Is your company struggling to fill open positions? Are you having difficulties retaining employees? If you answered yes to either (or both) of these questions, you’re not alone. With unemployment being the lowest it’s been in the last twenty years, job seekers have taken back control in where they want to work. This has caused many companies to update or outright fix their hiring methods to better fit today’s environment. For a more detailed and in-depth approach to improving your hiring, we’ll take a look at a few of the most common staffing problems and the steps that can be taken to fix them.
Opting to hire only full-time employees or only temporary workers each brings their own set of complications. By hiring full-time, permanent employees, you will be aiming to provide a stable work environment that will lead to greater productivity in the long run. However, using this hiring method takes more time, has higher costs and can lead to a workplace that has limited flexibility.
Looking at the other option, the flexibility benefits and expected lower costs you get with temporary workers may come at a price. With a higher likelihood of turnover, you could have low employee morale and productivity.
Choosing a structure that employs both direct hire and temporary workers can greatly benefit most companies. You’ll get the needed stability and flexibility that will allow your business to run efficiently.
Similar to the hiring structure, there are two sides to staffing levels, being understaffed and being overstaffed.
Most companies don’t realize that they are overstaffed until it is too late. Unfortunately, if you have to lay people off, it can have a negative effect on morale. To determine if your company is overstaffed, you’ll have to take a big picture look from a few perspectives.
You can look at the employees - are they staying busy or is there a lot of standing around? Don’t forget to consider whether this standing around could be linked to the annual “slow season” or if there is something bigger. Another place to look is at the company’s financial information. If you notice that labor costs are on the rise while sales have stagnated, you’ll want to examine closer and see if overstaffing could be a cause.
If you’re able to determine that there is overstaffing, layoffs should be the last resort. Look for areas of the business that you can move people around to or offer the opportunity for reduced hours.
On the other side is understaffing. For a growing business, any overstaffing issues will be temporary; finding new workers will end up being your main concern. Despite that need for more employees, taking on additional labor costs and the fear of overstaffing cause many businesses to put too much on their current employees. For the sporadic increases in business, this can be a good strategy. However, when job duties become overwhelming and overtime becomes excessive and mandatory, employees will become frustrated and burnt out.
It has become increasingly difficult to find quality employees. This is further amplified when you need employees to cover a last minute project. If you expect an increase in workload due to the season or holidays, be prepared for it and take the necessary steps to get the job information out to candidates sooner rather than later. Urgent needs can increase the pressure to speed up the whole recruitment and hiring process and managers often do not have a significant amount of time to dedicate toward properly recruiting and screening candidates in the first place. This will open the door for errors, potentially hiring workers who are unqualified or a poor fit. You’ll want to have a dedicated individual or team that can sift through resumes and pick out the best candidates.
With the improving economy, you may find your company opening new locations or expanding into new territories. Unless you’re a national company with a well-known brand, it can be hard to attract candidates right away. Granted, you’ll have done research on the area before making this move with the assumption that workers will be available but until you get in there and start the hiring process, you won’t know for certain. One way to offset this concern is to ask current employees about their opinions on relocation. If you can get a group of employees to make the move and help in setting up and operating the new location, it will make the entire process much smoother. If the relocation option doesn’t work out, consider consulting with local community organizations to get a feel for the area and the workers that are available.
Hiring is a complicated process, reach out your local QPS branch or visit our Employers page to learn more on how we can help with your staffing needs!