You may have noticed that many organizations have “help wanted” or “we’re hiring” signs. There is currently a nationwide shortage of employees. This started shortly after the pandemic hit and has continually escalated to what we are experiencing today. With fewer employees to perform the day-to-day work, this creates a negative domino effect that eventually impacts the customers and clients of the organization. This may mean less stocked shelves in the store, a few days wait to receive service or a multitude of other negative impacts.
So, how can employers attract employees? Organizations being flexible, may be one key to attracting employees. Qualtrics conducted a survey of 1,021 U.S. adult full-time employees in January 2022. The results showed that 92% of respondents said they want a four-day work week; 79% stated that a four-day work week would improve their mental health; 82% said it would make them more productive; 89% of the respondents said that paid mental health days would help them recharge and be more productive, and 87% of respondents said that paid mental health days would reduce burnout and improve their mental health. This may be challenging to smaller businesses and those in the hospitality industry.
Another opportunity for organizations to attract employees is to review internal policies that may preclude some populations from being hired. Many Human Resources departments often do not look favorably on hiring someone with a criminal record. In 2021, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Charles Koch Foundation discovered that 53% of human resource professionals would be willing to hire employees with a criminal record. This percentage is higher than a few years ago. The willingness to hire someone with a criminal record may be a game changer for some industries. Additionally, organizations may want to rethink their parental leave policies and childcare support. Organizations that provide parental leave and childcare support are more likely to attract parents that will be of value to the workforce.
Organizations might want to rethink the qualifications of who they are willing to hire. Job postings have a listing of required qualifications/experiences that potential employees must have to be considered for employment. However, if organizations were willing to hire for potential versus experience and qualifications, they may find a very thankful and loyal employee. There are some tradeoffs to hiring for potential versus experience. Hiring an employee with qualifications means that the employee could perform immediately on the job, with a higher starting salary/wage. But, on the other hand, someone with less experience, but motivated and with high potential might be more affordable and loyal with more time involved with on-the-job training. Hiring for potential versus experience might be a great long-term solution for organizations as long as they choose an employee with genuine potential for growth, they’ll have an employee that they can shape to suit the organization’s needs while giving them the resources they need to thrive.
Rethinking how promotions are conducted in organizations may be another way to attract new talent. Many organizations tend to recruit outside their organization for supervisory and management positions rather than recruiting from within. If potential employees know that there is the potential for growth within the organization, it will spark their interest to submit their job application, thus helping to continuously fill the void left by employees being promoted within. It may also create loyalty within the company once the employee is hired in the hopes of being promoted.
Leaders may want to reevaluate their organizational culture and think about how their employees are treated and the benefits provided to employees. In March 2022, Pew conducted a survey that resulted in employees stating that the top three reasons for quitting a job are low pay, no opportunities for advancement, and feeling disrespected at work. Organizations that place more value on their employees and ensure that they are paid competitively will attract more applicants. Additionally, organizations that place value on developing relationships with their employees and treating them with respect will develop a positive organizational culture that will benefit future and current employees.
Aine Cryts, “Tips for hiring staff during the great resignation”, April 29, 2022, https://www.contemporaryobgyn.net/view/tips-for-hiring-staff-during-the-great-resignation
Don Shapiro, “How to Hire Employees for Potential, Not Just Past Experience”, 2022, https://www.allbusiness.com/hire-for-potential-not-past-experience-150472-1.html
Kalia Simms, “New Study Reveals How Best Workplaces are Keeping Their Working Parents from Joining the Great Resignation”, https://www.greatplacetowork.com/resources/blog/new-study-reveals-how-best-workplaces-are-keeping-their-working-parents-from-joining-the-great-resignation
Michael Goldberg, “Dire US labor shortage provides opportunity for ex-prisoners”, July 10, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/job-market-gives-ex-prisoners-second-chance-97bed3d56214275ad407a9ee234f781d
Qualtrics, “Most U.S. Employees Want a Four-day Work Week Even if it Means Working Longer Hours”, Feb 24, 2022, https://www.qualtrics.com/news/most-u-s-employees-want-a-four-day-work-week-even-if-it-means-working-longer-hours/
Peter Cappelli, “Your Approach to Hiring Is All Wrong”, May – June 2019, https://hbr.org/2019/05/your-approach-to-hiring-is-all-wrong