Drive down the road and everywhere you look you’ll see “Now Hiring” signs. A severe labor shortage plagues the economy, and employers have to compete now more than ever to attract good employees and keep them around. You want proactive, hardworking employees who love their job. So does everyone else. How can you compete? 

Championing employee well-being and happiness has never been more crucial. Here are some of the best tactics companies are using to foster an environment that will attract the best employees available.

Develop A Good Employer Reputation 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your company’s employer reputation. This starts with cultivating a friendly, clean, generous atmosphere at your company. Create a relationship of mutual trust and respect with employees. Proactively and consistently work on this atmosphere, and you’ll be amazed at how the word of mouth spreads. Remember that the opinions of past, present, and future job candidates matter – a lot. Many of the most frustrating or positively meaningful moments employees experience occur over what might seem to you like small issues. For example, if your hiring process is disorganized and unaccepted candidates get ghosted or turned away feeling mistreated, they’re more than likely to share these thoughts with others. Bad vibes are dangerously contagious. 

By contrast, if past employees had a great experience working for you and they felt appreciated and well treated as they were leaving the company, they’ll likely speak highly of your company for the rest of their lives. That’s a lot of valuable marketing! Rather than resenting them for leaving, when employees turn in their two week notice, be sure to wish them well and thank them for their time with you.

Relentlessly touch base with employees about what aspects of the job are the best and what aspects could be improved and seek to erase whatever practices you might be engaged in that cause frustration. Remember, quality feedback won’t come without some effort. 

Offer Good Dental and Health Benefits

Offering great health benefits is no longer a perk, it’s a requirement for good employees. Everyone is looking for better ways to take care of their family. Standard benefits should cover basic medical, disability, retirement preparation, and life insurance. This is a great place where you can beat out your competitors by offering the above and more. Offer drug prescription coverage, pregnancy and childbirth, a family plan, mental health services, or on-site dental services. All these benefits make employees feel like their health and happiness is important to their boss. Even if you can’t afford to do something extra with health and dental benefits, having decent benefits is a must if the other great aspects of working at your business are even going to be considered. 

Give Employees Opportunities for Personal Growth

High quality employees aren’t just looking for a paycheck. They’re looking for chances to grow, learn and develop valuable skill sets. They want useful industry knowledge and powerful networking connections. You can increase your company’s desirability by providing these opportunities to grow as a person and as a professional. A company can show that they care by offering workshops and masterclasses about personal development and technical skills. Liberally set time aside for employee growth and learning. Never discourage employees from going to conventions and training in order to develop their skill sets. Doing so will make them feel like the company sees them for the person they are, and not just for the job they complete. 

Seek Out Public Speaking Opportunities

A cheap, organic way of developing your company’s reputation for both employees and consumers is to seek out opportunities for public speaking. If you want to attract talent to your business, present to places where your future talent is such as business forums, job fairs, college classes, and community groups. This will get your company name and mission in front of the target audience. If they’re more informed about your company because they’ve seen it in a position of authority and reputability, they’ll be much more convinced of the company’s ability to look good on their resume. Look in the right places and you’ll find that there are even ways to get paid to speak at events. This will not only incentivize your current employees to participate, but might make you or your company a couple extra bucks. Public speakers are often more in demand than you might think. 

Create An Employee Referral Incentive Program

According to a LinkedIn study, word of mouth referrals are the most valuable source of employees to most companies. Take advantage of that! Frequently remind your employees that you’re always looking for more talented team members, and encourage your employees to have their friends and family apply. These kinds of referrals frequently end up being the highest quality candidates, because those that have recommended them for the job already know they’ll be a good fit. Additionally, when they get hired they’re already working with people that they like and it helps them integrate into the company faster. They’ll be happier at work. Constantly let your team know what positions you’re hoping to fill. Consider paying a juicy bonus to employees who bring candidates that end up getting the job, or offer other non-monetary gifts in return.