Practically every service-oriented business in Bucks County is hiring. Yet, as we come out of the pandemic many are struggling to find employees.
The job market has changed tremendously since March 2020. Employees have normalized working remotely and attending virtual meetings. Companies are seeing office space as an unnecessary expense. I foresee a sharp downturn in business travel post-pandemic as people have connected to teams and across continents via Zoom.
Positions at restaurants, or working in skilled labor trades such as HVAC, plumbing or electrical do not fit that ever-popular remote model.
Your business may be looking to hire new employees or expand operations post-pandemic. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Effectively getting the job opening in front of your audience can not be overstated. Besides sharing by word of mouth and social media, I recommend reaching out to like-minded industry specialists, or seeking out associations in your wheelhouse to share career opportunities.
Finding candidates is easy compared to hiring and retaining the cream of the crop. For the most part, many of the job openings which are hardest to fill do not necessarily offer career advancement or growth opportunities. If this is true of your company’s employment opportunities, you may want to consider incentives to attract and retain your ideal employees. Some perks could include the ability to work from home (if possible), a sign-on bonus, or a bonus plan, as well as a continuing educational benefit.
In addition to incentivizing career opportunities, employers may wish to protect themselves and staff from future COVID-19 outbreaks. While certainly understandable, an employer can not legally ask a job candidate or employee if they have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Instead, companies can engage in conversation with job candidates and discuss how they managed through the pandemic: Were they working, not working, or working remotely? From your conversation you may be able to gauge whether the individual took COVID-19 seriously and followed precautions.
While many of the COVID-19 masking and social distancing protocols have since gone by the wayside, I am seeing companies cautiously inching forward. For the most part, many are staying status quo until October or November to see if they can make it through summer without incident. I do not envision businesses reopening the way it was pre-pandemic until sometime in 2022.
Regardless of when your business resumes normal operations, the state and federal government is offering a variety of loans to help offset lost revenue and aid in job creation.
Even prior to the pandemic, small companies often struggled with the staggering cost of providing health insurance to employees. With a little collaboration, those costs can be reined in. To get the most bang for your buck, I have seen companies create consortiums to save on insurance costs. For instance, a group of nurseries across the country had 20 to 30 employees per location. By joining together, the consortium represented 300 employees from all locations and gave the company greater buying power, which saved money. If your company is not part of a franchise or a business with multiple locations, another idea is to reach out to companies that are similar in nature to your company and see if you can create a consortium.
Any business owner interested in having a conversation about hiring should attend my free SCORE Bucks County webinar, “Employees and Small Businesses” on July 21. I will share guidance on best practices and answer questions.
To arrange a SCORE mentoring session call 215-943-8850 or visit https://buckscounty.score.org/.