Survey Overview by RogersGray
“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that total employment continues to trend up. However, there were still 11.5 million open jobs as of the last business day of March 2022, exceeding the number of available workers by 5.6 million. So, while workers are reentering and staying in the workforce, employers continue struggling to fill open roles.” Clearly, there is a disconnect somewhere between the jobs available and employable workers.
Employers on Cape Cod have struggled with finding and keeping employees even prior to the pandemic. As we approach our busiest three months of the year for visitors to the Cape, businesses in all industries are not seeing the challenges of hiring ease up. A report on results from a nationwide survey of 150 employers of varying sizes suggests that employment and workforce development challenges are not unique to our region. There is a shift in the culture of work and employee priorities, causing attraction and retention difficulties across the country.
From the results of the survey, we learn that workers value competitive compensation, benefits, and flexible work schedules most when searching for jobs. At the same time, employers and businesses see increasing compensation, meeting flexible and hybrid work arrangements, and increasing benefits for employees three of their top four difficult demands to meet for their employees. Although employers know what workers are looking for, they are still struggling to meet those top desires. Employers also see current and future skills gaps as a significant challenge.
Employers who can, are offering additional compensation to attract and retain workers. Seeing this as an issue prior to this survey, the State of Massachusetts offered HireNow grants to assist businesses in the Commonwealth with hiring needs earlier this year. The HireNow grants were also available for recruiting expenses. The Commonwealth’s grant program is in keeping with the nationwide study suggestions that increasing spending and trying diverse tactics for recruiting talent are ways some businesses may find solutions to their workforce fulfillment challenges.
Other strategies employers and recruiters are testing out focus on existing workforce through improved communications, management training, and career development opportunities for employees. Hybrid and remote work as well as paid time off are also being explored as valid options by employers in response to existing workforce struggles. Response to these adjustments and flexibility in scheduling seem to be making an impact, according to RogersGray.
RogersGray prepared the Attraction & Retention Benchmarking Overview of the survey in an 8-page presentation. Interested employers and HR specialists can access the 8-page presentation as a PDF here. Interested in more workforce development strategies? This Spring, the Cape Cod Chamber held a series of presentations by HR specialists. All six sessions of the Small Business Series can be viewed on our website here.