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Check out the latest episode of Express Employment Professionals’ On the Job podcast!

Master of a Dying Art
Jim Ellis is a master of a dying art. Meet this 80-year-old blacksmith from Cape Cod who is committed to making sure one trade isn’t lost to time. What happens to an occupation like blacksmithing if the next generation doesn’t learn the skills needed to see it survive? What happens to these occupations when the ones who do them move on?

Don’t miss an episode!
Jobs give us a connection to our communities and the ability to provide for ourselves and our families. Your work may be your passion or it could just be the way you make ends meet. Each week, On the Job will share stories about the pursuit of work by delving into the employment situations people from all walks of life face each day.

Download the On the Job podcast on iTunes or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts. And, be sure to check back next week for the next episode!

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Good talent is hard to find, and the tight labor market is leading some employers to wage bidding wars over talent. But how much money is enough to convince an employee to turn down a job offer and stay with their current employer?

In a recent survey, Express Employment Professionals posed that question to job seekers and also asked employers how much they would be willing to offer a star employee to stay with the company. On average, employees want more than employers are willing to offer.

Job seekers were asked, “If offered a new job, how much of a pay increase would it take to stay with your current employer?” The top three responses were:

  • 20% said 16 to 20%
  • 19% said 11 to 15%
  • 19% said 5 to 10%

Employers were asked, “If a star employee were offered a job with another company, how much of a pay increase over their current salary or wage would you offer to retain them?” The top three responses were:

  • 39% said 5 to 10%
  • 14% said 11 to 15%
  • 13% said they would not offer a pay increase

Overall, 57% of employees said they would want a raise of more than 10%, while only 30% of employers said they would be willing to offer more than 10%, even to a star employee.

Terri Greeno, an Express Employment Professionals franchise owner in Crystal Lake, Illinois, says she tells companies that while the minimum wage is $8.25 by law, in effect, the “new minimum wage” is $11 to $12 an hour due to high demand.

Greeno stresses that even employers who do not raise wages in this competitive labor market are “paying for it one way or another” in the form of high turnover or additional overtime.

KV Aulakh, an Express Employment Professionals franchise owner in Barrie, Ontario, is seeing the same trend and warns that employers risk losing talent if they don’t keep up with pay expectations.

“Most companies in our area pay above the minimum wage,” Aulakh said. “Companies that do not increase wages certainly lose workers and, more importantly, have a hard time finding the right talent that they need.”

In Michigan, Janis Petrini, a Grand Rapids franchise owner, says wages have continued to increase over the last year. She says she’s seen the most pronounced increase for hourly workers, largely because “it is much easier to see the changes at the hourly level since these wages tend to be set for specific positions.”

Brandon Malloy, an Express franchise owner in McMinnville, Oregon, says the upward pressure on wages in his area remains “strong” but that some companies are remaining “hard-headed” about not offering higher pay-and losing workers as a result. He says an entry-level worker will switch jobs for a $1 per hour increase; a mid-level or skilled worker will change for a $3 per hour increase, and a professional will switch for a $5,000 salary increase.

Daniel Purdy, an Express franchise owner in Abbotsford, British Columbia, reports that due to ongoing labour shortages, many employers are already offering wages well-above industry standards in order to retain their workers.

“Many local service sector and light industrial jobs pay $1.50 to $3 per hour above the minimum wage now,” Purdy said. “There are significant labour shortages throughout the Lower Mainland with B.C.’s unemployment rate at an unprecedented low of 4.6%. In a tight labour market, company loyalty is becoming increasingly rare. We’re seeing younger generations of employees only average one to two years in the role with the same employer.”

Chris Ashcraft, a franchise owner in Mobile, Alabama, agrees that an entry-level hourly worker will switch jobs for a $1 per hour increase. In his area, it is difficult to fill a job for less than $10 an hour, and he expects wages “will continue to rise.” Companies that cannot afford to pay increases often offer other benefits like bonuses for attendance or healthcare.

“It has never been easier for workers to jump between jobs,” said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. “And because workers are so mobile, there’s less fear about leaving a ‘good job’ for a pay increase. If the new job doesn’t work out, there are plenty of other employers eager to hire. Businesses have to keep their finger on the pulse of the local economy, or they risk losing the talent wars.”

