August 30, 2021

Top 7 Ways to Keep and Find the Best Employees Amid Worker Shortages


It’s no secret that there’s currently a talent shortage in many industries. If you’re facing a lack of skilled labor, you’re not alone.

A labor shortage means that it’s an “employees’ market,” so to speak. It means job seekers have more employment options and negotiating power than we typically see.

Is it possible for businesses to survive and even thrive through this season? Yes! But to do so, employers must evolve their hiring and managing practices. They must seriously consider these top ways to manage employee shortages.

Focus on retaining your best employees
The latest figures show that on average it costs a company 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary to replace him or her.1 So it makes sense to address a worker shortage by keeping the ones you have.

It starts with communication. It’s important to provide opportunities for existing staff to discuss what they want and need and to really listen to what they say. After all, your workforce could depend on it!

Tip: Start with appreciation. One study reported that 66% of employee exits are due to their employers’ lack of gratitude.2

Offer a work environment that puts your employees first.
Many of the perks employers have used to lure talent, such as games, free snacks, and trendy environments have proven ineffective.3 What your workforce really wants is a culture that aligns with their personal and professional goals and needs. This includes opportunities for advancement, competitive wages and leave, safe and respectful environments, efficient tools, and work/life balance.

Think about incremental value-adds. Could you arrange workloads to reflect employee interests, preferences, and skills, or allow employees to shift their hours to accommodate brief time-off needs?

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Offer on-the-job training and opportunities for advancement
In a season of competitive staffing shortages, a path to success is an attractive differentiator for job seekers. Employers should convey specifically and plainly what workers can expect and how they can meet the objectives that will provide the career growth they seek.

Invest in tech that streamlines time-consuming projects and tasks
Are you providing your employees the tools they need to do their jobs well? Relegating them to inefficient, time-consuming, error-prone manual methods to manage their duties is a recipe for stress that can lead to high levels of employee churn.

Streamlining your processes with quality technology improves efficiency and productivity can more than pay for itself by eliminating errors and improving employee satisfaction. For example, optimized shift scheduling software takes the burden of manual scheduling off managers and empowers workers to manage their time, on and off the clock.

Address employees’ reasons for leaving or not accepting your job offers.
Two words: Exit interview. Ask people why they’re leaving and listen for common complaints. It may be too late to reverse an employee’s decision to leave by promising to address their concerns or even raise their wage. But their candor could prevent existing staff from walking out the door.

Go a step further and ask candidates who turn down your offers why they made that decision. Take these learnings under serious consideration.

Consider paying employees for referrals.
One report indicated that employee referral bonuses can be a cost-effective recruiting method that results in a higher quality employee and better retention rates. “Over 80% of employers rate employee referrals as the best source for generating a return on investment, with referred candidates four times more likely to be hired and 45% staying for four years or more, compared to candidates hired from a job board.”

The opportunity to earn these bonuses has a dual benefit for employees and employers. In addition to extra income, it contributes to a sense of community, ownership, and teamwork, which reduces employee turnover.

Be flexible whenever possible.
A year of mandated remote work afforded many workers greater work/life balance and reduced stress. Now, the demand for fully remote or hybrid work options are key factors in the so-called “Great Resignation.”

Working from home is obviously not possible or ideal for all industries, but employers should consider ways to provide some flexibility.

Tip: Mobile-friendly scheduling software can allow workers more control of their schedules. For example, they can find subs for shifts or pick up extra shifts without manager involvement, all while meeting preset shift requirements.


Workforce Management Software Can Help
The most valuable tips for weathering a worker shortage aren’t new. They’ve been prized all along for strengthening employee engagement and productivity. It just makes sense. People naturally prefer employers that prioritize their well-being and workplace culture.

Workforce management software is a key component of such a culture. It makes managers’ jobs easier: saving time, preventing errors and reducing frustration. And it empowers hourly workers, which improves job satisfaction.

Learn how a better employee scheduling system can help your organization weather every type of workforce management challenge.