As we recover from the pandemic, all kinds of businesses are having trouble recruiting and retaining workers at all skill levels. Creativity is needed to encourage applications and retain staff. If this describes your business, try a few of these recruiting strategies.
- Boost pay: If a person can switch from a $12 an hour to a $15 an hour job, no specialized training required, they likely will. Your definition of “great pay and benefits” may be outdated for the times.
- Offer bonuses: Workers want to know that you will keep them employed. Bonuses should signal you can’t wait for them to start and stay.
- Provide virtual worker office perks: If you plan to offer full or partial work from home options, remember, it is no longer the “unique & special benefit” it once was, pre-pandemic. Offer perks like stipends for maintaining or upgrading their home offices.
- Offer wellness benefits: Consider being more flexible about work schedules, promoting wellness initiatives, and offering help to those responsible for the care of children or parents.
Modernize your recruiting:
- Make the application process easier: Reconsider lengthy or duplicative applications. For example, do they really need to upload a resume, connect their LinkedIn profile, AND fill out a 15-page application?
- Boost employee referrals: Ask for and incentivize recommendations from your staff.
- Leverage connections: Whether they are job seeker groups on Facebook, industry groups on LinkedIn, or local chambers of commerce, there are a wealth of leads that can be mined from your connections and those of your employees.
- Talk about your company on social media: What is the office culture like? Who are the co-workers? How are you addressing COVID safety concerns? Let applicants know a lot more about your company, not just the job they are applying for. Those one-paragraph “about us” summaries you typically see in a job posting won’t attract applicants the way videos about your team can.
One local restaurant’s creative approach
Consider automating some job functions to improve the employee experience. You may have seen the local and national news stories about Astro, the serving robot at Sergio’s Restaurant in Kendall. After an order is plated, Astro (Automatic Service Tray Removal Organizer) brings the food to a table. Servers remove the full plates and place empty ones back on Astro, returning them to the kitchen.
Does the robot replace servers? No, says Carlos Gazitua, CEO of Sergio’s Restaurants. He told reporters Astro improves workflow and lets servers spend more time in the dining room with guests. He noted Astro removes the most difficult function of the server’s job by saving 25 miles of walking a week. When staff stays in the dining room, each server gets more tables, and more attention can be paid to each table, increasing server tips.
Bottom line: Money talks. Overcoming recruiting and retention roadblocks likely means providing financial incentives. As a small business, this means balancing what you need to do and what you can afford to do. If hiring is a continuing problem, consult your accounting professional to help you with creative ideas that make sense for your budget and your bottom line.