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If you’ve been in the business world for any length of time, you’ve likely attended your fair share of meetings. And nothing is worse than showing up for a meeting only to veer off track and end up with nothing to show for the time you’ve spent. Check out this infographic created by The Business Backer, which provides customized funding solutions and advice for small and medium-sized businesses, for a detailed guide to creating “a meeting agenda that actually works.”

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In April, we asked readers if a star employee were offered a job with another company, how much of a pay increase over their current salary or wage would they offer to retain them? And with 39% of the votes, the top response was a 5 – 10% increase, followed by an 11 – 15% increase in second place with 14% of the votes. Thirteen percent of respondents noted that they would not offer a pay increase. The rest of the results are as follows:

  • 16 – 20% increase: 11%
  • 3 – 4% increase: 9%
  • 21% or more increase: 6%
  • 1 – 2% increase: 1%

Another 7% of respondents selected the “Other” option and submitted their own thoughts on the topic, including:

  • Depends on circumstances and what salary range is for the same job in the industry.
  • We would discuss and find out why they were looking.
  • We’d offer more vacation days and perks.
  • It’s a tricky situation. If the employee is unhappy and looking, pay might not be the main issue.

In a similar poll on Job Journey, the Express Employment Professionals blog for job seekers and people early in their careers, readers were asked if offered a new job opportunity with a different company, how much of a pay increase over their current pay it would take to stay with their employer. The results were as follows:

  • 16 – 20% increase: 21%
  • 5 – 10% increase: 19%
  • 11 – 15% increase: 19%
  • 21% or more: 18%
  • 3 – 4% increase: 7%
  • Other: 7%
  • I would stay in my current job without a pay increase: 6%
  • 1 – 2% increase: 3%

Benefits Are the Key
In a job seekers market, skilled workers often hold all the cards, so the pressure is building on companies to do whatever it takes to retain workers. In many cases, benefits become the key differentiator for talented employees when weighing their options with another company. In a previous Refresh Leadership article, we highlighted four ways employers retain employees with benefits, including:

  • Wages and Bonuses: Although money isn’t everything, it will always be a big thing. So, many businesses are re-evaluating their compensation structures to ensure they stay competitive.
  • Family Benefits: In addition to individual employee benefits, more companies are enhancing the way benefits impact a worker’s family, including paid family leave policies or expanding benefits to include elder care or, in some cases, even pet care.
  • Education and Training: Companies are increasingly offering workers education benefits that help them secure different jobs within the organization in the future, hoping that it will help them retain these workers.
  • Workplace Culture: As valuable as raises, bonuses, benefits, and education can be, the most important step a business can take to retain employees is to improve the workplace culture.

What are some ways your company has enhanced its benefits to be more competitive and retain top talent? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Check out the latest episode of Express Employment Professionals’ On the Job podcast!

Maple Syrup Brothers
What does it take to be a young farmer in a digital age? This is the story of two young brothers rising in the maple syrup industry in Vermont. Hear how important the Stewart brothers’ highly loyal and supportive community is to running their small agrarian business in 2019.

Listen to the new episode!

Don’t miss an episode!
Jobs give us a connection to our communities and the ability to provide for ourselves and our families. Your work may be your passion or it could just be the way you make ends meet. Each week, On the Job will share stories about the pursuit of work by delving into the employment situations people from all walks of life face each day.

Download the On the Job podcast on iTunes or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts. And, be sure to check back next week for the next episode!

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In Tight Labour Market, Employers Need to Use All Available Tools to Attract Talent

In a tight labour market where finding the right candidates with the right skills is a growing frustration, many businesses are turning to their own employees as the preferred recruitment tool. According to a new survey from Express Employment Professionals, employee referrals rank as the most effective way to find new talent, with online job postings coming in third.

In the Express survey of businesses, 33% of respondents ranked employee referral as the most effective recruiting tool. Staffing firms were ranked second (at 26%), followed by online job boards (at 24%), with social media (6%) and professional job boards (3%) lagging far behind.

Express franchise owner Sasha Malik in St. Catharines, Ontario, has noticed the increased use of employee referrals as a recruiting tool and believes its effectiveness can be traced to one important reason: the human element.

“The human element goes a long way in making the recruitment process more successful,” Malik said. “You’re not just telling a friend to apply online or send in a resume. There will be an interested and engaged individual on the other end who genuinely wants to help them become employed if they are the right fit.”

“We also find the interview attendance rate is higher on referral applicants in comparison to other applicants, perhaps due to a higher level of engagement and investment,” Malik added. “For example, an employee won’t refer someone who would reflect on them poorly, and someone who has been referred probably doesn’t want to let their friend down or hurt their friend’s reputation with their employer.”

