Every few years, seemingly more often in recent decades, there’s a sudden drought of employees. Employers find themselves struggling to fill nearly every position in the company, especially the executive staff.

In the most recent crisis, millions of people simply changed direction in their lives instead of coming back to work after the pandemic.

The reasons for this are many. Some you can’t do anything about. Other reasons are in your control. Here are a few ways to bring in more staff, quality staff, when your business is struggling to find more people.

  1. Offer a bounty – Offer your staff a significant bounty. An actual dollar amount for the right person, depending on the position’s salary and the importance of that person in your organization.  Your best advocates are your current staff. If they aren’t selling your business as a place to work, you’re not doing it right.
  2. Market rates + 10% – It doesn’t take much to bring in great staff, but you must have the basics covered. Your wages should be market plus ten percent. Same with benefits and vacation time. If everyone else offers 10 days of paid vacation, offer more.
  3. Flexibility – If you have the kind of business where your staff can work from home or can come and go to some degree, let them. Stop worrying about hours; worry about productivity. If you’re paying people to get a certain amount of work done every day, do you really care how long it takes? Let your team know what you need from them every day and let them decide how fast to do it. If quality stays high, pay them for the whole day, even if they leave in 2 hours.
  4. Ask them – Ask people what they need to take the job. When you’re interviewing someone that you want to hire, ask them what they need. The sky’s the limit. You’ll get jokes about a company jet, but you might find out they really need childcare or a company car or to be able to work some night shifts. Ask people what they want instead of assuming that you know.
  5. Get a reputation – Get a good reputation as a boss and a place to work. Ask your current staff to review you online. Let them know that if they have a problem, they should speak to you, but otherwise, let them tell the world about how great it is to work at your business.
  6. Remember who the customer is – The customer is not the person who buys your goods or services. For you, the boss, your customers are your employees. Thinking of them as customers is the mental switch that you need to make to move them from being “just people who work there” to your most valuable asset. Treat them that way, and you’ll find that they’ll respond.
  7. Find help – Look for a search firm that understands what you need and what you do. The right search firm can deliver outstanding results in a short time, even in tough times. And, best of all, no one in your company has to take time to do the searching; someone else has it handled. Your team can focus on the work at hand.

These seven rules aren’t set in stone and should be adapted to how your business works, but they will help you make the changes you need to find and keep the best staff you can.

What are you doing to fill your openings? Have you found any innovative ways to fill the gaps?