Inflation has been a big talking point during 2023 as prices rise and our economic system becomes shakier. It’s hard for the average person to survive at times, and it can be even more difficult for HR managers and business owners to keep their companies afloat. If that weren’t scary enough, many businesses are seeing employee attrition from those seeking work elsewhere due to a lack of appreciation. Combined, these two factors plot a map of economic struggle that no business is safe from.
If you’re going to keep your company afloat during inflation while continuing to hire high-quality individuals, then you have a rocky road ahead, but it’s far from impossible. While there is no perfect solution, these five strategies can make things a bit easier until the economy evens out.
1. Control Costs So You Can Hire More
One of the major issues companies face is that when inflation rises, employee wages also have to rise. Salary does not have the same purchasing power when items we all need become more expensive. If you don’t raise your employees’ pay, they may decide to leave your organization in hopes of finding something better. After hiring someone else, you may also find that new candidates require a higher salary you cannot provide. To meet the demand in any case, your company may have to either increase prices on the items you sell or control costs so you can put more money towards employee compensation.
You can try several strategies to control your organization’s costs. First off, review your budget to cut any unnecessary spending. Evaluate your budget at least once per year and determine if you still need to pay the same amount of capital. Consider going with a different vendor or looking for a cheaper alternative for your software or computer systems if possible.
You can also take a deeper look at your current office or warehouse space. If you’re like many companies, and you have transitioned to a hybrid or fully remote workforce, then you may be paying more for your space than necessary. Consider moving to a smaller office and the monthly costs could drastically decrease.
2. Make Your Current Employees Better
You can also incentivize your employees to stay by finding ways for professional improvement. Evaluate each employee and the tasks that they do every day and determine if they are being put to the best use. Are there certain tasks that could be automated so you can assign your staff to more critical projects?
Many employees want to move up within an organization, so there’s no harm in reaching out to your team to ask about their goals within your company. You may believe that you need to bring on a new manager or another high-level employee, and that’s important. However, instead of hiring, you may be able to promote a current worker to that position and give them a moderate raise. You’ll have what you need while saving a lot of money.
This is another reason why annual reviews are so important. Every year, talk to your team and go over their accomplishments and areas of improvement so you can ensure that they’re satisfied with their work and that they are fulfilling the needs of your business.
3. Improve Company Culture And Perks
Even if your team is working to its full potential, you could lose them anyway if you don’t provide a positive work environment and offer the benefits and perks that they like to see. Look into providing paid leave, free or subsidized meals, and flexible work schedules to employees who inquire. Your HR team can also look into other monetary perks that can supplement employee pay, like profit-sharing, commission, and the chance to get company shares and stocks.
It’s also important to pay attention to mental health in your workplace, especially when many employees are upset or concerned about inflation. It’s easy for managers to see the need to sell more products, and they may require their teams to work overtime and take on multiple tasks to accomplish those goals. But if that goes on, your employees could begin to experience burnout and may quit. That’s why it’s necessary to talk to your employees, ask how they are feeling, and then make the proper adjustments, so they’ll stick around.
4. Make Every Hire Worth It
Since you’re likely spending a lot of time looking for ways to stay afloat during the uncharted waters of inflation, you don’t have much time to interview hundreds of candidates or hire people who won’t work out in the end. To avoid this, you need to extra steps during the application-creation process and when you interview candidates.
During the application process, in particular, you should put extra thought into your applications. Use keywords that many applicants are also using in their resumes. The time you post your job application is also a big factor. You don’t want to post your application during a time when fewer people are likely to see it and prioritize working on it. If you use LinkedIn, as many companies do, make it a point to post at the right times, typically after 7 am on Tuesdays through Fridays. A job listing published between 7 am and 8:30 am can catch folks before they leave for their current jobs. Try to avoid weekends when qualified candidates may not be actively job hunting.
In addition, instead of interviewing every applicant, carefully scan their resumes for the skills and experiences that can help your company thrive, like social media marketing, proficiency in business analytics, and project management.
Then, only bring in the candidates that fit the bill and hire them if you’re sure they’re a good fit.
5. Ask For Referrals
The other best way to ensure that you find the best employees without using a lot of unnecessary legwork is to ask your current employees to refer friends and acquaintances they believe may be a good fit within your organization. This can be especially beneficial if the referral comes from one of your best employees because if they have a solid work ethic, there’s a chance their referral may be as well. Ask for a resume. If it meets your needs, bring them in for an interview.
Inflation is brutal and may cause headaches for HR leads and business owners across the board. However, like all things in the business world, it’s only a temporary setback. Eventually, the economy will correct itself, and as long as you follow the aforementioned tips, your business may eventually see a growth of consumer interest after the fact.