After the lull of 2020, companies are staffing up, and they’re finding how challenging it is to build and maintain full teams. This calls for working at both ends of the workforce maintenance process simultaneously – focusing on retention as well as recruiting. That’s easier said than done, but here are some basic elements of a successful, long-term workforce strategy.
Support Local Workforce Development
College degrees are necessary for some fields, but not all. Trade schools can prepare students for careers in manufacturing, construction, and other trades. And some high school students are eager to join the workforce immediately and are already well-qualified for positions that can lead to management careers.
As a business owner, you have the opportunity to partner with schools at each of these levels through work-study programs, mentorships, apprenticeships, and internships. These programs will expose a potential employee to your company, and if they like what they experience, they’ll encourage their peers to check you out as well.
Offer Genuine Opportunities for Advancement
According to government surveys, Baby Boomers take new jobs an average of 12 times during their careers. No doubt that number will be even higher with workers in subsequent generations. The dissatisfaction that prompts these moves stems from many sources, but one of them is certainly the employee’s perception that they’re in a “dead end” job. Unfortunately, too often they’re right.
You can try to head this off by:
- Investing in employee training and certifications.
- Discussing paths for advancement during employee reviews.
- Interviewing current employees for higher-level openings and giving them a leg up when it comes to filling that spot.
- Maintaining a bias-free workplace with equal access to paths to promotion.
Use Social Media to Generate Applicants
Your company’s brand and reputation can make or break your ability to attract the best talent. Increasingly, commercial brand polishing and brand promotion is happening on social media, where today’s labor pool is most attuned. Only a few companies can attract applicants simply based on the organization’s name. All of the others need to approach the process with the mindset of selling, rather than offering an opportunity.
Specifically, that means your team should use social media forums to:
- Promote your environmental and socially relevant activities and viewpoints.
- Use language and a style that matches the look and feel of the site.
- Not only describe your company and the opportunity, but opportunities for advancement.
- Use available social media special techniques and features, like live broadcasts, ephemeral interfaces, and representations of your employees interacting in the workplace.