Recruiting and Retaining Qualified Workers a Top Business Challenge for Cleveland Companies

downtown Cleveland

Talent is a top priority at any workplace. And in order for companies to compete in today’s very competitive global marketplace, they need to not only recruit top talent, but retain them as well. But According to polls released in 2016 by the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) , around two-thirds of employers interviewed agreed that recruiting and retaining qualified workers is a top business challenge here.

And retaining employees is often more challenging than recruitment. Workers are not staying in their jobs as long as they used to. The average millennial changes jobs approximately every 4.4 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Job changes are not always related to pay. If an employee becomes bored or doesn’t feel there are career advancement opportunities, they may begin to transition elsewhere. Between networking, social media and online job boards, changing jobs is just one click away.

But the local job market is also a reflection of Cleveland’s growing pains in an economy that is on the move. For instance, Crain’s Cleveland Business notes that a new restaurant pops up in or around downtown Cleveland just about every week. There is just not enough talent to fill local demand for these positions. “It’s an employees’ market right now,” said Chris Hodgson, co-owner Driftwood Restaurant Group. “We’ve started to expand our new hire search outside the city, like Columbus.”

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported that the state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9% in December, 2016, with an increase of 10,300 jobs. The industries with the largest gains were service providers, leisure and hospitality, and educational and health services fields adding 41,000, 13,300, and 11,200 jobs, respectively.

Also, Cleveland businesses that find recruiting and retaining qualified workers difficult can rely on a number of strategies to help them turn things around. First, they can consider upgrading their employees’ skills through advanced education or job-related training. And this can be achieved through a financial assistance program. Companies can also offer a mentoring program as a way of retaining employees they have recruited. According to Lauren Rudman, president of the Cleveland Society for Human Resource Management, learning opportunities can help in recruiting and retaining employees as well. And this can be done through coaching, a cross functional project, and participation in a leadership development program, among others.

“Additionally, the State of Ohio offers a number of programs that can help Cleveland employers attract and retain qualified talent. Through its website, OhioMeansJobs, employers can search through a database of over two million resumes to find available workers with specific skill sets. There are also a number of tools and other resources available for human resource professionals,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

Image Credit: Tim

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