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Heading into 2019, small business owners in retail, manufacturing, food service, and consumer services remain concerned about many of the challenges they dealt with throughout 2018. Add to those, uncertainty in Washington, D.C. and the rapid increase of technology into the marketplace. Any small business owner who is not contemplating daily about how their business is changing runs a risk of being left behind.
As I talk to business people, their number one challenge remains recruiting, hiring, and retaining productive employees. One restaurant owner recently told me that out of 150 responses he got from a recent job post, only one candidate ended up being hired. Only 40 had the necessary qualifications, and only three engaged in the entire interview process. These stories are not unusual and reflect the struggles in many industries.
I sat in on a meeting of state employment advisors last week and learned that throughout my region, employers are so desperate for workers they are having to scale down their services and customer base because they are unable to provide the level of service requested. One landscaper reported in an article in the Charlotte Observer (Sept 4, 2018) that, “2018 hands-down has been the worst year in trying to find quality, drug-free, non-criminal employees.” He continued that he’s turned away about $500,000 worth of jobs rather than risk sub-par work.
On the employee side, so many job openings allow unhappy workers to job-hop seeking something that offers better conditions or pay. Although many understand they need to be clean, drug-free, and show up on time, often chose not to adhere to these expectations. And, most frustratingly, they seem to be fine with the consequences. This trend has employers worried about the future of staying in business with the consensus being it will get worse before it gets better. Employers often don’t understand what they can do to mitigate this trend.
Any solution requires both employers and employees to understand each other and give a little. I place much of the responsibility on employers because there are predictions that by 2020, 36% of the employment applicants will belong to Generation Z; 24 and under (about 60 million). They are a force to be reckoned with and a business owner can choose to ignore it or embrace it.
What can be done to bring the two sides together, so each gets their needs met? Here are 5 suggestions for the employer that research shows are valuable to these younger job seekers.
Hopefully, these five suggestions will get you thinking about how to attract, hire, and retain good employees in 2019. Of course, there are many others very specific to a certain business type. If you’d like to comment or discuss further, please do below or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Koster is the owner and principle consultant of Team Learning Services. He has 30 years experience in the education and learning industry.