Even as high unemployment continues to grab headlines, shortages of people in key job categories and turnover are increasingly affecting Maryland business owners. A combination of factors is going to cause this trend to accelerate over the next few months.
First, employees no longer rank job security as their top issue. For the first time in five years, this concern has been replaced by “opportunities to use skills and abilities” as the primary indicator of job satisfaction. Add on top of this the high levels of dissatisfaction reported by employees with their employers and you have a mix that suggests employees will be looking around for new opportunities in numbers we haven’t seen in years. Some surveys indicate the percentage of employees wanting to leave their current jobs is as high as 86 percent. Less fear of quitting combined with pent-up demand means more turnover and labor market churn.
It doesn’t matter to the business owner if the national unemployment rate is 7.5 percent and unemployment in Maryland is 6.6 percent if the job he or she is seeking to fill is experiencing unemployment rates of 1.5-to-2 percent, as is the case with many IT positions. Surveys of HR professionals indicate hiring difficulty is at the highest level it has been in five years.
In the face of this trend, what’s the best recruitment strategy? Keep the employees you’ve got. A general rule of thumb is that it cost ten times more to recruit, hire, orient and train a new employee and get him or her up to speed than it does to retain a current employee. While competitive compensation is important, retention is more about your employees feeling that they are able to make a contribution utilizing their skills, are given opportunities to learn new ones and are appreciated for their efforts.
Contact us today for more information. 410-312-0811