In April of 2019, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an unemployment rate of 3.6%. This is the lowest rate of unemployment in over 18 years. Finding the “perfect fit” employee is not only harder, it is a full-on competition between employers, and employees know they now hold all the cards.
This creates multiple challenges for companies looking for new hires, but it has also created a real threat of loosing employees to other companies offering hard-to-resist hiring packages, newly added perks, and aggressive recruiters targeting your workforce.
Offering raises to retain current employees and competitive wages for new hires may seem like to easiest fix, and it certainly helps, but that old paradigm view is needing a swift upgrade as the Millennials and Generation Z begin to enter the employment pool.
Dealing with Generational Differences
Millennials and Gen Z are looking for equality, respect, and a better balance between work and personal time. They are not interested in simply being a cog in the wheel. They want to be heard for their new ideas and know they are contributing to a job that is offering something of value to a greater community.
Jaime Casap, Google’s chief education evangelist, had this to say regarding what the current generations have witnessed of their Baby Boomer and Gen X parents, “They saw their parents believe, ‘All you gotta do is work hard, keep your head down, go early, stay late, and you can advance and move up in a company.’ They saw their parents do that, and lose their jobs.” He continues with how Gen Z has witnessed their Millennial Brothers and Sisters in the current education trap. “They watched their brothers and sisters [get that college degree] and then come home and live in the basement with $ 200,000 worth of debt.”
Too much rigidity in work roles in the tight labor market can mean you will miss out on employees. And, if you’re not finding ways to communicate and work with the needs of your current employees you could lose them as well.
Don’t panic. Not all change is bad. In fact, Casap believes that these new generations are likely to “fix” the current crumbling infrastructure of old work paradigms into new creative ways that older generations may have never even considered.
Steps You Can Take
Business owners need to be able to step of the box and try new things to meet their needs when the labor market is tight. Non-traditional hiring methods or possible additional costs could be the key to getting the talent you need. We’ve identified a few different steps you can take as a business owner to find the right talent for your business in 2019.
Increase Your Wages
Raising the starting pay may not necessarily equate to an employee worth that extra pay but you do need to consider your competition because, in an employee market, they will not likely settle for less than what your competitors can pay.
Lower Your Minimum Requirements
Maybe it is time to reconsider your minimum requirements. Do you really need your candidate to have 5 years of experience? You could consider investing more in training and employee development instead of looking for the perfect peg. This could reduce your labor costs by hiring a less qualified employee. Technology has made certain tasks and positions easier to automate – and more technical Millennials and Gen Zers have the potential to learn new technologies quickly.
Use Social Media
Not for directly finding employees but as your reference. Are you posting photos of your company lunch? How about your softball team? Are your employees posting about fun competitions or how they love the healthy snacks offered in the breakroom? Potential employees are stalking you and happy employees attract more happy employees.
Add Additional Perks
Money talks, this we all know, but you can add value to a position by offering special perks. Perks don’t always cost you big dollars. Some are a matter of trade. Consider looking at a few local gyms and offer to promote their gym exclusively at your business if they will provide your employees with a good discount. Simple.
Talk to The Stomach
Yes, this will cost you. It will also possibly buy you some insurance. Free lunch in business can equate to a few things. Some employees, in an effort to meet a deadline, will work through their lunch. Low blood sugar is no friend to clear thinking. On site lunch means that meal can go to the desk and the employee can continue to work. It also means when employees take a lunch break, they are most likely going to be back to work on time. Productivity saver.
Hiring a Remote Workforce
Telecommunications and connectivity worldwide have reached a point where almost anyone globally can fill a role. Looking outside your home labor market may be the answer to your problems. For U.S. companies, nearshore markets like Mexico or Latin America provide excellent advantages and opportunities to find employees to fill your business needs – without outsourcing work to the other side of the world and dealing with time zone differences.
Don’t Let Low Unemployment Stunt Your Growth
It might be tough to find the employees you need right now – but that doesn’t mean you can give up. Getting creative and trying new things is how you will find the right talent for your business. Businesses need to be constantly evolving to deal with challenges including not enough workers to fill your role.
Thinking outside the box will help you fill the positions you have sooner and can even provide your business unexpected results. Get started changing the way you hire and get your business back on the growth track you need.