There are two critical success factors when it comes to competing in a tight labor market. Those two areas are attracting the employees you need and retaining them once you hire them.
Attracting the employees you need to run your business begins with having an attractive employee value proposition. In every employee preference survey we’ve done since 2014, pay rate is always the first consideration when employees answer the question as to how they evaluate jobs. Pay is the dominant factor, as it is a candidate’s first discriminator.
In the light industrial segment of our business, we see many companies that have failed to keep pace with wage increases and have fallen so far behind, that it’s difficult for them to increase their pay rate enough to be competitive. In some cases, they can be two or three dollars behind the market, struggling to find anyone to accept their open positions at all, let alone finding the people they need.
One of the little-known facts about the unemployment rate is that the number you hear nationally and locally is something close to double the number of employees with college degrees or specific skill sets. While it is difficult to build a light industrial labor force in a tight market, it’s even more challenging to attract and retain employees for positions requiring higher education or skill set.
Attracting the right employees is difficult and comes with its own set of challenges, and retaining good employees is equally challenging. The right answer here starts with improving your employee value proposition.
In all segments of our business, we see companies that are so busy executing, that the experience for a new employee doesn’t provide them with the level of engagement that might compel the employee to stay. For many companies, the process is too transactional. It isn’t human enough to create any connection with the employee, who is often left to figure things out for themselves.
It’s not surprising that the number of people quitting jobs is double the number of people released from work. As it turns out, those who leave their job are finding work at higher pay rates.
If we had to make one recommendation to improve your results as it pertains to attracting and retaining good employees, we would start with retention. There is no reason to pour water into a bucket full of holes. All the work you do will leak out. Running this race is an exercise in futility. Once you have your retention strategies in place, then you double down on attracting the candidates you need to run your business.
If you want more information about attracting and retaining talent in this ever-tightening labor market, contact us directly here.