Jul 14, 2022
From the fading “help wanted” signs posted in windows of local businesses, to the daily news headlines, it’s no doubt the effects of The Great Resignation have permeated throughout America’s economy. And not only are companies struggling to find new talent, but even retaining their existing workforce has become a challenge; according to research, as many as 95% of employees are considering quitting their jobs or switching careers altogether.
In an effort to understand what these trends mean for Ohio businesses, William Vaughan Company teamed up with regional leaders to host a panel discussion where we discussed innovative techniques companies are starting to employ in order to attract and retain talent. Here are our top 5 takeaways:
- Expand your search to include traditionally untapped talent populations.
Every 1 out of 4 adults in the United States is currently living with a disability, however, in 2021 only 19 percent of those individuals were gainfully employed. Making small changes to your workspace to accommodate these individuals can often be funded by grants and opens up an entirely new pool of talent from which to pull. Other talent pool opportunities include the previously incarcerated or second chance communities which is roughly 70 million Americans, and the veteran population. Thinking outside the box and investing in untapped talent could be a real solution in an extremely competitive job market.
- Be proactive in recruiting by keeping your “talent pipeline” full.
Just as companies keep track of pending deals in their sales pipeline, keeping track of applicants in a “talent pipeline” is equally as beneficial. While an applicant may not be the right fit for an existing job opening, keeping their information on-hand for a future job posting could prove to be useful.
- Check-in with new hires within the first 90 days.
Studies show the majority of turnover happens within the first 90 days of employment. Improving onboarding procedures and checking-in with new hires within that 90-day window is crucial to employee retention.
- Get involved on local school boards.
Last year alone, 80 percent of local college graduates relocated for work. Making connections with board members at local high schools and universities has proven to be a great way for businesses to get their foot in the door with up-and-coming talent.
- Leverage professional connections.
While recruiting firms and temp agencies may provide some momentary workload relief, leveraging connections with industry-specific business consultants may lead to finding that perfect, long-team hire. For example, William Vaughan Company offers CFO, Controller & Bookkeeper Placement services that help our clients make the right decisions for their long-term objectives.
Interested in hearing the entire discussion? Visit our Youtube channel for the full recording. To learn more about William Vaughan Company’s onboarding and placement guarantee, be sure to reach out to our team of trusted business consultants.
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Dec 17, 2020
The ongoing pandemic environment has wreaked economic havoc, impacting every sector, some more dramatically than others. From project delays and cancellations to increased competition as a result of stimulus funding (PPP), the construction industry has experienced its fair share of COVID-related issues. Still, for many contractors, the impact will not be fully felt until well into 2021, when backlogs begin to dwindle. According to the Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator fell to 7.5 months in September, a decline of 0.5 months from August’s reading. This backlog report is 1.5 months lower than in September 2019.
Those who proactively adjust their business practices will be the ones who survive this unforeseen disruption. Here are some strategic opportunities to improve your backlog to remain competitive and emerge stronger post-pandemic.
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a significant decline in retail and restaurant-related projects and an increase in healthcare contracts. Contractors who have padded their backlogs with retail and restaurant work may be facing considerable losses during the slowdown. The more a construction firm diversifies its project types, the better equipped it will be to weather a disruption. Diversifying can mean taking on multiple construction project types, like public or private jobs or branching out into service work, or picking up a new trade or skill to add your construction repertoire. If you find your company has gotten into a rut when it comes to the type of projects you are doing, now is the time to consider expanding your focus. Whether it is public/private, residential/commercial, or a different industry or building type, diversification is the key to protecting the health of your backlog.
It may seem counterintuitive, but during uncertain times being strategic and selective about the work you take on may be the leg up you need. Increasing profitability should be top of mind rather than padding your backlog for volume. Taking on new work for the sake of volume could be detrimental as it only takes one bad project to damage your organization and its reputation. More importantly, strategic business planning should look at 30/60/90 days rather than the typical 2-5 year plan. Scenario planning will also help you be flexible should another disrupting event occur.
Hand-in-hand with strategic a mindset is looking for ways to reduce waste and become more efficient. Reviewing your current processes and looking for methods to slim down your operations will save capital in the long-run. Technology can be a great means to enhance efficiency and provide a clear picture of your costs. Business intelligence solutions like Microsoft PowerBi are providing contractors with an in-depth look at key metrics with the ability to customize reports and spot anomalies as they arise. Harnessing the power of data allows for better business decision making.
Labor shortages have consistently plagued the industry and now more than ever, retaining your current talent is crucial. While the construction sector was deemed essential at the onset of the pandemic, the health and safety of workers was a concern. According to the Associated General Contractors of America’s 2020 Workforce Survey Analysis found the pandemic “contributed to conditions that make it difficult for a majority of firms to find craft workers.” Continuing to invest in the wellbeing of your current workforce and demonstrating their value will help attract and ultimately retain employees. Finally, assessing your leadership to ensure you have the right people in key positions will aid in your ability to source new projects.
Leveraging your top clients can be a differentiator. After all, they know the quality of work you do and can speak to their satisfaction. Investing the time to revisit your clients and understand their current needs may prove to be more fruitful in securing new work.
As 2020 comes to a close and we look into the future, now is the time to proactively adjust your business strategies to emerge stronger post-pandemic. Those who take steps now will gain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving climate. Our William Vaughan Company Construction team can provide guidance and offer value-added recommendations on this very topic.
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Ryan Leininger, CPA
Construction Practice Leader
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