What Does Today’s Supply and Demand Job Market Really Mean In The NOW Normal?
The supply and demand job market is demanding. While I was waiting for the red light to turn green, I noticed a sign by the side of the road stating, “Construction Jobs, $3500 Sign-Up Bonus”. A news channel reported that McDonald’s offers a $500 hiring bonus if new employees stay on for at least 90 days. What a crazy world we live in right now!
Employers, now more than ever, are facing the challenge of hiring, finding, and keeping good team members. The challenges start with getting people to apply for the open positions, to show up for job interviews, and ultimately stay on for the long-term – that is for more than seven days. Employers and job recruiters share this same frustration. It seems that conventional hiring practices are no longer working…unless the employer is willing to pay an above-average salary.
Many business owners are disappointed in some new hires because shortly after their onboarding, they decide to leave. Why do they leave? The employer down the street offers higher pay or better benefits. It took a store owner four months to find a sales associate. The new hire worked on a part-time basis on the weekends besides working full-time as an accountant during the week. After four weeks, he resigned. His reason was that he wanted to have more time off.
Basic market economics teaches us about the balance of supply and demand. As far as the job market goes, the job supply certainly outweighs the number of applicants. Companies are competing for applicants and have to be creative by offering incentives just to be considered by job seekers as potential employers. Prior to the COVID pandemic, applicants would compete over an available position and feel privileged to be receiving the job offer. In this post-COVID pandemic, the scales have shifted in the opposite direction.
Nonetheless, business owners and job recruiters should not get discouraged and stay true to their long-term standards. Stick to the hiring practices that have been working well and, if the budget allows, add an incentive to attract the appropriate job applicants. Implement an Employee Retention Program to motivate your staff to keep their employment with you. Employee Retention Programs include employee reward systems, morale-boosting and team-building assignments, and an adjusted wage structure. Within each component, employers can get creative and incorporate competitive games, brainstorming, idea sharing, and/or bonuses. New employees will learn about the Employee Retention Program during their onboarding and realize right away that this is an employer who cares about the staff and is worth staying on for the long run.
Ultimately, unemployment benefits will expire at the end of September, and people will need to get back to work. At that point, the scales for supply and demand will shift again. It is hard to predict how far they will shift; however, we know that there will be at least a healthy, economical balance that reenters the job market where employers and job seekers have options and an effective way to fill positions. Patience is a virtue is this NOW Normal. As hard as it is…we are all on the same playing field. Practice patience!