f you’re a small business owner in LA, chances are it’s been a tough year and a half. First, it was shutting down due to the pandemic, then it was adjusting to new protocols in order to reopen, and now it’s a struggle to find employees.
While the ongoing labor shortage might feel like a uniquely California problem, it’s a nationwide phenomenon. From coast to coast, companies big and small are unable to remain sufficiently staffed. The result is supply disruptions, slow service, and the inability to deliver on what’s promised.
While there’s no silver bullet solution to the labor shortage problem, most LA business owners have the right combination of grit and ingenuity to adapt to this new environment. To help you along the way, here are seven tips for surviving the labor shortage:
Speed up the hiring process
Many small business owners are having a hard time keeping employees around longer than a few weeks. What’s more, it’s not unusual for workers to drop off the face of the earth with no warning. In order to stay adequately staffed, businesses in LA need to expedite the hiring process. From faster employee background check services to improving the onboarding process, business owners are pulling out all the stops in order to get new workers on the clock as soon as possible. While it doesn’t address the problem of chronic quitters, it mitigates the damage these types of employees can cause a small business.
Loosen workplace grooming policies
While small business owners in other parts of the country can still get away with requiring employees to appear clean cut on the clock, it’s become close to impossible to do so in Los Angeles. Too many folks here choose to express themselves with funky hair, facial piercings, and visible tattoos. Now’s the time for business owners to throw in the towel on most existing grooming policies. While it’s still essential to ensure workers practice good personal hygiene, there’s no need to snub someone because they have a nose ring or neck tattoo.
Consider outsourcing options
Today’s digital infrastructure makes it easy for individuals to perform various tasks remotely. Given this option, LA business owners might want to think twice about hiring local folks. Opting for freelancers and other outside specialists offering their services online can not only prevent work stoppages due to lack of hiring but save business owners money in the process.
Invest in automation
Now might be the time to invest in automation, artificial intelligence, and software upgrades designed to eliminate the need for humans. While not everything can be done by robots and smart technology, automation moves in on new roles and responsibilities every year.
Roll up your sleeves
Fast-food chain Raising Cane’s recently made news by announcing corporate office employees will be filling in at understaffed restaurants across the country. Many small business owners in LA and across the rest of California are forced to do something similar to stay in business. Whether it’s operating the cash register, mopping the floors, or bussing tables, no job is too small for a determined small business owner.
Offer better pay and competitive benefits
The key to winning an employee’s heart and loyalty is to treat them with dignity and respect. While words of praise and accolades are nice, it ultimately boils down to pay and benefits. Pay your workers a living wage, provide them with basic benefits, and watch them stick around.
Go through staffing agencies
Many small businesses find luck going through staffing agencies. These companies specialize in finding ideal job candidates and actively recruiting them on your behalf. While the service isn’t free, the commission is a small price to pay to secure top talent.
Well, there you have it. These seven tips should help most LA business owners power through the labor shortage. It turns out when you pay well and optimize operations for maximum efficiency, it becomes a lot easier to find qualified workers willing to show up and give it their all. Who knew?