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How to Recruit Workers Post-COVID

By Anastasia Parris, July 14, 2021 5 min read

Is your company one of the thousands struggling to find workers in the post-COVID world?

While there are high speculations that people are refusing to come back to work due to the unemployment benefit extension, other concerns like safety and a lack of childcare are just as prominent. Regardless of why people are not coming back to work, the facts are that restaurants are still operating at half-capacity, retail stores can’t stock their shelves fast enough, customer service lines are overloaded, and companies are starting to struggle without their full workforces.

We don’t claim to have ALL the answers, but here are a few things that we know for a fact will work:

Advertising Your Benefits and Keeping Employees Engaged

From yard signs to window clings, you need materials to bring people in the door, and then strong communications to keep them there. One report says that 50% of employees do not understand their benefits. 

Properly marketing your benefits offerings is just as important as offering them. Do candidates even know that they can get a $100 sign-on bonus from you? Do they know that you offer the best benefits in town? “Help wanted” signs are no longer enough to bring people in the door (that’s why we help our clients with their recruiting and benefit communication strategies). 

You need to not only advertise your benefits externally, but also send emails to your employees and hang up flyers in break rooms so that your current talent is motivated to stay. Remember, retention is even more important than recruitment – it can cost as much as double a worker’s annual salary to replace them. The more people you can retain, the less time and money you need to spend on recruiting!

Unique Recruitment Incentives

Speaking of advertising your benefits, have you seen the gigantic banners hanging outside of fast-food restaurants that promote sign-on bonuses and high wages? One McDonald’s location is taking this to a new level and advertising $50 payouts just to show up to a job interview. What unique incentives are you able to offer to get people in the door? We thought of the following:Paid interviews

  • Large sign-on bonuses
  • Amazon gift cards
  • Monetary retention awards at each monthly milestone
  • Free meals
  • Paid gym memberships
  • Generous employee referral programs

Transportation & Childcare as Benefits

For many, getting to work pre-COVID meant hiring a babysitter and paying for a bus pass, an Uber, or an expensive tank of gas. Imagine working a six-hour shift at $15/hr when you have to pay your babysitter at least $8/hr and still have to fill your tank. Suddenly, the $90 (pre-tax) that you thought you’d be going home with becomes next to nothing. Why even go to work?

That’s why some of the best benefits you can offer to get people in the door are transportation and childcare. It may be cheaper for you as the employer to pay for bus passes, toll cards, or a group shuttle than to keep operating at half capacity because you don’t have enough staff. Similarly, you can provide childcare subsidies, flexible schedules, or even in-house daycare if possible. 

Early Wage Access as a Recruitment Tool

If it’s true that unemployment benefits are one of the reasons why people are not returning to work, then it’s time for you to consider launching a full financial wellness program for your employees. People not only want to be paid more, but they also want to be able to make their dollars last longer. There’s a few ways you can help them with that (other than increasing pay rates beyond what you’re able): 

  • Give them the ability to get paid immediately after a shift instead of waiting for payday
  • Provide free access to savings accounts and budgeting tools
  • Offer health insurance, or at the very least, discounted health and wellness services
  • Assist with transportation, whether by providing bus passes, gas cards, auto insurance discounts, or all of the above
  • Provide access to childcare resources

The ability to get paid right after a shift probably sounds like a payroll headache, but it’s actually not. If you don’t know about on-demand pay yet, you should. All you have to do is sign up with a company like Rain (for free). Rain can integrate with your existing payroll and timekeeping software. Your employees will download the free app, and then they can access their earnings whenever they want instead of waiting for their scheduled payday.

QSR Magazine interviewed Neema Ardebili, VP of Global Franchise & Strategic Partnerships at ADP, who said, “We also see organizations becoming more attractive to applicants by offering flexible pay options like early access to pay. Employees who can smooth out their cash flow become much more attractive employers to applicants.” She also suggested that earned wage access and financial wellness benefits are now “table stakes” benefits. If you want to keep up, these benefits are no longer optional.

If you sign up today, your employees can be using Rain within just a few weeks. Reach out here to set up a meeting where one of our employer partnerships representatives will take note of your unique needs and help get you started.

Tags:Benefits, Business, Employee Benefits, Recruiting

About the Author

Anastasia ParrisMarketing Manager, Rain.us

Anastasia is the Marketing lead at Rain. When she's not fighting the good fight to end predatory financial products, you can find her volunteering at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee or relaxing with her fiance and their two cats, two dogs, and hedgehog.

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