off, alternate work arrangements/work from home. There are many different creative ways to make your organization/company more desirable to work for. You need to be open to change.

One thing you can do and should do is “right size”. I do a great deal of this for clients, helping them determine the positions the truly need and how some can be changed in order to tighten the skills and work load gaps that turnover causes. This is not just for the large employers, actually smaller employers need this even more. Organization structure and change in how you handle your processes should be a priority. Who knows, maybe you don’t need to fill some of those jobs you think are so important. At a time when all need to be careful about spending and budgets, this is one things that will be a cost effective approach to effectively “right sizing” your business.

These are just a few thoughts. I am working with clients on change all of the time and we are needing this more and more now as our world is changing in so many ways. Reach out for some additional ideas!

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