SAN FRANCISCO — A Feb. 10 USA Today headline read Job Hires, Quits Swell to Nine-Year Highs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report the day the article was published, job openings in the U.S. jumped to 5.6 million from 5.3 million a year earlier.
The number of hires rose to 5.4 million from 5.3 million – the highest since 2006. Furthermore, there were only 1.4 unemployed workers for each job opening, down from a high of 6.7 in 2009. A 2-to-1 ratio is considered a healthy labor market. The number of employees quitting jobs is also at a high since 2006, indicating confidence in the ability to land a new job.
According to a Jan. 12 Gallup Business Journal story by Brandon Riggoni and Baily Nelson, “55% of managers and workers are considering a new company.”
This more active job movement and the increasingly dynamic labor market is also starting to push up wages. Despite the indication of a more robust economy, in our labor-dependent fabricare industry, this is less than stellar news. It can be a sharp, double-edged sword. It indicates better sales but also an increase on your highest expense.
Question to consider: Do you offer profit sharing to put your employee motivation on the same side of the P&L as the company?
In a Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey, 62% of millennials and 53% of all generations ranked work environment as important to their job satisfaction. A poor work environment slows productivity and often prompts moves to a new job, increasing turnover, which costs your business money. It can damage your reputation among current and former employees, which often reaches customers as well.
TOP FIVE ENGAGEMENT FACTORS
The top two (and three of the top five) engagement factors that were most important to employees on the SHRM survey have to do with individual goals. Autonomy to take action also ranked in the top five. The results by percentile are:
I am confident I can meet my work goals (92%).
I am determined to accomplish my work goals (88%).
I have a clear understanding of my organization’s vision/mission (76%).
I am highly motivated by my work goals (74%).
In my organization, employees are encouraged to take action when they see a problem or opportunity (68%).
Questions to consider: Do you give each of your team members individual and/or group goals? Do you give them the authority to act when there is a problem or opportunity?
MORE EFFECTIVE RECRUITMENT
In a tight job market, it is tempting to hire the first candidate that might be able to do the job. Resist that temptation.
Better hiring starts with a clear description of all that the job entails and a list of the skills and attributes needed in that position to excel and reach the goals of the job and the company. Weigh the attributes heavily since hiring for attitude and aptitude has been a successful approach. Be objective and try to clone your best performers.
The norm is to hire (and also retain) someone similar to the interviewer and someone that the interviewer likes and relates to regardless of the requirements for the position. This method is a high contributor to turnover and failure. Hire and retain for competence and success.
Approach to consider: Group interviews are being used effectively to identify the best person for the job. If you haven’t used this technique, you will be pleasantly surprised at the results.
All of the topics relating to recruitment, retention, engagement and turnover are important and extensive enough to explore in great depth. Walk through your entire operation with objectivity and determine if it is an appealing place to work.
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Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].