Trouble Hiring? It's Time to Invest in Your Workplace Culture.

If you've tried to recruit someone into your business over the past several months, you know how difficult it is to find qualified talent.

By Amanda Haddaway • Nov 5, 2021

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you've tried to recruit someone into your business over the past several months, you know how difficult it is to find qualified talent. While it's easy to blame the pandemic for this disruption to the marketplace, this is likely a problem that will continue for at least the next decade.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are around 10 million positions currently open. At the same time, the Department of Labor reported there are 8.7 million potential workers who have been looking for jobs and are counted among the unemployed. That means we have a significant shortfall of available people to fill our positions. Employers are also reporting that the candidates who are applying have a mismatch of skills and they're not seeing people who are able to meet their specific needs. Baby Boomers are exiting the workforce to enter retirement and are further complicating the already difficult hiring landscape.

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For companies that are trying to scale and grow, this is a challenge. If these same companies are willing to take a critical look at their workplace cultures and make adjustments now, hiring and retention don't have to be quite so cumbersome.

Take a look at your culture to determine what's working and what's not

We have a tendency to look at the monthly profit and loss and the economic indicators of success in our businesses, but we also need to focus on our employees and their experiences working for our companies.

If you care about your customers and their experience with your business, you should also be focused on your employee experience. Customer experience is a direct result of employee experience. A well-designed employee journey allows your staff to understand their value to your organization. They feel well cared for and are set up for success at every key milestone during their employment.

If your company hasn't conducted a culture audit in the last two years, or you've never completed this exercise, it's a good practice to learn what's really going on in your employees' journey. The culture audit can be as simple as asking employees what's going well and what's not, as well as learning more about the challenges they're facing in their daily jobs. If you're feeling really brave, you can also ask them questions about what would cause them to leave your organization.

Who pays for this?

Culture often doesn't have a line item in the corporate budget, but it should. Efforts to improve workplace culture almost always pay for themselves. When you have a workplace culture that supports employees, retention becomes easier, recruitment and re-recruitment costs go down, diversity happens more organically, and productivity goes up.

The return on investment is clear

Consider this data: Gallup estimates that a 100-person organization that provides an average salary of $50,000 could have turnover and replacement costs of approximately $660,000 to $2.6 million per year. Even if your culture efforts only save a few employees each year, it's worth it. Companies that really excel in improving their cultures typically see significant returns in the first year.

Amanda Haddaway

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Managing Director of HR Answerbox

Amanda Haddaway is an award-winning HR consultant, corporate trainer and certified executive coach. As managing director of HR Answerbox, she specializes in solving people-management challenges and creating successful workplace cultures.

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