Business is roaring back across the country, and companies are hiring. Now if employers could just find—and keep—good workers.
The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tells the tale: 9.2 million job openings as of the end of May, nearing the highest overall number of available jobs since the bureau began tracking the data in 2000.
"Finding good people is the most consistent challenge we have been hearing from our clients for years, even before the pandemic," said Mark Wade, executive director of commercial banking for BOK Financial®.
The competition for talent means employers of all sizes are getting creative on the staffing front. BOK Financial's newest resource, Labor Pains: Recruiting and Retaining Talent, helps businesses illuminate areas of opportunity and ways to attract the best employees.
"Considering that the economy is picking up steam at a vigorous pace and consumers are ready to spend money, staffing has really become a huge challenge for many businesses as they work to keep pace," said Wade.
Consider these recent reports:
- The Microsoft 2021 Work Trend Index reports that 41% of people around the world are considering leaving their jobs. In the report, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, "Over the past year, no area has undergone more rapid transformation than the way we work."
- On the flip side, LinkedIn's Jobs on the Rise report, a January 2021 list of the most sought-after positions, tracked a shift in the types of positions available. Jobs in high demand reflect the enormous boom in e-commerce, propelling the need for more drivers and package handlers—not to mention the digital marketers, web developers and content producers fueling our scrolling culture.
With so many companies seeking employees, it's a competitive environment to find good people.
"With social media and the digital world, it is very easy for everyone to hear about every job at every organization," said Roxanna Maciel, director of talent acquisition and attraction at BOK Financial. "If I'm trying to attract talent, I'm competing not only with companies that sit next door to us or in our industry. We're competing for top talent with everyone in a global world."
Experts have a variety of ideas on how to make your company stand out.
Creating and promoting one's corporate culture is an integral part of recruiting. For businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees, strength can come from the relative intimacy inside the organization. Even in a digital world, some employees are comfortable in smaller environments where they don't feel like a number.
While small and midsized employers may not have huge HR departments or chief diversity officers, they should nevertheless make a concerted effort to recruit diverse candidates and publicize that fact widely.
"Instead of thinking about cultural fit, I like to think of it as additive to our culture," says Keri Gavin, a partner and director of the Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Practice at executive search firm Hanold Associates. "There's something to be said about different perspectives, whether it's diversity, ethnicity, tenure, thought or socioeconomic status. How can they help us be a better organization?"
In addition to considerations around culture fit, employees are more likely to leave if they don't feel like their organization is meeting their needs in areas such as health and well-being, work-life balance, and personal development, according to an April 2021 report on predictors of employee turnover by Quantum Workplace.
"A myriad of factors had a detrimental effect on mental health during the pandemic, be it feelings of isolation or balancing too much, plus the added strain of caring for children or aging parents while working from home," said Kelley Weil, chief human resources officer at BOK Financial.
"As we start to look forward, companies should be making an investment in benefits that will lighten the load: things like child and elder care reimbursements, and access to mental health providers through insurance plans."
BOK Financial's Labor Pains report digs into these perspectives and more, including the value of everything from ensuring your culture embraces diversity, inclusion and equity to engaging your current employees to be talent scouts.