Key Strategies Offered for Attracting and Keeping Employees

Key Strategies Offered for Attracting and Keeping Employees

While the prospect of spending years trying to hire skilled workers during a labor shortage does not entice many employers, the task can be made easier by developing strong personnel practices.

So says Linda Leigh Francis, who spoke at a seminar at this year's Kitchen/Bath Industry Show (K/BIS) in Chicago. Her remarks were based on her book, Run Your Business So It Doesn't Run You.

Although experts estimate that the growing demand for skilled workers will exceed new people coming into the trades by two to one, Francis notes that certain personnel practices such as offering clear and accurate job descriptions, competitive wages tied to skill levels and an honest appreciation of an employee's work can benefit employers in their search.

Other key strategies offered by Francis include:

  • Keep who you have. Run a company that values its people and they'll know it. Make sure that the company meets more than the financial needs of its employees and shares its missions and goals. If you're only keeping people with money, there will always be a higher bidder. Go beyond the dollar and meet the other needs of your employees.
  • Grow your own. You can teach someone to learn a skill, but you can't teach them to be nice. When hiring, keep in mind the attributes that the company needs in an employee. You also should offer people a career path within your organization, both in terms of new skills and increased wages.
  • Attract people from other companies. Attract reliable employees with your reputation as an employer. If your company is known for being a great place to work, the word spreads. The kitchen and bath industry is small, and employees talk. They know who's worthwhile to work for and who's not. Good workers want to work for good companies. So when you advertise for employees, make sure the word on the street about you encourages people to apply.
  • Seek non-traditional employees. Consider hiring non-traditional employees, such as non-English-speaking immigrants. Make an investment in English as a second language training and you'll create a good and loyal employee. In addition, word travels fast, and your employees will be great recruiters for you. Make skills training, whether English or technical, a requirement of ongoing employment.

Finally, Francis notes, for long-term solutions, you, your trade associations, local schools and politicians should put time, money and effort into training programs to ensure the production of qualified, skilled workers.