As we close out 2021 and move into the new year, there are several hiring and HR trends that small businesses should be aware of to start the year off strong.
This is an Applicant’s Market
The unemployment rate continues to plummet. After the highest rate of 14.8 percent in April 2020, the unemployment rate has dropped more than 10 points to 4.6 percent. Colorado as a whole is a bit higher at 5.6 percent, though it doesn’t feel like it at all. That’s because here in the Denver metro area, we are on track with the national average.
With these numbers on the decline, we’re continuing to be in an applicant’s market, and I don’t see that changing anytime in the foreseeable future.
Not in Colorado? Find out what the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says about your market here.
State (and City) Minimum Wages are Increasing
Twenty-five states are increasing the minimum wage in 2022. To ensure that you comply with minimum wage requirements by state, check this out. Even if you are not hiring this instant, ensuring that your wage is competitive will keep your current employees interested in working for you.
Some major cities also have higher minimum wages, like Denver. Effective January 1, 2022, Denver’s minimum wage will increase to $15.87 per hour, though if your company is just outside Denver’s city limits, you may also need to pay more to attract and retain quality employees.
More States have Increased Benefit Requirements
Many states have new laws that require companies offer some benefits to employees. Here in Colorado, if you have more than 16 employees, you must offer paid sick leave, and starting in 2022, all employers with one or more employees must also provide this.
Under the Affordable Care Act, all companies with more than 50 full-time employees must provide health insurance.
If you want access to all the applicable employment laws that affect your business, reach out for low-cost access to HR On-Demand, which is specifically designed for small businesses like you.
What Does This Mean?
As a small business, you must offer competitive wages, attractive benefits that comply with the law, and that you do everything you can to retain the employees you already have.
Recruiting Well is Important
Knowing what you are doing to do it well and efficiently is very important in an applicant’s market. Great applicants will have the choice of multiple employers for which to work. How you handle the recruitment process will set you up for the best possible outcome.
If you are hiring a new or replacement employee, spend some time reviewing the job description and requirements of the position. Are there requirements you’ve had before that can be shifted to “nice-to-have” instead of “must-have?” Many aspects of a job are trainable, and if you widen the net of qualified people, you will have a better chance of hiring a great employee.
Review Compensation and Benefits
First, ensure you comply with all state and federal laws related to compensation and employee benefits. Next, do some research to determine what competitive compensation looks like for your opening related to education, experience, and location. Finally, once you set a competitive salary level for new hires, you’ll need to ensure that you are also being equitable with compensation for your current employees.
Sell the Job and the Employer in Your Job Posting
Why would someone want to work for your company? What is special and unique about this opportunity or business? What special perks do you offer your employees that others don’t?
Job postings are an opportunity to sell what your company does to increase your applicant pool. So when you’re interviewing candidates, it’s as much about finding out if the applicant is a good fit for your company as it is to sell your business and the position – applicants are trying to find out why they should work for you.
In this market, if you wait too long to reach out to an applicant, have too many steps in the process, or move too slowly making hiring decisions, you will lose applicants. If you don’t have the time to do hiring well, you should consider outsourcing the process to help move it along.
Invest in Recruiting Costs
The cost to recruit in an applicant’s market is often higher, but you should consider this an investment in hiring and retaining the right people.
You may need to advertise more broadly to get the word out, or you may need a hiring partner like Hire With Ease to help manage the process, ensure timely communication with applicants, and provide recruiting expertise, so you get the best applicants for your business.
Reach out today to work with Hire With Ease.