Hurting for Talent? Here’s What You Can Do About It.

Hurting for Talent? Here’s What You Can Do About It.

Unemployment is at an all-time low.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the national average is now 3.7% which is the lowest rate since 1969.  That means there’s some facts you are going to have to face:

  1. Employees are going to be hard to come by for probably the next 2-5 years
  2. Good candidates have more choices where to go
  3. Pay matters – top talent will cost you more.  Even average doesn’t come cheap
  4. If you are unwilling to change your business you will be unable to meet staffing needs


I recently stopped for lunch.  This was a popular chain restaurant. Don’t hold it against me; I had only a few minutes to grab a bite to eat.  I walked up to the front door and it was locked.  At noon.  They were only serving through the drive-thru and had a large sign posted by the front entrance, “Accepting Applications.  Starting pay up to $14/hr.”  Without enough staff they did the only thing they could do to keep the lights on by sending everyone through the drive up window.  I went somewhere else.

Based on what I’m hearing from clients and others my experience is not unique.  Companies are turning down business  in some cases when they don’t have the capacity to fill client needs.  I know of several businesses scaling back growth plans because of hiring not demand.

As a business owner you must face the reality it’s a buyer’s market.  Employees are holding the cards and if you want good talent you are going to have to change your game to get it.

  • Create Opportunity – Too often people are hired to fill a particular task without much concern about their professional growth.  Either accept the position you are hiring for is a stepping stone to greater opportunity or you will be looking for a new hire again within a year or two.
  • Build Communication – Feedback is important.  Communication is necessary.  Expect an employee’s desire to get regular progress feedback from you.  Make yourself available.
  • Empower – The members of your team want some autonomy.  Give them greater responsibility and influence with the success of your business.  Not only do they want to know they are doing good, they also want to make a positive impact on the success of the business.
  • Reward – You get what you pay for.  Your payroll is an investment in growth and profit.  Neither will exist if you aren’t willing to allocate resources to getting top talent.
  • Break the Generational Ceiling – You are missing opportunities if you are unwilling to hire more experienced candidates.  Stop assuming younger team candidates will be cheaper and stick around longer.  There are many mature job seekers who have a wealth of knowledge and can apply that experience day one.
  • Hire the Already Employed – The best workers are the ones who are working.  If you want good talent you need to get the word out to the people who are working and not actively seeking.  If you have addressed the other points above you can make a case for a potential employee to interview with you.
  • Sell the Vision – Who doesn’t want to be part of something exciting.  Know your Vision and the future you are trying to create. Share that opportunity with others and get them to see themselves as part of it.

These points are key to addressing the labor shortage.  Assess your current business environment and see what you need to change.  Do it right and you could have employees beating down your door for their next career move.


Want help?  IDI can work with you to determine what you need to change to be an employer of choice.  We can also coach you how to create a growth business that is capable of thriving in times of change.  Contact us today at 800-795-9611 to schedule an appointment and learn more.