Tennessee Turfgrass – Neal Glatt, Managing Partner, GrowTheBench
Hiring workers continues to get harder and harder. The latest jobs report shows that rather than interest rate hikes slowing the economy as anticipated, jobs continue to be added at a furious pace. Unemployment remains historically low at 5.7 million people unemployed and there are more than 10.5 million jobs in the United States that remain unfilled. As a result, competition for workers is fierce, driving millions of people to quit their jobs each month in search of greener pastures and more money.
Many organizations are simply giving up by cutting back sales to accommodate a shrinking workforce. The problem with this strategy is that when the next economic recession affects their market (which may be very soon) they may not be able to survive. The larger a quality customer base, the better the ability to withstand economic hardship.
So how can a team recruit new people to join to capitalize on the current market when the war for talent is so fierce? The same way that we win customers by specializing in a niche market. Rather than compete for every customer available to be serviced, companies increase profit by only working with those who meet specific criteria, so competition is lessened.
But when it comes to hiring, there is little thought given to the various talent pools from which we can recruit. One example of an untapped talent pool is recruiting employees who were formerly incarcerated. The Prison Policy Institute recently reported that more than 60% of people released from prison are currently jobless. If a company could specifically target this group to recruit and retain, they would have a tremendous and reliable source of labor.
Of course, managers must make some considerable adjustments to properly engage and retain these workers. Job training programs may have to be revamped and expanded to include both more hard-skills and soft-skills. Company hiring policies could have to be adjusted to screen applicants less harshly based on experience or background checks. Perhaps transportation must be provided to and from jobsites.
Yet we have this incredible gift in the green industry where these accommodations can be made. Our customers rarely if ever interact with our front-line employees, so appearance and professionalism are not issues. Working outside means that there is usually no sensitive or secure facility requirements for which a clean background check would be required. And we can leverage this fact to help individuals who desperately need a second chance in life to thrive while allowing our companies to grow.
Whether the untapped talent pool that makes sense is those who are uneducated, unexperienced, long-term unemployed, retirees, formerly incarcerated, formerly addicts, immigrants, disabled, or veterans, there is certainly a niche market of employees who could be tapped to solve the labor crisis for any company. In fact, it may be the only sustainable recruitment strategy that is left.READ THE ISSUE