One of the biggest challenges facing employers over the past few years has been finding employees. This has been true for employers of all sizes and in most industries. The Midway, a community with a longtime industrial history, a booming nonprofit sector, and a major retail corridor, is no exception. While the pandemic didn’t help this situation, demographers have predicted a staffing shortage since the 1990s as many baby boomers retire.
What can be done? To be successful in attracting and retaining employees, an organization must be forward-thinking and open-minded. And this goes for both attracting and retaining workers.
Ramsey County is fortunate to be the most diverse county in Minnesota. As all communities become more diverse, having a plan in place to become an inclusive employer will help create a culture to attract more job candidates and can give that employer a leg up on the competition.
One helpful resource is the Ramsey County Inclusive Workplaces Cohort that is sponsored by the Workforce Innovation Board. This is an annual group of small to mid-sized employers engaging in extended executive coaching. Employers participate in a peer learning community with the goal of advancing equity and inclusion in their organizations. In partnership with the Center for Economic Inclusion, the cohort experience creates a learning environment which fosters discussion and sharing of ideas, while encouraging accountability through safe and brave spaces for confidentiality.
When an employer tells me they are struggling to find job applicants, I ask them how they are promoting their job openings. Often times they tell me they are looking the same places they always do. This makes sense in that it’s what they know and has possibly always worked for them. But if they are struggling to find new applicants, it is important to think of new ways to look.
One way can be a job fair. You are coming directly to where there are job seekers, and you have an opportunity to talk with them prior to the interview process. A job seeker going to a job fair is also showing initiative by taking the time to go to the fair. Ramsey County is hosting a job fair in the parking lot at Allianz Field on June 29. This is the third year they have held a job fair at that site and the first year (2021) there were over 300 people in attendance with around 30 employers.
Once an employee is hired, it is also important to create a culture they want to stay in. With a tough job market and a low unemployment rate, we see many employers lose their workers to another place in their same industry who can offer a slightly better package. That better package used to mostly mean better pay, but more and more is now also referring to the other benefits such as flexibility. Does the job offer a hybrid work model? What about the time off policy?
For employers wondering how to create culture in a workplace, the Midway Chamber’s annual Leadership Summit is June 21 and features Rosie Ward, co-founder, Salveo Partners, LLC. Rosie’s speech is titled “Become an Irresistible Employer by Rehumanizing Your Workplace.” Anyone interesting in attending can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Running a business or nonprofit has always had its set of challenges; today, the workforce shortage is one of the biggest. Thankfully there are ways employers can gain insight and become a more attractive workplace.
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