Express franchise owner Brent Pollington in Vancouver, British Columbia, is also seeing more employers use employee referrals to recruit workers.

“Employers are definitely using employee referrals more often, because in our extremely competitive market, they need to do anything and everything they can to attract the best talent,” Pollington said. “And employers are providing significant incentives for employees who refer someone that ends up being hired. Money is the most common incentive and I’ve heard of as much as $5,000 being offered for higher level positions.”

Pollington agrees that the human element is what makes a recruiting tool more successful.

“Online job boards are a convenient solution, but they have a lot of deficiencies and many applicants say they feel like they are a black hole,” Pollinton said. “Without the human element, it’s a lot harder to find the right fit. For example, online job boards don’t match the soft skills an employer may be looking for like a staffing firm can. Also, online job boards aren’t effective in finding other jobs for an applicant if the one they are applying for isn’t a good match.”

Although the human element is important, both Express owners recommend employers use a variety of recruiting tools to find qualified workers.

“It’s good to do your market research and learn what works best for your industry or specific job,” Malik said. “You won’t know if a recruiting source works unless you try it. I find there are different strategies for different roles. Most employers will focus the majority of their time and efforts on referrals, staffing firms and online job boards, but also spend time utilizing other resources like job fairs, social media, trade shows, etcetera.”

“Employers are having a hard time finding qualified employees in our market, and the problem is getting worse,” Pollington said. “Companies are so desperate for workers they are foregoing interviews and just asking people to show up the next day. When someone agrees, it leaves the business feeling like they’ve solved the problem only to find the person doesn’t show up the following day or their skills are nowhere near what they described over the phone. It definitely takes time to find the right fit, especially with skilled positions.”

“The problem employers have of finding qualified workers in a tight labour market is one that does not appear to be going away anytime soon,” said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. “Employers should be using a variety of methods to recruit in a tight labour market, but the most important thing that seems to make a recruiting tool successful is a personal touch.”

The survey of 491 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in February 2019.

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We’re excited to announce the season three launch of Express Employment Professionals’ On the Job Podcast with a brand-new episode!

Season 3, Episode 1

Healthy Roots
Meet Yelitsa, a next-level, twenty-something entrepreneur who started her own company, Healthy Roots, to teach young black girls about natural hair. Listen to the emotional ride of starting your own company when you decide to put yourself out there, kick open doors, make connections, and plant seeds.

Listen to the new episode!

Don’t miss an episode!
Jobs give us a connection to our communities and the ability to provide for ourselves and our families. Your work may be your passion or it could just be the way you make ends meet. Each week, On the Job will share stories about the pursuit of work by delving into the employment situations people from all walks of life face each day.

Download the On the Job podcast on iTunes or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts. And, be sure to check back next week for the next episode!

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Marijuana Legalization Poses Challenges for Businesses; Big Jump in Areas Where State Laws Have Changed

The number of open jobs in the country exceeds the number of unemployed workers, but for many Americans, there is still something standing between them and a job: drug use and drug testing.

In a survey fielded by Express, 65% of business say they have job applicants who cannot pass a drug test. More than one-quarter (26%) say that 5% or more of their applicants fail drug testing. Fifteen percent of businesses, however, say applicants who fail are not necessarily excluded from their workforce.

Full results are below, and findings are consistent with a 2018 survey from Express.

Terri Greeno, an Express Employment Professionals franchise owner in Crystal Lake, Illinois, said she hears about applicants failing drug tests multiple times a week-and she expects the problem to get worse.

“As society’s view of marijuana becomes more tolerant, and some states have legalized its recreational use, we expect to see more issues with candidates not passing a drug screen due to marijuana use,” Greeno said.

In Michigan, Janis Petrini, a Grand Rapids franchise owner, has seen exactly that.

“Recreational use of marijuana was legalized in Michigan in late 2018,” she said. “Since then, we’ve seen an increase in drug testing fails.”

Darren Moscato, a franchise owner in Buffalo, New York, says that the way to address this challenge may be to shift the emphasis from whether someone is using drugs to whether someone is impaired.

“As ‘recreational drug use’ becomes more and more legally acceptable we need to push for better technologies to measure impairment,” he said.

Express Employment Professionals conducts drug testing pursuant to all federal, state and local laws, but Express franchise owners continue to report that some companies in their regions are rethinking their procedures.

