Jeffrey, a manager at a call center in Oregon, updates us on his efforts to take creative steps to recruit employees amid a severe shortage in talent.
The tight labor market is getting tighter, but we’re making some progress in finding promising job candidates and bringing them aboard. With customer orders surging, beefing up our staff is becoming a top priority.
We still pay about 20 percent above the minimum wage for entry-level employees. But we’ve started working with a benefit consultant to identify what he calls “differentiators,” or perks that really set us apart from other employers.
For example, we’re now allowing workers to bring their pets to the office. They love it! We also hold drawings every week for any employee who qualifies. Anyone who attains relatively easy weekly production goals (based on attendance, number of calls processed, etc.) gets to put their name in a hat on Friday. We pick a few winners who get $50 gift cards to local merchants.
These kind of low-cost things seemed silly to me at first when the benefit guy proposed them. But I’m pleasantly surprised by how our employees have responded.
Also, it looks like we’re about to pay our first $750 referral bonus to an employee. One of our best people referred a friend six months ago who’s working out great. Our policy is if the new hire is here for six months, the referring employee gets the cash.
Our benefit consultant told me the other day that waiting six months to pay the bonus may dissuade employees from referring others. He urged me to consider paying a portion of the money upfront and I’m mulling that idea.