Hiring in this Full Employment Economy
A short while back my clients and others in business were focused on one thing that was most important, time. My time is getting away from me, I’m not as productive as I use to be and I have other interests but can’t squeeze them in. That was easy enough to address once we focused on self-management and not time management and not allowing the internet, social media, technology and others to eat our time.
Fast forward. I just read where a local restaurant is closing because of staffing obstacles. By far, the number one greatest concern today is staffing. Clients and others cannot find qualified applicants, cannot find the new team members to fill constantly open positions and cannot properly recruit regardless of the experience level. Folks, this is a full employment economy. We’ve been here before and we wanted it to be like this.
Let me explain. Yes we have 4 percent unemployment. There will always be 4 percent of the eligible population that no one will hire due to many issues related to unreliability including mental illness, drug addiction, transportation and work ethic.
So this requires the savvy entrepreneur to be more creative. You built this cash cow to support your life. So consider this one strategy; raise your prices.
The people you need to hire are already employed. If they are not employed there is a reason. If you raise prices to cover the new labor costs you can afford to offer better pay, better benefits and signing bonuses. Then you can go out and steal the best employees from other industries and maybe your competitors. Pay and benefits are the only reasons someone who is employed will leave their current position short of having a horrible boss.
You and your customers are accustomed to price rises. It has happened dozens of times over the last decades. I’m willing to bet your vendors and suppliers have already raised your prices and you are paying it without question. Yet, you are recoiling at the fear of losing customers. Guess what? The ones you will lose are your “D” grade customers who beat you up every day and would leave you in a heartbeat. Your best customers will stay with you. You will never lose enough business to make a negative impact on your profitability. Besides, if you provide premium products and services along with premium customer service then you are permitted to charge premium prices. You had better be good at what you deliver.
But here’s the part that many fail to implement. You must also add some additional perceived value. You can’t just raise prices; people will see through that. Add something that is very low cost to you but has a perceived value to the customer. Deliver something, save someone time, throw in something, beautify the surroundings or send out a personalized gift. Lots of options. Understand too, there is more than one strategy to raising price than just bumping everything up.
Back to hiring. You may think this is funny but in a recent conversation with my friend John Fletcher, owner of Carolina Bromanite Corporation, a concrete finishing company in Charlotte, we shared how we placed ads in the norther tier of states for qualified recruits. I did the same when I was in operations at Sears Home Services and needed techs. They’ve come off a bitter winter up there. How many do you think would make a move to the Charlotte region? The correct answer is, “all of them.”
Take action today on correctly raising your prices so you can cover the new cost of labor.
Now Go Run a Lap!! Business is Fun.
Tony Marder is a Gastonia resident and President of ASM Ventures Corporation. His clients are family businesses and their teams who need to develop and implement new strategies to make more profit. You can reach him for questions or comments at www.enjoyingyourbusiness.com.