“As public perception of certain drugs changes, we find that employer policies are also evolving. Increasingly, employers are more concerned with intoxication and impairment, than they are concerned with what workers do on their own time,” Moscato added.

Greeno notes the challenges of a more relaxed approach.

“This is a double-edged sword,” she said. “On one hand, relaxing the drug test requirement would enable businesses to recruit from a larger pool. But of course, they are very wary of this from a risk perspective.”

Chris Ashcraft, a franchise owner in Mobile, Alabama, says businesses are also adapting by adjusting how frequently a job applicant can drug test.

“It used to be that an applicant could not come back for 90 days after a failure. Now it is 30 days,” he said.

“The public’s views on drug laws and drug use have changed at a rapid pace in recent years,” said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. “That has posed a new set of challenges for businesses. They are more desperate than ever for workers, but safety concerns must always come first, especially when heavy equipment is involved. We will likely see changes in the future, but they will have to be implemented in a careful, thoughtful way.”

The survey of 491 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in February 2019 to gauge respondents’ expectations for the second quarter of 2019.

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It’s a job seeker’s market and skilled workers have more options than they’ve had in more than a decade. The struggle to recruit workers with the right mix of skills and expertise needed to fill open positions is reaching a fever pitch, which means businesses must go to greater lengths to attract top talent, including luring workers away from the competition. So, even star employees who seem happily engaged in their current jobs may be tempted to test the waters with another company if the offer is right.

According to a study by Digital marketing firm AdTaxi, as reported on HRDrive.com, “52% of workers plan to look for a new job in 2019, and of those who will take part in the hunt, 54% landed their current job less than a year ago.​” So, anyone is susceptible, no matter how long they’ve been with their employer, and the reasons they choose to leave might surprise you.

Here are five reasons other than pay that could drive your star employees to leave.

Training or Advancement Opportunities
Not only is employee training and development an important part of maintaining a strong, productive business, it’s also vital to retaining top talent. According to a study by TINYpulse, a developer of employee engagement software, “employees who don’t feel supported in their professional goals are three times more likely to be looking for a new job.” So, an opportunity with another company that better aligns with an employee’s desired career path is a tempting prospect.

See also:

Flexible Work Environment
We all have lives outside the office, so opportunities to create work-life balance with a flexible work environment that better fits our lifestyle are hard to pass up. According to a survey from Flexjobs, “61% [of workers] have left or considered leaving a job because it did not have work flexibility” and 77% said “having a flexible job would allow them to be healthier (eat better, exercise more, etc.), and 86% said they’d be less stressed.”

See also:

Feeling like their skills are underutilized/underappreciated
High achievers are driven to perform, so if they feel their skills and expertise aren’t being fully utilized, they get bored and may start looking for a more challenging opportunity. Often, this comes down to recognition, which can be a key driver of retention. In fact, the research from TINYpulse, found that “employees who feel under-appreciated are unlikely to stay with their employers,” and “21.5% of employees that don’t feel recognized when they do great work have interviewed for a job in the last three months, compared to just 12.4% that do feel recognized.”

See also:

Ambivalence toward the company mission
Most people want to know that the work they do each day contributes to a higher purpose or makes a difference in at least their small part of the world. So, an employee who may be generally engaged in their work and performing well could be tempted to leave if an opportunity arises with a company whose mission more closely aligns with their life’s passion, core values, or personal beliefs. In a survey conducted by Lexington Law, a law firm specializing in credit repair, people were asked to “choose between two extremes – a job you love, but half your current pay or a job you hate, but twice your current pay.” Three in five participants said they would take the 50% pay cut to have a job they loved.

See also:

Personal reasons you may never know
It’s possible you may never truly know why a star employee decides to leave. From personal health issues to simply wanting to shake things up with a change of pace, everyone has their own motivations for the decisions they make and you may simply have to chalk it up to unknown factors outside your control.

See also:

What are some other reasons employees who seemed otherwise happy and engaged in their jobs have left your company? Let us know in the comments section below.

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According to Cybersecurity Ventures, a leading cyber economy researcher, “cybercrime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021—exponentially more than the damage inflicted from natural disasters in a year, and more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined.”

Businesses at all levels invest significant resources each year to cybersecurity, but one of the most common targets of nefarious individuals and organizations seeking access behind the firewall are a company’s employees. So, for our May question of the month, we’re asking about one of the most basic lines of defense against cybercrime—your password.

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