A tight labor market means companies are offering higher pay, more perks for employees
Nearly 90% of companies have added employee perks since the pandemic began, according to Robert Half’s 2022 Salary Guide. The annual report lists compensation for more than 500 positions across various industries.
You may have heard about companies offering higher pay and bigger signing and referral bonuses. While compensation is important, some employers say the pandemic has pushed workplace culture, flexible schedules and permanently remote positions to the forefront.
“The stressors in the workplace right now are just overwhelming,” said Sara Dionne, human resources director for Rogers Corporation.
Headquartered in Chandler, the company produces specialty engineered materials in Arizona and around the world.
“People are just, you know, angry and mad and disappointed and sad and we’ve got to figure out how to work through some of that too because otherwise people are going to be in the workplace for a short period of time and then they’re just jumping for the money because it doesn’t matter anymore,” Dionne said.
During a webinar hosted by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, she and other hiring managers discussed recruitment and retention efforts.
Dionne said a long, drawn out process doesn’t work when practically everyone is recruiting, “So you have to ensure you’ve got the right team of people in front of these candidates, right? Are they selling your organization when you’re doing the interviews?”
Tempe-based Carvana, an electronic commerce company that sells used cars, relies heavily on videos showcasing a day in the life of workers, along with employee testimonials.
With nearly 1,500 job openings nationwide, Carvana recruiters are under intense pressure. If they don’t have enough workers to cover IT, customer care, vehicle inspections and deliveries, they can’t sell their cars.
Chiara Hughes, head of technical recruiting, said they advertise through radio, print, billboards and less traditional ways.
“Like, I’ll get an ad to put like our name on the back of a napkin holder in a café in rural Indiana and I’m like, ‘Put our name on the napkin dispenser.’ I wish I were kidding, I’m not,” she said.
Michael Stavros leads business development for M Culinary, which provides catering and hospitality services. He said the food and beverage industry has been losing employees to jobs that have more regular hours, “In the hospitality industry, we were grinders and we realized that we were literally grinding people out of the job.”
About five years ago, Stavros said his company changed how they viewed and treated workers. They asked for feedback, listened and acted on it. They created a mobile app for employees, added free daily lunches and launched a community service club- results they can share during the hiring process.
“Our applicants are quizzing us, what are we doing to help the community? What are we doing to help our own employee base?” he said.
At Carvana, Hughes said they’re promoting perks more than ever, including what they call passion projects. That’s when employees submit community service ideas and the company funds them.
“We figure our employees are smart and capable and they’re very invested in these things so we should let them run it and then we support them by advertising it and spreading the word,” she said.
While job seekers have more leverage in the current market, history tells us it won’t last forever. Despite the challenges, Stavros doesn’t want to go back to the way things were.
“I hope it actually — we take the best of what it was and combine it with the best of what we’re learning now and keep moving forward with it and hopefully end up stronger as an industry and stronger as a shared community as a result,” he said.
With no official end to the pandemic in sight, there’s still time for more creativity, innovation and lessons learned.