In late October, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released a report showing that the state unemployment rate was at 4.1%, the lowest since February of 2001. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was even lower than the already low national unemployment rate, which was 5%. The positive thing is that people are working and businesses are growing. The negative thing is that businesses are having a hard time hiring and retaining enough qualified employees to meet demand. So, what can you do?
In a tight labor market, there are several things to consider.
- Where are you recruiting? To recruit employees in Southeastern Wisconsin, you might need to get a little creative and be willing to invest in job-specific training programs. Focus on identifying interest areas that you can apply to your business. Think about where these people “hang out” and then go meet them there. Gone are the days of more applicants than openings. For example, let’s say your business is in the automotive industry. Think about where people that are interested in the automotive industry spend time. Is it at a car show? It is on certain social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) groups or special interest sites? Is it at specific vocational/trade schools? Are there clubs? Get creative and start targeting people who are interested in what you specialize in in your business.
- Who are you recruiting? Have you thought through the transferable skills necessary to be successful in the role you are trying to fill? Does it matter that they don’t know how to use a specific piece of machinery if they are mechanically inclined and have used similar machines in the past? Probably not. Think about the skills that are at the very core of what you are trying to accomplish and then go from there.
- Who are you retaining? Imagine filling a large tub of water. The water coming out of the faucet is like the new staff members that are joining your organization. Have you checked to make sure you remembered to close the drain? Don’t lose great people you already have because you are so focused on adding new members to your team. Think about the work environment you have created. Get people engaged. Make them feel valued and appreciated. And most importantly, establish a clear path for growth and provide opportunities for career development. Every dollar spent in this area is money well spent.
- Are you willing to pay? They say that money talks, and whether or not you want to hear it, you may need to pay a bit more in a tight employment market to attract the type of talent you want to hire. Be aware that higher starting wages could have a ripple effect on your organization. Be prepared to justify, and if necessary, adjust other wages. While this may seem trivial, it can often be a short-term fix that allows you more time to create career development opportunities and gives you an opportunity to focus on retaining the talent you have.
Your goal, of course, is to become an employer of choice. An employer of choice is able to weather the storm a bit when things get rough. An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in finding great employees in Wisconsin for both your short-term and long-term needs. As your strategic partner in a tight employment market, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing. Our recruiters are supported by a full-time sourcing department dedicated to finding great employees for our clients. For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!