Jeffrey, a manager at a call center in Oregon, says his goal is to take creative steps to recruit employees amid a severe shortage in talent.
We operate in a tight labor market and we're desperate to find and keep decent employees. Our ability to grow is limited by the lack of skilled workers available.
For years, we've paid 20 percent above the minimum wage for entry-level employees. But we're finding that some promising candidates are turning us down because they're finding better pay elsewhere.
We can't increase our pay rate much beyond what we currently offer. We've also streamlined our business so there's almost no inefficiency left to squeeze out of our system.
What's strange is the national unemployment rate just rose to 5.1 percent and 80,000 jobs were slashed in March, the most in five years. I guess we're in a different world here!
I've taken measures to attract quality people. First, I promised to pay $500 to any employee who referred a successful candidate. Then I raised it to $750. I'm still waiting to make the first payment; apparently, our workers don't know people to recommend.
We've also established an innovative deal with a local temp agency. Instead of signing the standard contract with them, I negotiated an arrangement in which we can hire their best temps without paying exorbitant agency fees. Instead, we'll barter by offering our services to them at a significant discount.
What's frustrating is that I occasionally see the resume of one of my employees posted online. I wonder if we're ever going to get and keep a good team.
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