We are Always Short Staffed – What the heck can I do about it?

Remnants of the Covid Pandemic.  The Great Resignation.  Reducing hours of operation – or closing altogether on some days – due to short staffing.  Help Wanted signs.  Lucrative signing bonuses.  It seems to be everywhere you turn, just about every business is in need of more people to return their operations to full capacity. 

The reasons given for this new phenomenon are varied.  Changing demographics reduces available workers due to retirement on one end and the exorbitant cost of child care squeezes the other.  Too much government assistance.  Demands for flexible working arrangements.  Nobody wants to work anymore.  The gig economy.  People have a new sense of value on work/life balance.  Organizations aren’t paying a living wage.  Whatever the reason(s), I think the answer can be found in doing three things right:  

  • Sourcing – finding the best available employees for your organization.
  • On-boarding – starting new employees in a way that builds job satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Retaining – keeping the good employees you have today, and the new employees you hire today to stay longer.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore all three of the keys to staffing your organization.  Today, we dive into sourcing.  Sourcing new employees is the first step to addressing your staffing issues.  Even before the business shut-downs of the pandemic, employees were looking for more than just a job.  They were looking for a purpose and to be valued for their contribution.  Now, more than ever, they also want flexibility.  So how do you source the best possible candidates to join your organization?  Here are three ideas to optimize your sourcing efforts:

  1. Competitors – steal their good employees!  The labor shortage for other companies can be your gain!  Do your competitors have good employees who are unhappy for some reason?  Why are they dissatisfied?  Finding the answer to those questions can help you, and the currently dissatisfied employees, both win.  Are they unhappy with their non-flexible hours?  Promote your flexibility.  Do they not have the training to do their job well?  “You know who” (i.e., Orgwide) can help you maximize your training – including improving your on-boarding!  Promote the things you do for employees through social media or local news outlets to set yourself apart from your competitors. 
  1. Customers – ask them to refer their friends and relatives.  They already enjoy doing business with you and know that you run a great operation.  Ask them to be part of your recruiting efforts and help some of their friends or family find a great job. 

    Create a “fact sheet” of the reasons employees love working on your team to share with customers. 
  1. Team Member Referrals – often the best source of new employees is your current group of employees.  They are most likely to refer those who will “fit” your organization.  They know that you have great jobs, training and benefits.  And they probably know people who are unhappy with their current situation. 

    Give them talking points to share your company’s stories with their friends and family.  You can even use the same “fact sheet” you created for customers.  And offer referrals bonuses to incentivize your employees to bring others onboard.  Stretch those bonuses out to pay when you hire their referral, when that person reaches 30 days, and a final bonus when the new hire referral reaches 90 days of employment!

Once you’ve sourced the new candidates for your company, the next step is “making a good first impression” through a thoughtful and purposeful on-boarding experience.  We’ll cover that in next week’s blog.  We would love to hear any thoughts or suggestions you’d like to share with us – it’s easy to do by reaching us through our Contact Us page. 

2 thoughts on “We are Always Short Staffed – What the heck can I do about it?

Comments are closed.