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What Has Your Business Done to Hire Differently in 2021?

The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 7.4 million open jobs as of the end of February 2021. The industries with the highest number of openings are Leisure and Hospitality, Professional and Business Services, and Education and Health Services. According to EMSI, there were 14.5 million job postings in the last 30 days, up 40% from last year.

The world is yours if you are currently a job seeker, but employers are struggling.

Job postings are everywhere. We are seeing unprecedented recruiting creativity, including promises of high starting wages, crazy signing bonuses, gig-mentality flexibility, wellness perks, home office stipends, and marriage leave (that was a first!). Unfortunately, businesses that can reopen, are still at limited capacity due to labor shortages. The frustration around the lack of quality applicants in the labor market is shared by many. We could debate the reasons why, many out of our control, or we could choose to focus on what we CAN control. In other words, before we cast stones at the “market”, we can choose to get our house in order first.

Here are some questions to ask internally:

  • How do workers know you are hiring?
    Job boards are flooded. Facebook posting all share the same desperate pleas for applicants. Participating on job boards and posting open jobs on your website is important, but it is the bare minimum. Also, people who are currently working will never see you. We need to consider where the people we want to hire are and meet them there, i.e. professional networking groups, college programs, community groups, LinkedIn contacts, or research companies you admire. Investing time in this manner versus scanning hundreds of applications may yield better success and job fit, especially if you hire for fit and train for technical skills.

  • Is your messaging around what it is like to work at your organization visible and transparent? Do your social media platforms and website show what it is like to work there, i.e. employee testimonial videos, inspiring vision, or company values? Do you list your perks, benefits, and opportunities for growth? What do your Google or Glassdoor reviews say about your services or workplace? Great applicants will do research about your company and it should be easy to find and hopefully unique.

  • How can you be differentiating in your industry or with the demographics you are trying to attract?
    To start, are you paying at or above the market? Amazon and Target are leading the way with above minimum wage rates so if you are fishing in the same pond for applicants, you need to be competitive. The same goes for any industry. What do you offer that the people you are trying to attract would like? For example, if you are hiring more entry level, recent graduates, student loan forgiveness may be more attractive than 401k. If you are trying to attract more experienced employees who may have families, how flexible is your workplace? Do you offer remote work? Recent legislation has introduced paid leave to industries that may not have been exposed to it before. Can you continue to offer generous leave policies that others may drop?

  • Use your current team as a resource.
    Have you asked your employees what their favorite perk is or what they would like to see added? Have you considered a robust employee referral bonus? Your great people want you to hire other great people and they may know someone. Consider a bonus when the new hire starts and another after 90 days to give your employee a reason to be invested in the new hire’s success.

While this may all seem overwhelming, the stress of being understaffed puts an unbelievable amount of stress on you and your workforce, leading to more turnover. It can be a vicious cycle, so challenge yourself to pick SOMETHING to do differently and see what happens. If it doesn’t work, try something else! You will eventually find your “secret sauce” on how to attract the right people to your organization.

Did you know? OneDigital offers a range of holistic HR solutions that can be customized to enable leaders to embrace the shifts that businesses are facing during these extraordinary times.