Matt Jacobson, a paralegal research analyst with Brann & Isaacson—a Maine-based employment law firm—answers the following question from a Maine employer and offers four insights on how to attract and retain workers.
Q. With U.S. unemployment rates bottoming out in the low single digits, it’s harder and harder to find and retain good employees. Aside from higher pay and flexible hours, can you as an employment law attorney recommend anything we can do to make our workplace culture and policies more attractive to job candidates?
A. The labor market certainly is tight here in Maine, and in many other states, but there are several creative approaches you can take to attract and retain top talent. Below are some suggestions worth considering.
1. Show Your Appreciation for Your Employees.
No business can have success without the collective efforts of all of its employees. Taking a moment to recognize an employee’s contributions with a thank-you note or a superlative award shows that you value the individual’s work and creates a happy work environment that others will want to join.
Providing rewards to employees for their performance or years of service also can boost morale and improve the workplace culture. The gifts don’t need to be extravagant or complicated to be effective.
For example, you could implement a policy where employees can nominate a coworker for a coffee-shop gift card when the individual has gone the extra mile.
2. Increase Public Awareness of Your Business.
Try applying for a “best employer” award in your state. The awards can boost the public’s awareness about your company, increasing the chances that a top potential applicant will be aware of your business. Getting a work group to participate in a community service project also can bring good press about your business to potential employees.
3. Advertise Openings on Job Boards, Social Media, and Your Company Website.
You also can encourage employees to advertise a new job opening by offering incentives for each candidate they refer.
4. Emphasize the Benefits of Working in Your State and Your Local Community.
Employers should emphasize all the amazing opportunities that surround them. For example, Maine employers should emphasize the scenic surroundings and the low cost-of-living compared to many other places.
Highlight your community’s unique features, such as strong public schools or a vibrant arts scene. Relatedly, you can retain employees by partnering with civic organizations for community events and volunteer work. That way, your employees will feel that by working for you, they also have a chance to improve their community.
By taking the above tips into consideration, you’ll be able to attract and retain workers in no time!