Sharpening Your Competitive Edge in Hiring

November 10, 2021 | 203 views

Sharpening Your Competitive Edge in Hiring
Sharpening Your Competitive Edge in Hiring

We are in a tough hiring market, and the extraordinary labor shortage is a conundrum for many small businesses. We can argue all day about the reasons behind it, but for hiring managers and business owners, the problem is real. Whatever the causes, a pandemic caused many to reevaluate their working conditions and hiring requirements. From health concerns to lifestyle, the last year created a rare opportunity for us to reconsider how best to proceed with the need for income.

The challenge now is to be the sought-after employer. What can you do to stand out for applicants? The answer could take many forms, of course. So let’s look at methods to sharpen your business’s competitive edge in the hiring market.

  1. Beyond Benefits. Benefits are the icing on the wage cake. Some will be unimportant to some employees and valuable to others. Look to see how flexible you can be in offering the benefits that your post-covid employees want most. After working through tough environments with children at home or limited health care, the post-covid employee is emphasizing their needs. Some are more expensive than others, for sure, but a wide range of benefit options is key in creating a wider pool of eligible employees.
  2. Employer Flexibility. Overused but critical, flexibility means that employers must bend the status quo to create a more employee-sustainable work environment. Worker experience is more than doing a job and collecting a paycheck. It includes the environment, colleagues, training, and culture. If you develop a work environment that meets the business needs and employee needs, you become a flexible and appealing employer. Start by asking your current employees what would make their experience better with you. You might not be able to promise all the changes, but the effort to learn and change (flex!) will create loyalty with current employees and the desired work location for prospective employees.
  3. Utilize Technology. Your arsenal of technology is an opportunity to rise above less sophisticated employers. It does not have to be complicated, either. From virtual hiring to software that provides real-time scheduling data, the investment in technology is time-saving. For employees, it is attractive, too; it’s consistent and, more importantly, improves communication. Technology work tools are designed to make everyone’s work-life better. Use them.
  4. Milk your Cow. When you are short of workers, existing employees are a valuable resource. Show your appreciation by rewarding them if they refer an applicant that you hire. A bonus is cheap and easy to provide, too. That one-time cost is small once you realize that referrals shorten the recruiting time and those employees remain with you longer. Your employees will appreciate the incentive to refer, and they will take pride in being a part of the hiring process, further contributing to employee quality.
  5. See Beyond Work Experience. Since so many applicants have reconsidered how they want to work and live, an application may not seem to fit your openings. Dig a bit deeper to understand why someone from a different industry is interested in yours. The story might be one of personal change that will also help develop your business. Many skills are transferable, and someone who is newly interested in your product or services might be a perfect choice.

Become a competitive employer by sharpening your hiring methods and compensation to attract quality applicants. You will then develop a workplace that complements employee needs and enhances your business’s hiring capabilities.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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