It’s clear that the employment market is still strongly candidate-driven, especially in the service and professional sectors. Unemployment remains low, which means employers need to be open-minded about listening to a candidate’s needs and make proactive changes when it comes to recruiting and retention efforts.
The national unemployment rate has remained at or below 4% in 2022 (compared to 14.7% in April 2020). Across industries, the US Chamber of Commerce reports that the transportation, health care and social assistance, and the accommodation and food sectors have had the highest numbers of job openings. The food sector has experienced consistently high quit rates, whereas others have been able to hire back workers. In more stable, higher-paying industries, the number of employees quitting has been lower. The quit rate for professional and business services was at 3.2% (BLS) as of November 2022.
Many experts believe worker shortages will be a long-term feature of the U.S. economy, not just because of the “great resignation” but because of demographics (CNBC). These factors include low birth rates, lack of childcare options, disabilities, and retirement. Employers are going to have to be proactive in combatting the talent shortage as we move into the new year.
How can employers combat the talent shortage?
Here are five helpful tips to help employers find – and retain – talent to keep their business running smoothly.
1. Focus on company culture
Company culture is one of the most important factors for job seekers and employees. Professionals want to be a part of a company that is guided by strong values, has a purpose they align with, and provides a sense of belonging. They want to feel that their employer cares for them and that they will be supported professionally and personally. Focus on strengthening and growing your company culture to retain great talent and attract the best pool of professionals.
2. Listen to employees
Pay attention to what your employees want, especially regarding work location, salary and benefits. Though pay remains an essential factor, candidates and employees are not solely focused on monetary incentives anymore. The pandemic has shifted priorities and opened opportunities such as remote and hybrid workplaces that are attractive to professionals. Make sure your offerings are competitive in your market and industry.
3. Offer upskilling and training opportunities
Focus on your current workforce! Your employees are familiar with the ins and outs of your company. Instead of only focusing on hiring from outside, look inward. Promote from within and give your best people the opportunity to learn new skills and grow into larger roles. Providing training and ongoing development opportunities will help your employees grow and also give them the chance to thrive in the workplace and contribute to your overall business success.
4. Give more weight to “soft skills”
Don’t underestimate the power of soft skills. Instead of demanding a long list of specific skills and years of experience, look at a candidate’s skills like communication, management and problem-solving. Individuals with outstanding soft skills excel and can learn technical skills on the job. Soft skills make great leaders and communicators, something that is extremely crucial in the workplace today.
5. Promote philanthropic initiatives
Job seekers have expressed a strong preference for working for companies that hold themselves socially accountable. They want to see companies uphold their philanthropic efforts and take the initiative in giving back to their communities. For Gen Z, social impact drives what they buy and where they work. To connect with this demographic as they seek employment opportunities, focus on your social impact policies. Not only will this help attract candidates, but it is also good for the community.
You want to avoid your business being overlooked by top talent. This means that your approach to hiring and retaining talent will need to be proactive and evolve with the market and employees’ needs. If the pandemic taught us one thing it is that things are constantly changing. It’s up to businesses to get ahead of what will attract and retain talent.
Looking to hire? Contact your local branch today to learn more about the talented professionals we have available and see how Roth Staffing Companies including Ultimate Staffing, Ledgent Finance & Accounting, Ledgent Technology, Adams & Martin Group and About Talent, can be a resource to you for your staffing and recruitment needs.