By Deborah Stadtler

Many companies are struggling to attract, hire and keep workers as employee turnover is soaring. Below are ideas collected at conferences, from dealers and manufacturers, and HR resources.

The 2019 WQA Business Operations Report details that dealers, even small ones, are offering medical insurance (93 percent of respondents), retirement benefits (91 percent) and life insurance (86 percent). With those benefits becoming more standard, companies need to find ways to stand out. Hopefully one of the suggestions below will help your business.

Attracting and hiring workers

  • Be extremely transparent about what the job entails.
  • Hire for attitude, then train for skills.
  • If you are raising wages to catch the eye of potential employees, offset that increase by also raising prices.
  • Some positions in the water treatment industry require licenses. You can register new hires immediately after hiring to start gathering the experience and hours needed to apply for the license.
  • Look at younger people who are new to the industry. They are ready to work hard and learn on the job.
  • You need to respond quickly to applicants, in a matter of hours, not days.
  • If you are overloaded managing the hiring process, consider hiring a consultant to focus just on hiring.
  • If you need three new employees, hire six.
  • Your company might not be able to compete on wages but it can offer a stable job, which is appealing to certain job candidates.
  • Get involved in the community college or career tech center. Offer an apprentice program while students learn job skills.
  • Don’t rely upon canned questions in an interview. Try to dig deeper to determine if the applicant will stick around.
  • Find a way to differentiate your company other than pay. A company car, pay structure, bonuses, flexible hours or other perks can draw extra attention to your job openings.

Keeping employees

  • Once you’ve hired a new employee, explain your training processes so there is transparency from the beginning.
  • Some companies have found success giving gift cards on a monthly basis. Perks like gift cards can also be awarded randomly.
  • Try a raffle. For each day employees arrive on time, you give them a raffle ticket. At the end of the month, the raffle is held for prizes. Prizes can range from electronics to extra days off.
  • Make sure you have a plan to grow employees. It doesn’t have to include promotions but can be additional training, assistance with attaining licenses or trying out other job roles.

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