By Margaret Hansen
In a former JobsIntheUS.com poll, given a blank check, employers weighed in to tell us where they would invest their HR dollars. Learn ways to meet these priorities on a limited budget.
It's no surprise that more than half of the group (56%) said they would improve their compensation and benefits plans. Employers appreciate employees' hard work, and not only want to reward top performers, but reward those who have taken on the roles of others. The other half of the equation is using a healthy compensation and benefits package to attract high quality, experienced candidates as an effective recruiting tool.
Work-around Tips: Offer perks as rewards, such as flextime, paid time off, and gift certificates. Many people are avoiding the extras, such as dinner out, in order to save money. Offering a free meal at a popular restaurant or tickets to a show would provide a nice break that one might not otherwise be able to afford.
Another 22% said they would invest in training. As companies continue to scale back and thin out their workforce, more is expected of the remaining teams. Training existing staff can help an employer stay competitive, while providing development and advancement opportunities for workers.
Work-around Tips: Look into cross-training opportunities. Maybe someone on your staff is a social media aficionado and could provide lunch and learn discussions of how to use social media to promote your company. Another person's strength might lie in analysis, legal issues, market research or time management.
Don't forget about enrichment training. Teaching five yoga poses to practice daily before starting the work day can do wonders for stress relief and productivity improvements. Whatever the subject, take the time to find out. And then build your database of internal experts for training opportunities.
Lastly, 15% told us that they would spend their money on hiring more employees. Employers are feeling the pain of limited resources - namely, human ones. Gone are the nice-to-have luxuries and in their place are bottom-line, laser beam directives and stressed out, overworked employees, worried about their jobs. The urge to ease this burden among a growing number of companies is palpable.
Work-around Tips: Seek out interns. They often become entry level employees who then advance through the company, becoming expert historians and advocates of how your company promotes from within.
Another option is hiring contractors. Many high-level professionals are out of work for the first time in years, and they are open to short-term or even long-term consulting. Take advantage of this large professional pool. Not only is it a wise business decision in today's climate, it could lead to future recruitment in better times.
With the recent economic struggles, having a blank check is unlikely to happen. But with these easy-to-implement tips, your company can take steps toward your top priorities.