Recruiting and Retaining Talent During a Labor Shortage


According to Harvard Business Review, recruiting talent remains the number one concern of CEOs. CBIA President Chris DiPentima states, “There’s no greater threat to our economic recovery than the labor shortage—Connecticut’s labor force declines since February 2020 represent 46% of the regional losses and 26% of the national decline.” Finding the right talent and keeping them has never been more difficult.

Finding The Right Talent

Effective recruiting and staffing is the first step in putting your goal and vision into practice in the workplace. The talent pool has cultivated rapidly with remote work allowing employees to work anywhere geographically. On the flip side, candidates for in-person roles are declining, putting them firmly in the driving seat. The task to recruit and retain top talent demands fresh and refocused energy.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider when recruiting for a role in the current competitive environment:

Woman recruiting to find good employees


Require that all job openings are posted internally

This is one of the very few options that require little to no recruiting costs and training could take less time because of the employee’s familiarity with the environment. This is also important for keeping good talent, especially for those who value growth. LinkedIn data shows that the most common reason employees leave their company is career advancement, which is often linked to employers’ reluctance to promote from within.


Offer a generous compensation and benefits package

Another approach for firms to draw in and keep top employees is by offering competitive compensation and benefits packages. If your business gains a reputation for providing favorable perks, it will typically be easier to attract skilled candidates, and you might even experience some favorable side effects in marketing and sales. According to Glassdoor’s Employment Confidence Survey, 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay raise.


Hire any talent that comes along

We get it, staff is hard to find. However, you do not want to compromise the integrity of your business. If employees feel the company’s recruiting practices come off as desperate, then they are less likely to have pride in the company. They feel as if they too were picked out of desperation.


Do it all alone

Nobody said it was easy. When it comes to recruiting, there are no courses or much reading material on what it is supposed to look like. We promote exemplary staff into management, but we never offer them training on how to effectively hire a team. We subconsciously start looking for candidates who remind us of ourselves or cognitive bias obstructs our judgment in other ways. This can keep great candidates from advancing in the process. Outsourcing your recruiting or staffing services is a simple solution to this. The staffing industry is a multibillion-dollar industry for a reason – it works. Recruiters like the ones at Staffworks Inc. work towards creating relationships with businesses and candidates, figuring out their needs, and making the right fit.  This attention to detail requires a dedicated effort. At StaffWorks we understand that talent is the most valuable business asset.

If you have never worked with a recruiting agency before consider reading our article on; 5 Common Misconceptions About Working With a Temp Agency for better insight into how we bring value to you and your future employees.

working with a recruiting agency to find and keep talent


Keeping Talent


Keeping employee turnover low is extremely important, especially during a labor shortage. Recruiting is timely and overall, a huge expense. According to Employee Benefit News employers typically pay 33 % of a worker’s annual compensation to replace them. Hourly workers are also expensive to replace. A study from Society Human Resource Management states that the average cost to hire an employee is $4,129, or 6 weeks of pay for a $15 per hour job. On top of that, businesses invest $1,886 and 47.6 hours a year in the training of each hourly worker. After effective recruiting, retaining employees becomes critical to the long-term success of your business.


Invest in employees who might not meet all requirements

Realistically not a lot of candidates are going to be able to check every box in the job description. Willingness to teach and train potential prospects can be well worth it, especially in today’s market. Remember you can always teach skills, not personality. For example, if a company is looking to hire an engineer III it could make more sense to hire an enthusiastic engineer I or II with leadership skills and have them trained in the company’s process to eventually be the engineer III they need. This opens the candidate pool and allows employers to be pickier.


Offer perks that encourage employee productivity

Another way to retain talent is by offering perks that result in more productivity, this is mutually beneficial to employers and employees. This can look like an attendance incentive where employees earn cash bonuses for consecutively showing up on time. With the labor shortage, new and creative incentives must be created to keep good employees.


Ignore employees through uncertain times

As an employer, it is easy to look the other way when times are tough, usually with no consequences. However, those employers who act during uncertain times get that much more admiration from employees. A great example of this is a company we work with that recently rolled out a recession bonus for employees. The bonus includes a few hundred dollars that say, we know it is tough right now and we support you. Support could also look like mental health benefits. PwC found that 76% of stressed employees say financial worries have hurt their productivity, and 25% of this group say the impact has been severe or major. With the holidays less than 6 months away consider ways you can support your team which simultaneously fuels company culture and employee retention.


Undeniably, recruiting and retaining talent in today’s market is much more difficult than it once was. Recruiting the right candidate is difficult enough and retaining them is a whole new challenge. Let us take care of the first part. With 40% of recent job switchers looking for new positions, company focus should shift to keeping employees happy and engaged.

Our experienced recruiters are always willing to answer your questions. Click HERE to talk!

If there is something you do for your employees that is unique and has helped you keep them happy, please feel free to share down below with our recruitment community.

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