Big firms offering large salaries and smaller businesses with modest employment budgets now have something in common: they cannot find enough workers. All kinds of companies are feeling the pinch of the labor shortage, and experts predict that this shortage is here to stay.
Where Did All the Employees Go?
Studies agree that three trends are driving the current labor shortages: increased rate of retirement, more stay-at-home parents, and a boom in self-employment.
Employers have been dreading the impact of retiring Boomers for decades, and now they’re feeling the effect of millions of older Americans leaving the workforce. Retirement among Boomers recently spiked, reducing the labor pool by millions.
There is also a movement among parents, especially those with young kids, to reorganize their finances in ways that allow them to manage with one full-time breadwinner. As a result, many moms or dads either quit or opted for less demanding part-time work.
In the past few years, there has been an explosion of solopreneurs who have found ways to remain self-employed. A 2021 Harris Poll reported that a third of Americans 18-plus now have either a side hustle or are self-employed full-time.
However, a well-organized, efficient hiring process will give some employers a clear advantage, especially in a tight labor market. Here are some strategies that may help your firm hire and retain more employees.
Name a Hiring Manager and Create a Position Overview
Some preparation makes it easier to find and hire the best employees. Begin by assigning the responsibility for recruiting, selecting, and assimilating new employees. By designating these tasks to one person, or a team of people, you’ve already created efficiencies. This will be your hiring manager or your hiring team.
Hiring managers work with other company managers to prepare a job description. In addition to including tasks and responsibilities, they should map out hiring qualifications such as experience, certifications, or education.
At the same time, they develop a position attributes profile, which provides a short description of the ideal hire’s personality, attitudes, and attributes.
This is also the time to develop a compensation plan. The plan includes the salary, which should be attached to a sheet that lays out the monetary value of all benefits. Include a hiring bonus if one exists. In addition, include vacation time, personal time, and holidays. It should also spell out any limitations in place during a trial period.
The hiring manager will be charged with identifying strategies for finding candidates, including paid ads, job fairs, online listings, and networking.
Once applicants are identified, the hiring manager promptly contacts the candidates within a pre-specified timeframe and conducts screening interviews. These screening interviews are a quick way to ensure the candidate meets basic requirements such as age, education, and ability to work in your state legally.
Refine the Selection Process
In a tight labor market, it’s critical to have a timely and well-organized selection process. Start by creating an interview questionnaire. Don’t spend time recapping the initial application. Instead, the questionnaire should capture the candidate’s attitude towards work, personality, fit with the company, and problem-solving ability.
With a well-crafted questionnaire in hand, the hiring manager can conduct Interviews and rank candidates based on the job description and attribute profile they developed earlier.
Check the Referrals
Sometimes the hiring manager feels good about a candidate and skips the referrals to save time. This can be a mistake. Referrals are the hiring manager’s safety net, designed to identify issues and set off alarms.
In addition to the submitted referrals, it’s also wise to seek out other contacts that may help vet the candidate. For example, look on LinkedIn to find past co-workers or previous supervisors. Ask open-ended questions and encourage them to talk about your candidate before you make your final selection decision.
Once the hire has accepted your offer, it’s time for the hiring manager to assimilate them into the company. Surveys show that many employees leave a company because they lack training or do not receive adequate supervision and direction.
That’s why organizations should develop a 30-60-90 assimilation plan that includes a job description, a training program, assimilation/socialization activities, formal reviews, and one-on-one evaluations to ensure each new hire is happy and productive in their new position.
The review of the assimilation plan should include discussions with the new hire, as well as feedback. Listen to their evaluations of the job, and act on the input. The hiring manager doesn’t have to grant every wish, but they must acknowledge the new hire’s opinions and create a plan to address legitimate concerns. Ignoring such input could compound employee issues.
Next, use the 30-60-90 onboarding reports as an excuse to give the new hires the praise they deserve for getting started. It’s also a good time to give them thoughtful and constructive advice on how to assimilate more quickly. The reports should be used to enhance performance and increase employee satisfaction. They are not a tool for reprimands.
Once you have a hiring team in place, keep reviewing and evaluating. Check in with your team periodically and set up a formal evaluation that measures the success of recruiting strategies, interviews, acceptance rates, and the onboarding process.
This is a part of the business that should always look for ways to improve. Evaluating and refining the hiring process is one of the most effective ways to find and keep good employees. With effective strategies in place, it will be easier to find good hires in any labor market.
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