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Attracting Top Talent: Managing tight corporate budgets in a tight labour market

Ask any executive or people manager what their number one organizational challenge is and most of them will respond with “people”.

Some say many of the good employees have gone elsewhere and others will say that current wage rates are too high for many positions. The reality is that the national unemployment rate has held steady at 5.0% for the fifth consecutive month and remains near generational lows achieved last summer.

These historically low numbers, coupled with high wage growth and inflation have left many employers searching to hire quality employees without having the money to pay them the premium that some industries can demand. Not all hope is lost though – and tight corporate budgets don’t mean the end of hiring and growth, they just increase the need for creativity to find and hire great employees. 

Employee Retention: Career development plans and additional job training

Tight labour markets create a premium on employee retention since keeping employees happy and engaged decreases the likelihood that they’ll leave and need to be replaced (often at an even higher cost). By offering career development plans, employers can show employees a path to growth, both within their organization professionally and personally via upskilling and individual coaching, resulting in longer employee tenures and move valuable job performance.

Here are 4 ways that employers can attract and hire top talent, even with budget constraints:

  1. Flexible work arrangements

Among other things, the pandemic taught us that hybrid work arrangements are preferred by the majority of employees as they can provide a better work-life balance for employees and higher output for employers. Although not all roles can be fulfilled in a remote setting, finding a functional middle ground with employees can be vital to hiring and retention numbers. Flexible work arrangements are one of the most successfully negotiated contract points in employment contracts today for many professional workers.

  1.   Transportation Credit

For roles that have in-person requirements or employers that prefer in-office working, a common perk is the offer of transportation credit. This can be in the form of mileage reimbursement, subsidized parking, public transit passes or even company-paid vehicles.

  1.   Equity and profit-sharing

For start-ups, offering company shares is commonplace for many roles and can be quite lucrative for employees while saving short-term costs for employers. Offering share option programs or direct equity can be a way to entice employees in tight labour markets and de-risk overpaying for poor performance. Even at established companies, equity can be set aside for senior executives to compensate them for strong performance while saving on salary cost premiums.

  1.   Additional leave

Naturally, vacation days are a common negotiated perk for many companies. Vacation entitlements can correspond with seniority and tenure, providing key employees with a better work-life balance. Thinking beyond traditional vacation entitlements, many companies will offer better parental leave packages, community volunteering days off, reduced operating hours during summer months and the holiday season. These can all be used in combination to offer employees better value without increasing salary dollars.

Need help with your recruitment needs to hire top tier talent in this tight labour market?

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