Staffing for Success

Covid-19 has radically redefined how we do business.  Policies and procedures have changed, customer expectations have changed, employee needs have changed and the new norm suddenly means new challenges.

One of the biggest challenges centers are faced with is staffing.   Many positions actually pay less than the expanded unemployment benefits many people are receiving. In fact, in August 2020 68% of unemployed workers were collecting more on unemployment than they earned while working. 

The pandemic also resulted in some taking the opportunity to go to school and pursue a new career, while others sought employment at businesses that were considered essential or had more opportunities for hours.  Working families have struggled with juggling work and online school for their children.  This challenge resulted in some parents giving up their jobs to facilitate childcare and schooling for their children.  Bottom line, there are fewer candidates to fill positions.

A key element in the road to recovery is having the best staff possible in place so they can deliver the best experience possible.  So how do you compete with the attractiveness of unemployment and the reduced number of candidates without breaking the bank?   Below are a few ideas to help attract candidates to your job posting that are relatively low cost.

  • Signing bonuses for new hires
  • Recruitment program
  • Temporary pay bumps for a defined period of time…1 week, 1 month, 1 quarter.  You set the time, based on your budget.
  • Differential pay for peak shifts.
  • Time off with pay for a job well done
  • Employee recognition such as Employee of the Month that includes incentive
  • Grocery delivery stipends
  • Memberships to a streaming service
  • Gym membership (this can often be bartered)
  • Host random drawings and contests for prizes.  These prizes can be bartered.  Consider items such as movie tickets, restaurant meals or discount coupons, groceries or other things that would be appreciated and valued by staff.

Make sure to update all job postings to reflect your COVID-19 action plan (e.g. social distancing, staggered shifts, reduced customer capacity, face mask policy, enhanced cleaning procedures).  This reassures candidates that their safety and health is a priority. 

Tap into your reliable resources.  Ask current employees if they know of anyone looking for a job.  Employees that are happy, reliable and do a great job are likely to associate with friends that are similar.  You might even consider a recruitment program to encourage employees to help fill empty positions.

Post your employment opportunities at the local colleges and universities.  Students often struggle with having experience for their resumes upon graduation.  Be mindful of the positions these young students fill and how you can structure the job description to provide that much needed experience that can be so valuable on a new graduate’s resume.

Post current job openings on social media.  Boosting a post is very inexpensive and can generate great results.  Make sure the post is shareable and encourage current employees and customers to share on their timeline.

Don’t forget to advertise to the customers that are currently inside the center.  High definition advertisement on monitors is quick and easy and many times the call to action is answered immediately.  Consider having table tents throughout the center containing a QR Code that takes customers directly to the employment application or openings available.

Getting the best team members in place might be a challenge but taking the time to find the right ones can result in a more successful center.  Don’t just settle because they can start right away.  Employees are the face of your business and responsible for delivering the experience customers expect and even 1 bad apple can have a negative impact on the whole journey.  So make plans to staff for success!


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Cultivating Employees that Want to Help You Grow

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