Recruiting Quality Employees In A Tight Marketplace

Author:Marie Milie Jones Esq
Profession:Meyer Darragh Buckler Bebenek & Eck P.L.L.C.

Free agency in athletics; the Silicon Valley explosion; a booming economy; mergers and acquisitions - any one of these could be utilized as reasons for why hiring has become difficult in today's employment market. Considering these together gives a clearer picture as to why recruiting and hiring have become a more daunting task for employers. Competition for quality positions is high yet available quality workers are few. Drive down the road today, and you will see "Help Wanted" signs. The difficulty and "tightness" of today's hiring market is unlike one seen in many years. Where do you find qualified employees? Public employers are faced with similar issues. Can you offer competitive salaries to keep good workers? Do hiring standards need to be lowered in order to find employees? This article will attempt to highlight how some of the issues facing today's employers can be addressed to fill needed positions and provide proper service in county government.

A strong economy often signals a tight employment market. While the reason for this hiring difficulty comes from a strong or positive foundation, the reality faced by county employers raises concerns. A strong economy means employers are paying higher wages in an effort to attract new recruits and to retain experienced employees. When fewer people are available to compete for positions, an employer must offer incentives to attract new employees and to retain current employees. Certainly, compensation through salary is one place to look. However, budgets often limit the ability to increase salaries for certain positions. Other innovative benefits to enhance the compensation package can be utilized.

One method to attract quality individuals relates to offering solid benefit packages. Healthcare benefits for a municipal entity, which might have the opportunity of pooling of resources with other municipal entities, may be better than those provided by a private company which cannot afford to spend more dollars on healthcare. Providing options in payment for unused vacation or sick days might be an incentive to an employee, particularly one who has good experience with limited work loss. Offering childcare opportunities, perhaps through a county-related service or agency, may be a benefit that the private sector could not afford to provide or would not have as an available option. Suggesting that current employees will be rewarded for finding new employees who stay on the job...

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