Businesses across the nation are struggling to fill open positions. For many reasons, millions of workers are choosing to remain on the sidelines. This new post-COVID-19 labor gap presents unique challenges for business leaders and hiring managers as the economic recovery ramps up. Given these obstacles how should healthcare providers approach recruiting, retention, and search in this new economy?
Proactively Reward Performance
Look proactively at your pay-scale for top performers. Salaries need to reflect the current market, and right now the market is trending higher. Reviewing salaries helps ensure your employees know you respect them and appreciate their hard work. There are data sources to help determine fair market compensation values but stay away from those that do not know your industry and may be out only to capture your data.
A signing bonus can be a good tool, but it needs to be structured appropriately. Tying the bonus to longevity rather than the initial signing is a good idea. Paying out the bonus over a period of 6 to 12 months is a common practice. A retention bonus works best when something is happening in the market or internally with the business. Transitions, internal events, and other milestone moments are usually the trigger. Offering a retention bonus to an employee searching for new roles is a mistake. If an employee is planning to leave, congratulate them and move on. A bonus of this nature will not buy a long-term commitment. The exception to this rule is performance. If an employee is at the high-end of the pay-scale, a bonus can be a strong reward without pushing them beyond the desired compensation scale. If current employees can help with recruiting, a referral bonus can be valuable. If an employee provides a good referral, they should be rewarded. It is best to exclude your management team from this practice.
Sometimes a search firm is the best solution. If you do not have the time it takes to find a good candidate, the search firm can be your friend. If you need a candidate with specific skills, search can be the most convenient and quickest way to find that person. Of course, search costs money, but if you need to find a needle in a haystack it might be the right answer. Search can also result in a slate of candidates you can stay in contact with and nurture over time for future openings.
The pandemic prevented networking for over a year, meaning we are all behind. As the world opens back up, remember to think about attending conferences, meeting new people, and understanding the market. Networking is ongoing and vital to hiring success.
Attracting Passive Candidates
Word of mouth and internal referrals can be the best way to attract a passive jobseeker. They may not be looking, but possess a specific skill or relationship making them valuable. They may not be in the market, but a conversation can pull them in. Be cautious of having too many internal referrals as a group of existing friends can create a negative or unproductive environment for other employees.
Questions remain about the future of the workplace as well as the nation’s economic recovery. While the dust settles, it is best to be proactive with your current staff and educate your management team on the available tools and practices to maintain your workforce. While the outlook on recruiting is also uncertain, flexibility and the ability to move quickly to cover your immediate business needs will always pay dividends.
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