When we see headlines like, record low employment, it is great news for job seekers and politics. However, a tightening job market can present a real challenge for employers. A smaller selection of employees means employers may need to consider special incentives, enticing perks, competitive pay, and may also come down to hiring a candidate that does not fully meet the expected criteria. This increases company costs and can mean a longer wait to find the best employees, which may also equate to temporary losses in productivity.
Parts of the U.S. are seeing some of the lowest unemployment rates in nearly 50 years. So now the ball is in the employee seekers court. This means employers need new strategies for finding the best employees for their business.
If you are an employer currently feeling the pinch, don’t panic. You have more tools and possibilities at your disposal than was available 50 years ago, namely the internet.
Reach out beyond your normal boundaries
You are no longer restricted to the local paper. With more global job posting sites such as Monster, Indeed, and linked-in you can seek out people in locations with higher unemployment rates that may be willing to re-locate for the right position in the right city or town.
Consider offering a re-location package to assist with moving costs and or referring them to a rental or real-estate agency that will assist your new hire in finding the right home in the optimal location.
Save overhead with remote office employees. The large brick and mortar offices with blocks of cubicles is disappearing. Nearly everyone in the US has access to a computer and the internet. Consider hiring you’re your technical staff to work from their own home. This model saves time with commuting delays, employees can still log in to work regardless of the weather, reduces office space needs as you won’t need to supply an office space with desk, phone, computer, lighting, restrooms or parking, reduces travel expenses for both employee and employers, a nice win-win option in the world of the “virtual office”.
Continuing Education Assistance
This is a great way to find new employees that don’t quite have the experience you are seeking but are willing to learn. Your initial investment will pay off in the long run knowing that your employees will be getting the education that will help you run your business.
Offer additional perks. An employee choosing you over another job can sometimes come down to some basic perks that provide added value to working for your company. For example:
- Free or discounted gym memberships
- Flexible schedule
- Paid lunch
- Commuter Assistance
- Employee discounts at work or local stores
The great thing with many of the above perks is, many other places, like the gym for example, will negotiate better pricing deals for sending your employees to them exclusively. These benefits offer something for everyone involved.
Nearshoring and Offshoring
More people are familiar with the term offshoring, which is having employees working for you from other countries. Some advantages are, these jobs are created in places with lower costs of living and therefore a lower rate of pay is offered. Overhead is often lower and some benefits, such as healthcare, workers compensation, and taxes can be reduced or avoided.
The downside of offshoring can be language barriers, different time zones, and it may be harder to manage quality at greater distances. Labor rates might be low but shipping rates could affect any savings, especially if you are a small business.
This current low rate of unemployment means that nearshoring has seen a rise recently in places such as Mexico. Nearshoring simply refers to working with and seeking employees that share a common boarder. This also means a closer relationship with working hours and an ability to travel easily to a relatively close location. The possibility of sharing the same language or having a larger probability of bilingual speakers makes communication a little easier too.
The discount rate of pay may not be as ideal as offshoring but ease of travel and having your employees in the same time zone or within an hour or two can be to your advantage when oversite is needed and where shipping is concerned.
Many US companies are seeking employees by nearshoring with Mexico. Some of the larger ones that you may be familiar with are: Hewlett Packard, IBM, and AT&T. This works well for these companies as the second most spoken language in the US is Spanish and finding bilingual speakers in Mexico is becoming more common. Additionally, these companies offer free language courses for their employees to create more bilingual speakers in their businesses.
Shipping from Mexico is simple. In many cases it is as fast as shipping anyplace in the US. So, if shipping is an important part of your business, nearshoring with Mexico may be perfect for you and a great resource for seeking employees in an area where unemployment and underemployment are greater than the US.
Go Find the Best Employees
The only real challenge in this current tight labor market is how far are you willing to reach for that new employee. Are you ready to think outside of your current framework? The internet has made the “virtual office” a real and functional model. Sending documents takes seconds, Conference lines allow for meetings that can connect your whole team regardless of where they live in the world.
Tight job markets create the need to break from “traditional” hiring approaches to seeking employees in a creative way, and may, in fact, create a better match than relying solely on some random algorithm of a job search program. So, don’t panic, get creative. Small and medium-sized enterprises have new opportunities to hire the right employees to keep growing beyond their expectations.