Employers are facing a unique challenge right now that’s forcing them to rethink how they do things in a lot of ways. Unemployment is at record lows, and there is at the same a big focus on tightening immigration requirements.
As a result, employers large and small are struggling to fill positions and find skilled talent. The unemployment rate went down from 3.9 percent to 3.7 percent in September of 2018. This is the lowest jobless rate since 1969.
At the same time, companies of all sizes are feeling the pressure when it comes to open job roles and being able to fill them. A survey of small businesses from CNBC and Survey Monkey recently found that around 33 percent of small business owners expect to hire full-time workers, but half of those say they have positions currently open that they haven’t been able to fill.
With all that being said, what can business including small, mid-sized and large organizations do to overcome the hurdles that come with low unemployment? The following are some things to keep in mind for recruiting and attracting employees during this time.
Travel As a Benefit
Most employers are looking to fill positions left by retiring older workers. This means they’re likely looking for skilled Millennial employees. Generation Z has also started entering the workforce. These younger employees have a different perspective on things like traveling for work. They see it as a perk, particularly if a company frames their corporate travel program in the right way.
With robust business expense management software solutions available, employers can offer the things that younger employees want such as self-booking and bleisure travel, but they’re still able to maintain control over spending and the costs of corporate travel.
Travel can be a unique way to appeal to top talent, but only if you show them that your travel program is in line with what they value or find interesting.
Stop Only Evaluating Degrees
Younger generations are among the most educated in history, but having a degree isn’t the only method you should use for screening candidates. Hiring educated employees is fine, but it’s not always necessary. When you’re facing a labor shortage, you can often find what you need and the skills you require even without a traditional bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree.
It’s much more important to build a screening and hiring process that’s based on finding candidates with both the hard and soft skills you need, rather than having a certain degree.
Create the Talent You Need
When you need employees with certain skills and abilities, and you’re not finding that, it may be best to create the talent pipeline you need. Work with trade and vocational schools as well as high schools to create programs where you’re internally training employees, and you’re building the skillsets you require.
What’s good about developing your own training programs and talent pipeline is the fact that you’re not just training new people on the skills and technical requirements you need. You’re also training them on your culture, and they’re going to be building deep and meaningful relationships with people already in the organization through things like mentorships. All of this is good not only for recruiting talent but also for retaining employees and reducing turnover.
Even if you’re not going to do a full-scale apprenticeship program, offering continuing education and development options are important to today’s employee as well. They want to feel like their employer is willing to invest in them. Just offering something like online classes for current employees can be a good component of a benefits package.
Finally, some companies become nervous about their ability to recruit and retain great employees because it’s not in their budget to offer massive benefits and compensation packages. However, employees and in particular younger generations often see a flexible work environment that’s conducive to work-life balance as even better than more money. Flexibility and the promotion of work-life balance aren’t nearly as expensive as a lot of other recruiting and retention tactics companies use.
Offering flexible schedules and work environments, as well as the chance for employees to guide their own lives, is not only good for recruiting and retention. It also has the general benefit of improving corporate culture. Your employees will be happier, and that’s going to provide you with more productivity and better interactions with clients, customers, and partners. Offering flexibility is one of the best low-cost ways to set yourself apart in a low unemployment marketplace.