The United States has more jobs than it has workers, according to the Washington Post. In September of 2021, there were more than 10 million job openings and nearly eight and a half million people searching for employment. This leaves many business owners baffled trying to understand why they can’t hire and retain good employees.
Many employers assumed with the end of stimulus payments to many individuals, finding workers would be easier. According to anecdotal evidence, the opposite has been true. There are still many businesses that simply can’t meet demand due to staff shortages. Wages are rising quickly, and even with that, the shortage of workers persists. So what is the problem?
Why are Employees So Hard to Find?
When there is an abundance of employment opportunities and wages are going up, why are employees still so hard to find?
For a myriad of reasons, many workers have left the workforce altogether. If you are looking for skilled workers, the amount of available talent dwindles even further. This has left companies of every size across all industries to scramble to compete for the available employees. If you aren’t viewed as more desirable than other employers, you will not be able to compete and will be left without workers.
Does Raising Pay Make Hiring Easier?
The first and almost obvious answer that comes to mind is to raise the salary or wage that you are willing to pay. However, this is not always the best answer and for some companies, it isn’t even a viable answer. At a time when the economy is fluctuating quickly, and many businesses are facing decreased revenue, you may not want to commit to paying higher wages.
Raising wages or salaries also does not guarantee you will have an easier time finding employees. Many businesses have tried advertising new higher wages or a signing bonus. This only works with moderate success. It also does nothing to enhance the type of workers who will respond to your job offering and may, in fact, make your business look desperate.
How to Attract New Employees
You might be wondering what you can do to attract and keep top employees in such a highly competitive market. If raising wages isn’t going to get new employees in the door, what is it that prospective hires are looking for?
The best way to attract top talent is by offering benefits. It’s important to understand that all benefits are not created equally. Some benefits are more attractive to prospective employees than others and some benefits will cost you a lot more (especially upfront) than others.
What are the Best Benefits to Offer Employees?
One of the best benefits to use with this type of strategy is educational reimbursements. Called “Section 127 plans,” as an employer, you can provide tax-free payments to employees for educational costs. This means you can offer greater benefit to your employees without incurring a large loss to do so.
There are more options like this available than you may think. With some research and strategic planning, you can find ways to offer many benefits in such a way that they are rewarding for employees without busting your budget.
Why Offer Benefits?
Benefits make you more attractive and give you a competitive advantage as an employer. They also serve to help retain employees in the long term. This is because, as research shows, providing benefits can make your employees happier, healthier and more productive.