The “Great Resignation”—in which millions of people have quit jobs over the past two years—has posed a significant hiring challenge to many small businesses. Many businesses have grappled with unfilled positions, staffing shortages and other negative impacts.
We asked business owners how they’re dealing with today’s talent shortage. Here’s how they responded:
Creating an employee succession program
While many employers have conducted intensive external searches to fill high-skill positions, we took a different approach: creating a succession program to both identify and train talent we already had in-house. By creating a succession program, we set up current team members in mentoring programs, continuing education courses, and additional training, which kept our current team motivated and allowed us to identify key individuals who could take on new roles. Additionally, since they were already on staff, we had the luxury of a long-term evaluation. By creating an intensive succession program, we’ve been able to weather the Great Resignation by looking at who we already had in-house rather than depending on who we could bring in.
—Adelle Archer, co-founder and CEO, Eterneva, Austin, Texas
Promoting unique company mission
We promote our company’s mission and impact to stand out from other opportunities job candidates might have. Our company builds accessory dwelling units, which are smaller homes on lots that already have a primary dwelling. These units are often used to house family members, giving families an alternative when younger or older generations cannot afford to live on their own property. We make sure to tell this full impact story to our job candidates, which promotes greater interest in our company. Beyond this, we also promote our flexible work model—something other general contractors do not offer.
—Whitney Hill, co-founder and CEO, SnapADU, Oceanside, California
Asking employees what they want
We’ve definitely seen the effects of people wanting to resign and have had difficulty hiring new workers. In order to keep as many employees as possible, we hold one-on-one meetings with our employees to find out what it is they want in order to enjoy working with us and then we actively work to accomplish those things. Sometimes employees just want a different type of snack in the breakroom, while others want to be promoted at some point or they want to have their own painting company someday. We then work with them to help them achieve those things. As a result, we haven’t lost many employees.
—Chris Gardner, founder and CEO, PaintRite Pros, Elk Grove, California
Creating sponsored job ads
To stand out in the current tough hiring environment, we are making use of sponsored job ads. Since there are thousands of jobs posted daily on websites like Indeed, we use sponsored ads to increase our visibility in these job listings. We also pay small bonuses for referrals, so that employees feel motivated to refer great candidates for job openings.
—Matt Wooldridge, founder, Invision Roofing, San Antonio, Texas
Offering new educational opportunities
Finding talent should be seen as very similar to finding customers: it’s harder to find new ones than to keep great ones. To keep great talent, I have offered new education opportunities to my employees including certifications in contracting and real estate sales. This makes my employees not only feel valued but also feel like there is value beyond their paycheck for their work.
—Erik Wright, owner, New Horizon Home Buyers, Chattanooga, Tennessee
“Finding talent should be seen as very similar to finding customers: it’s harder to find new ones than to keep great ones.”
Outsourcing to service providers and freelancers
One of the ways that our company has dealt with the talent shortage is by outsourcing as much as we can. This boils down to two things. The first one is outsourcing business processes to fractional service providers that we work with on an ongoing, sometimes day-to-day basis. The second one is outsourcing certain work to freelancers who we can use on a shorter-term basis and help us manage our workload as needed.
—Charles Helms, founder, Tracking Advice, Deerfield, Florida
What is your company doing to deal with the Great Resignation? Share your insights in the comments section below!Print this article