Magazine article Black Enterprise

Capturing Top Candidates

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Capturing Top Candidates

Article excerpt

When the labor market's tight, here's how to attract good employees

Taxes, government regulations and low demand were once the small business owner's biggest concerns. Now, according to a recent survey conducted by the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, lack of skilled labor is the most pressing problem. Claiming a severe shortage, the Information Technology Association of America convinced Congress to increase the number of visas for high-tech foreign workers. But the labor shortage isn't limited to the technology industry. Across the country, businesses from retailers to restaurants are looking for a few good men and women.

Why the sudden crunch? It's the economy, stupid! In November, the unemployment rate was 4.4%, the lowest in 25 years, and the good times have caused a drain on workers. Unable to compete with large corporations for good employees, the small entrepreneur suffers. Working with minimal staffing can mean missing deadlines and losing customers.

Overtime is only a temporary solution. Employees can only put in so many hours before burnout sets in. Leasing employees or using a temporary agency is one way to fill vacancies without going head-to-head with large corporations.

"I interview many more people just to fill one position now," says Stephanie Tyler of All-Staff Temporary Services in Los Angeles. Tyler, who staffs medical, technical, clerical and computer employees, receives calls from businesses who prefer to leave the recruiting and screening to her. Turning leased or temporary workers into permanent employees can also reduce turnover since both parties know what they're getting up front.

It's not uncommon for big companies to overhire, only to cut back later. Keep your eyes open for layoffs. Sometimes, there's no way to avoid hiring the unskilled or under-trained worker. …

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