Dan Arens

A survey from Bankrate late last year indicated an estimated fifty-five percent of the workforce in the United States was going to be looking for a job this year. Whether the phenomenon was anticipated or not, it is happening in 2022. We are in the midst of many people leaving their jobs. Here are some practical approaches for helping to gain and retain your employees.

-Raise Salaries/Wages- No one likes to read it, much less do something about it, but the facts still remain. In inflationary times, it is probably better to increase your full-time staff salaries and wages in order to keep existing employees. This will require you to keep monitoring local and regional competition in order to see what they are paying for talent.

That approach is becoming a necessary evil in the workplace of today. At a minimum, keep wages and salaries on par with your competitors, but if at all possible, strive for exceeding the going pay scale or rate. If members of your staff do ‘shop’ the job market, at least they will see your current rate of pay is acceptable. That approach alone, might be enough to keep them employed at your company. Obviously, if you raise to equal, or even exceed salaries in order to stay competitive, you might also be faced with the difficult challenge of having to raise the prices of your products and/or services to maintain your profitability.

Hiring the Right Employee: Most experts agree, when you are hiring someone this day and age, you might need to re-calibrate your interviewing questions away from asking about their strengths or weaknesses and toward finding out about their passions. Determine if what they love to do is in alignment with the job you are offering them. Also, you might consider asking them why they are leaving their current job. Is it all about the money or was there an advancement issue? In addition, you might ask them why they are applying for a job with your company? Just to mix things up a bit, one CEO of a digital marketing agency likes to ask the question “How would you beat us if you were a competitor”?

Outsourcing: More and more companies in the Small and Medium Business (SMB) space are utilizing this tactic to end up saving money, in the long run. There are many aspects of outsourcing that can be implemented on an as needed basis. Your company can consider retaining an accounting firm to perform your monthly accounting needs instead of hiring an in-house accountant. Many accounting firms also have automated payroll services which could help you. Technology is another area of expertise. Your firm might not have to pay for a full-time in-house programmer or computer troubleshooter. Most companies do not have in-house engineers either, but there are certainly firms that can do any and all types of engineering on a contract basis. Shipping can be outsourced, if you are a product driven company. Telemarketing is another area that can be outsourced, as is billing and collections.

Automation: Do not overlook this huge area of growth. Many traditional tasks can be automated. While there might be an initial cost to implement, the payback can be fast and significant.

Hire Part-Time Help or Temporary Staff: You might consider reaching out to retired employees and see if they would be willing to return to work part-time. If there is any kind of seasonality to your business, there might be an opportunity to hire someone or retain an agency to provide temporary help during peak demand times. While this can end up costing more money, you will have to determine which approach is more cost effective for your firm. Part-time or temporary with little to no benefits for a set period of time, or Full-Time with full benefits for an open ended timeline.

Benefits: They are becoming more important, as well. Determine what benefits your competitors are offering. Compare your benefits to theirs.

These tactics are just a few examples of what can be done to address the issue of labor shortfalls in your company. They are not intended to be all inclusive, nor are they expected to solve all of your obstacles. They are, however, presented with the hope that your team will leverage them and create other options that will take your business to the next level of growth.