By Ruder Ware Alumni
January 29, 2018
Employers today are struggling to fill vacant positions that are needed to meet customer needs. The struggle is a combination of finding potential employees with the skills needed for the particular position and with the skills that make a good worker such as the ability to work in a team environment and use good communication skills and common courtesy toward others. It’s not easy to find the right combination in a world where employment opportunities are plentiful and candidates are looking for employment that fits their personal needs and expectations.
Employers need to first understand what the expectations are for many candidates both young and old. Applicants for positions are looking for work flexibility and a challenging work environment with an opportunity to grow in a position and have opportunities for challenges and job advancement. This means that employers need to look at the jobs they have created and make sure they have done everything possible to provide both work flexibility and the chance for job growth in a challenging environment.
Employers also need to think about the benefits they offer as part of an employment package. There has to be a balance between future job security, benefits for retirement, and work schedule flexibility to allow employees time off when needed.
Another attraction that employers must consider is developing and implementing family friendly policies in the workplace. Family friendly policies are designed to support employees when dealing with the pressures of family life whether it be time off for attending school parent-teacher conferences or being available to attend well-baby visits for a newborn child. Part of the recent tax law changes allows an employer to deduct the cost of providing paid family and medical leave for an employee in order to encourage these types of family friendly policies that are attractive to employees of all ages. While the business expense deduction for this paid benefit is limited, it does provide some return for the business that wishes to provide a limited paid benefit for its employees. The business deduction starts at 12% of the amount paid to the employee for a limited amount of time off, but represents a first step to encourage companies to provide some level of paid leave benefit for its employees.
Other employers are working with their employees to help employees understand how to address family issues by providing resources for employees to consider such as different resources for caregiving services that can help an employee address family situations. Creating different resource groups in the work setting also provides ways for businesses to help their employees address day care and family care situations and hopefully provide a workforce that can be dependable and available when needed in today’s busy business climate.
Employers are also spending more time reviewing their employee handbook or personnel policies to ensure they are in full compliance with state and federal laws but more importantly that the work policies being used by the company serve as a selling point to attract new employees to the company. It is important for employers to spend the time explaining their benefits and the company policies that would apply to someone’s employment in a way that will show the company is a preferred place for employees to work. This includes reviewing maternity/paternity leave policies and the level of benefits employees receive for their commitment to the company. An employee handbook that shows a commitment to employees is an excellent tool the company can use to recruit employees to their workplace.
Businesses need to think outside the box to address their employment needs going forward. Relying simply upon a wage level without considering other benefits and needed flexibility in the workplace will place the employer at a disadvantage when recruiting employees to meet their business needs.
Reprinted with permission by The Business Leader©
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