Charn McAllister, a management professor at Northern Arizona University’s Franke College of Business, says the pandemic delivered a one-two punch. “The losses suffered by most people reminded them of their own mortality and they had time on their hands to think about what mattered to them.”
McAllister sees more employees who want to work for organizations doing good in their communities and the world, a trend he says savvy leaders will integrate into their business practices to potentially aid in recruitment and retention.
Companies offering staffing help are especially busy this fall. In Arizona, employees of Express Employment Professionals talk to hundreds of would-be workers each week, looking for good candidates for the state’s prospering economy.
Daria Orozco, an owner of one of Arizona’s nine Express offices, says the high demand for employees comes at a time when people are taking themselves out of the workforce either temporarily or permanently.
“Employers need to listen to the call of what employees are wanting,” said Orozco. “For a lot of companies, that means reevaluating their compensation plans to attract new workers.”
The pandemic also has created additional remote work possibilities, a movement employers can embrace to become competitive, added Orozco.
Another primary piece of advice she offers is for businesses to increase the amount of training for employees. “There could be a candidate who has all the soft skills, but if the company doesn’t have a training program in place to help that person get the [additional] skills needed, the company is not hiring that candidate.”
Like Orozco, McAllister sees additional training options as pivotal, especially for people who have potential to succeed. “If those employees do excel, offer opportunities for them to grow as professionals, whether that be increased levels of responsibility or by earning external credentials,” said McAllister, who adds that companies committed to employees’ growth may be rewarded with greater loyalty.
Retaining employees is especially important in this competitive hiring environment.
“Organizations need to look at why employees are leaving, if they are leaving, and close that back door,” said Orozco. Offering leadership training to managers could be a key to keeping good people, she added.
The problem facing employers trying to recruit talent is not going away, Orozco predicts. “Employees want more from their jobs than they did before the pandemic, and employers who are listening are the ones who will continue to grow during this time.”
Ironically, Orozco’s company, Express Employment Professionals, is looking to expand in Prescott and Flagstaff, dependent on qualified, would-be franchisees.
Citing a robust economy, Baby Boomer retirements, and Arizona’s unprecedented business growth, Orozco sees her company and other staffing agencies continuing to thrive in the long term. QCBN
By Theresa Bierer, QCBN