If you are a business owner and haven’t already experienced it, get ready for your employment costs to increase. Especially if you employ skilled workers. While the U.S. is not quite at full employment and still not experiencing the kind of robust recovery we had hoped for, the economy has quietly continued to create jobs. The result is fewer available candidates and new upward pressure on wages. See the Bloomberg article.
Many companies had been able to satisfy their needs by utilizing part-time and contract employees. However, there are fewer people to fill those kinds of positions as they have been snatched up by companies offering full-time employment and the benefits that come with full-time employment.
Additionally there is an increase in the use of signing bonuses to attract new employees. Some of my clients are increasing their use of referral fees; fees paid to current employees to refer new workers to the business.
The immediate call to action is to ensure your company’s budget adequately provides for increased labor costs; not only wages, but acquisition costs. In my discussions with corporate recruiters I am struck by the 180 degree shift from trying to convince businesses to hire great candidates to trying to find great candidates to fill open positions.
Beyond the budget activity, the real work of finding, hiring and retaining good employees will again be a challenge for business.