ALESTLE VIEW: Employers should consider their role in the employee exodus

“Help Wanted” signs hang in windows everywhere while businesses are closing down daily due to lack of employees to adequately keep the doors open. While some blame unemployment benefits or lazy people there is another aspect to consider ­­– the employers.

Lack of the proper education, weight restrictions, shift restrictions, lack of daycare and felony records are just a few of the roadblocks that might prevent people from gaining adequate employment.

A recent job opening on said they were willing to hire anyone in Illinois in their ad, but the required qualification list states the prospective employee must have one or more years’ experience in health care and be proficient in multiple IT applications. The applicant must also have a diploma or equivalent to apply. There is also no mention of training the right candidate. This is not being willing to hire anyone.

Employers must be transparent when placing hiring ads if they want to receive the right applicants — but also clear so that applicants are not wasting their time on positions they will never get.

Obviously, some employers must have specific requirements depending on the work required, however, when deciding upon these requirements, employers need to consider what they can absolutely do without to gain a good employee.

Do they really need to be able to lift 20 pounds to work a desk job as a paralegal or an office assistant? In some cases, the answer is yes, but in others, employers need to ask themselves the benefit of passing over applicants who cannot lift in favor of applicants who are otherwise qualified.

In some cases, employers are asking for three or five years’ experience working in a field and then offer entry-level pay. Expecting college trained individuals with active working experience is a deterrent to individuals looking to make an upward move in their career as opposed to a lateral move, and in some cases a step down. Advertising these positions for college students or those who have just graduated would bring about a more ideal response.

Pay has been a huge factor in the argument of why restaurants and other lower paying jobs are dropping employees like flies, but another consideration needs to be the workplace environment. Employees need to be appreciated and not worked into the ground because they were willing to show up.

Employers in these positions need to schedule their staff reasonably even if this means operating on an altered schedule, which some have done. Employees who are not being given a healthy work-life balance will not stay, especially if they are not being heard. Employers need to stop looking at staff like numbers and consider the person they are expecting to be the face of their business.

Appreciated employees will stay longer, work through harder conditions and be more positive in the workplace. No one is asking to have everything handed to them, but it isn’t lazy to expect to be treated like a person, to be heard, to receive recognition, be given fair pay and work for an empathetic company.

One option would be to create part time positions in place of full-time to open up hours that could be filled by two employees that have restrictions or special needs met. Another option would be for employers to accommodate employees who are struggling to meet all of the hourly requirements. It’s also important to consider providing reasonable pay for experience, and to consider applicants that do not have college experience, but parallel experience that would make them an ideal candidate. Among these options, signing bonuses also provide extra incentive for prospective employees.

While not all employers have unrealistic expectations, employers as a whole need to revisit their expectations and workplace environments if they want to attract employees during this hiring epidemic.



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