According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, in July 2022, there were 11.2 million job openings. Businesses are doing everything they can to get someone to apply for their jobs, particularly if it is an office job, or requires physically being at work. High schools are having to drop offered classes, just because there aren’t teachers willing to work.
In the past, the demand for work was relatively steady with wages and competition driving the market. Today, another aspect is changing how people choose to work: working virtually and self-employment.
The simple solution would be to raise wages. However, for many businesses, that simply isn’t a possibility, especially for a starting wage. There are perks that can help, and some of them may not be as obvious as an employer may think.
Free Goods and Services
There is a reason why every storefront at a mall has an advertisement somewhere that says “FREE.” People love the idea of receiving things for free. In fact, a study was done that showed that people responded better to a “Buy two get one free” than a “40% off sale.”
The 40% deal is a much better choice when you break it down. Yet, people responded better to the “FREE” advertising.
The same is true with employees. Whether it is having a free snackbar, free lunch on Fridays, or free tickets to a game once a month, people are drawn to jobs that offer free goods and services. Employees are also less inclined to leave for another job if they know their free snacks will not be available at another job, even if their pay raise would be more than enough to buy the same snacks.
Care and Appreciation
People may claim not to care, but everyone loves some recognition. Feeling appreciated and wanted is a very powerful emotion and leads to loyalty and pride at work. It may seem tough to convey this message to a candidate who doesn’t know anything about the company; however, never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth advertising. Simple acts of caring at work get talked about, and before long, the company will have a good reputation.
Showing care and appreciation should not be forced. It can be intentional and direct. Some simple and intentional examples include monthly one-on-one meetings, dropping off occasional gifts, giving shoutouts in weekly staff emails, putting up an accomplishment board for everyone to see, or having office/business parties.
Set Up Goals and Rewards
Having direct goals and rewards is an excellent method to have candidates apply and stay interested in working for a company. In a study conducted by Lifexchange, they found that nine out of ten people would be willing to leave for another job within a month of starting. One way to prevent this from happening is to have clear goals and rewards.
The most obvious one is a bonus or pay raise. Pay raises may seem like a tough pill to swallow from an employer, but if an employee meets certain goals, isn’t their value worth more anyway? At worst, it is better than wasting time trying to search and hire another employee.
Other bonuses that future or new employees love include vacation days, leaving the office early on Fridays, getting a new or more office space to work, or better hours.
Similar to caring and being intentional, these need to be profitable and worth it.