Staffing and Unemployment

Staffing in the 3.8% Unemployment World

employmentAs you drive down any street over the last several months, almost every business has a Help Wanted sign outside. It’s the sign of the times. With the current low unemployment rate and the health business environment, businesses have a problem servicing their existing customers and growing new business. It is a different world from a few years ago and may require new ways of staffing.

Always Be Looking

In the past, when the need to hire occurred the business owner or hiremanager would either put out a help wanted sign or advertise on one of the social media sites such as Indeed, Facebook, Monster, Zip Recruiter, Career Builder, and many more. It is being found that all of these methods are producing few applicants and those who do apply lack the skills and attributes required.

How do you handle this new environment? Always be looking. Turnover should not be a surprise. Regardless of what a great business you are or what a great job you offer, people are going to leave. They may have to move because of the transfer of a spouse. They may have a relative in another city who requires their care. Even if you don’t need someone now, assume you will in the future. Attend chamber of commerce meetings. Talk to friends. Make friends. Join community business organizations, such as builder association or the restaurant association. They may not be the individual you hire, but may know someone who would be ofinterest. Don’t wait for the last minute. If you can’t afford to hire now, make a list of potential candidates for the future.

Another great source of candidates is referrals from your current employees. Employees tend to have friends and relatives who might be interested in a new job. Employees also do not want you to hire someone who will tarnish their own reputation. Be careful when hiring employee family or friends. Don’t hire someone who would create difficulty in terminating.

Don’t Hire Out of Desperation

Let’s not hire the first person who comes in the door and seems to be OK. Don’t just hire someone and see if they workout. Chances are they wouldn’t. Think of all the time required to recruit someone, interview them, hire them, and bring them on-board. Think of the time and cost involved. Do you want to do it over and over again?

Below is a link to a Power Point with audio entitled “Hiring the Right People”. Covers the development of a Job Specification and some tips on interviewing. To access open in a new window

Keeping Who You Have

staffingStudies have shown that the prime reason for an employee leaving a company is not money. Of course, if they are drastically underpaid relative to the local market that is not true. The prime reason is their boss or supervisor. If you are autocratic, you may find this hard to believe and might say, “Good riddance to bag trash”. You may be correct, but if you have a steady exodus of people it may be time to look in the mirror. This subject is covered in many books and articles, but consider these few ideas.

  • Be sure you exercise empathy in dealing with staff and employee. The word is empathy not sympathy. Empathy means that you take people into account when making a decision. Put yourself in their shoes.
  • Provide an opportunity for them to communicate with you. Have an open door policy and mean it.
  • Provide for regular feedback both positive and negative, but try to stress the positive.
  • Say, “good morning” every day. It may seem simple but it is a recognition of them as being important to the company effort.
  • Treat all people fairly and evenly. Don’t have favorites. Develop employment policies and stick with them.
  • Many of us live in a right to work state, which allows us to fire without cause. Although necessary, try not to exercise this practice too often.

This link will give you some additional ideas from Quint Studer

The days of 4.0 to 5.0 % unemployment will eventually return, but RLS Focused Solutions has a number of tools and processes that will help in your hiring, on-boarding and employee retention. Please consider our Complimentary Advisory Service: or email us at