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Now Hiring: Creative Ideas to Attract Skilled Workers

Finding and keeping talent can be challenging in today’s competitive hiring market. Many workers are ready and willing to switch jobs, in search of greener pastures. And there’s a skills shortage — especially for high-tech, accounting, health care and executive positions.

If your company is having recruitment and retention problems, consider these suggestions to make your workplace more appealing to current and prospective employees.

Provide Relocation Packages

At the height of the COVID pandemic, three in five workers said they were more willing to relocate than they were before the pandemic began, according to a Wakefield Research study. Relocation packages can be an effective way to recruit from a wider pool, whether within the United States or internationally.

The typical package covers a new employee’s moving expenses, flights and temporary housing. International relocations tend to be more complex and time-consuming. These packages may include visa and paperwork assistance, family support, language training, and help with cultural integration.

There are many ways to implement a relocation package, including lump-sum payments and reimbursements. Some employers offer more comprehensive plans that control how the money is spent. The latter tends to be preferable for international recruitment.

Offer Signing Bonuses

A signing bonus is a lump sum offered to new employees. These bonuses are more typically awarded to top executives, upper management and professional staff. They’re routine in some professions, such as nursing, trucking, veterinary medicine and technology. Signing bonuses for clerical and technical workers tend to be $5,000 or less, while they can range from $10,000 to more than $50,000 for managers and executives, according to the Harvard Business School.

To safeguard the employer’s investment, a signing bonus is often paid only after the new employee has stayed on the job for a specified period — typically between three months to one year. If the employee leaves the company before that period expires, they’re usually expected to pay back the bonus.

Be Flexible

During the pandemic, many people enjoyed the flexibility of working from home while many employers realized that employees can still be productive while working remotely. Companies also learned how much overhead — including rent, supplies and utilities — could be saved by having employees work from home. Now that the pandemic has ended, the demand for flexible work arrangements continues. 

In fact, a recent Working From Home Research report found that many employees would choose flexible work arrangements over a 10% raise in pay. Not all positions can be 100% remote, but many employees would likely opt for positions that allow them more flexibility than a traditional 40-hour workweek. Examples of flexible plans include:

  • Working one or two days per week remotely,
  • Choosing flexible work shifts to avoid commutes in rush-hour traffic (for instance, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and
  • Working four 10-hour days per week.

Other creative options include job sharing with multiple part-time staffers or creating split shifts during the busiest periods.

Promote Career Development

Some people leave their jobs because they feel their careers have become stagnant. Proactive employers offer mentorship and sponsorship programs, as well as peer-to-peer coaching, to help employees develop their career paths. Many also offer outside educational opportunities, such as:

  • Professional seminars and conferences,
  • Continuing professional education, and
  • Employer-provided tuition programs.

By designing programs that help upskill and reskill your current employees, you may be able to bridge skills gaps within your organization. Plus, you’ll bolster morale and promote employee loyalty. Most educational program costs are also tax-deductible.

Add Caregiver Benefits

About one in five adults is acting as an unpaid family caregiver, according to reports by the American Association of Retired Persons and the National Alliance for Caregiving. Many employers lose workers who need to care for minor children or grandchildren — or elderly parents or other loved ones who are unable to care for themselves. Caregiving responsibilities also may lead to reduced productivity and absenteeism in the workplace.

Possible caregiver benefits include:

  • Medical referrals,
  • Backup child care, and
  • Access to caregiver programs.

For example, some organizations provide caregiving benefits that allow access to an expert care team of nurses, social workers and mental health professionals. Others offer caregiver assistance platforms that connect users to local resources and support programs. Some programs help members find support from licensed and certified care coaches.

Open an On-Site Day Care Center

Few employers currently offer on-site day care facilities. However, federal data indicates that, when companies provide child care, employee absences and job turnover decrease significantly. If running a care facility on-site seems too costly, there are simpler options to consider — such as child care stipends, referral supports and dependent care Flexible Savings Accounts.

What’s Right for Your Business?

The key to finding and keeping top talent is matching your job offers, compensation packages and benefits to what prospective and current employees value most. Surveying your employees can shed light on what’s likely to give you a competitive edge and make your company a desirable workplace. Contact your professional advisors to brainstorm ways to recruit and retain skilled workers.