Confronting The National Labor Shortage

How To Embrace Workplace Changes & Hire More Workers

We’ve all seen the recent unemployment numbers and heard employment projections from top officials. The struggle to identify, hire, and retain employees at all levels of the organization is very, very real, and it’s causing major issues for businesses. The labor shortage is not isolated to the State of Ohio – it’s happening everywhere and it’s affecting companies across all industries.

Money Isn’t Everything

Contrary to popular belief, salary is only one factor your prospective employees are considering. In fact, the laundry list of “wants, musts, and needs” job candidates are on the lookout for has greatly evolved.

We’ve had a lot of conversations with job candidates, current employees, and those new to the workforce recently. Over the course of these discussions, certain themes emerged when it came to identifying what today’s employees are looking for from an employer of choice. Read on to discover the top three qualities candidates are looking for from their future employers.

1. Work From Home

Yes – not all jobs are going to be able to accommodate this request. A line-man in your manufacturing plant is a great example of this. But could there be other essential roles in your team that could be staffed remotely? Technology has (and continues to) advanced so much over the last several years – particularly with the emergence of COVID-19. More companies than ever before are exploring remote work options for all types of positions.

2. The Hybrid Option

Maybe hiring full-time remote employees simply isn’t an option for your business. But perhaps there are arrangements that can be made to give employees the best of both worlds. Additionally, you might consider throwing the idea of a typical 8-hour day out the window and consider a different structure altogether. The goal here is to be flexible. This allows you to set the expectation that you are willing to embrace change while providing your employees with the support they need to flourish while earning their commitment to your company.

3. Break The Monotony

Job sharing programs can be greatly beneficial for all parties, particularly for those positions that get a bad rep for being repetitive. Allowing your team members to learn other job duties and learn other skills can do wonders for employee morale and can help improve your employee retention numbers. Plus, candidates say they want a little variety in their work lives. Consider how you might be able to mix up the weekly workload and start providing employees with a unique job experience.

Seek Out Assistance

Before you start changing your entire organizational structure and work options, take a moment to look inwardly at your existing workforce. Find out what they like or don’t like. Determine if they are looking for growth or show potential to rise through the ranks to fill other, more skilled positions. By making sure you continue to assign value to your current employees, you are reinforcing the building blocks of what it takes to be a great company and employer of choice.

Also, when it comes to investing in your current team members, consider resources that can help you take them to the next level. Consider the Apprenticeship or TechCred programs offered by the State of Ohio’s Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation. And don’t forget the potential impact internship programs can have when it comes to building your organization’s pipeline of potential job candidates. Local universities, high schools, and career centers are always happy to help uncover opportunities – for local employers and job candidates, alike.

If you would like to learn more about what other companies are doing to combat the national labor shortage, access additional tips to help your company stand out in the crowd, or find out how you can improve your existing retention rate, give me a call at 330.308.6818 or send me a direct email at renee.west@reacpa.com

By Renee West, SHRM-SCP (New Philadelphia office)