Firm owner shaking hands with a new hire.

3 key tips for hiring in a post-COVID world

It’s called the “Great Resignation.” People are leaving their work and jobs after the pandemic, so what do you do if you are an employer that needs to hire? We recently experienced firm growth. Hiring staff is always challenging, but in this post-COVID world, hiring is drastically different from in the pre-COVID world.

We are building a team at the firm that I share with my business partner, Sarah Prevost, called The Proper Trust, LLC. Our firm specializes in accounting for attorneys and law firms. The positions we offer are 100% remote, entry-level, and we will train on the legal side of the business. Remote is the keyword.

That’s one of the reasons for the “Great Resignation.” Employees got a taste of what it feels like to be a worker from home. You can’t beat the commute.

What can you do with those extra hours? Exercise, spend time with your spouse, and spend time with your children and grandchildren. That was the extra perk. When people were asked to return to the workplace, many returned but didn’t like driving to work. They preferred working from home.

The mid-career exodus

The majority of staff exiting the workplace is higher between the ages of 35 to 45, workers considered in their mid-career. These people are choosing to leave their careers and pivot. They want something more out of life than that grinding corporate life. The jobs with most mid-career employees exiting are in healthcare, most likely due to being overworked, and technology, most likely due to being underpaid.

Why do mid-career employees have a significant percentage of employees leaving the workforce? One of the reasons is childcare. During the pandemic, many childcare or daycare facilities were closed, so what does the parent who is in charge of the children do? We pivot. We take on the task of taking care of our children from home.

Women were more affected than men when it came to childcare issues. Many had to reduce their hours at their current workplace to tend to their children from home.

The baby boomer retirement

Pre-Covid baby boomers who did not want to leave the workforce had that momentary pause in their life during the pandemic and decided to change career paths, reduce hours, and remain working from home. Many did not want to return to the workplace.

How many people left their jobs this past year? According to the data released in November 2021 from the bureau of labor statistics: “A record 4.4 million people quit their jobs in September, while job openings remained unchanged at 10.4 million.”

It is a staggering statistic.

So, given all of the above, what can you do as an employer to maintain great employees and onboard new staff? Here are three recommendations, drawn from conversations with our attorney clients who are experiencing the same issue:

Tip #1: Increase the compensation

Providing a reasonable salary in line with the profession will keep you at pace and let you remain competitive. For employee retention, raise the wages of key employees. We often recommend a surprise bonus as well.

Tip #2: Create a soft return to the workplace

If you ask your employees to return to the office, do this with care and thoughtfulness. Returning to the office can be a dramatic change after working from home for two years. My suggestion is to ease them back. Start with asking them to come to work one or two days a week on a rotating schedule. A soft return will allow the employee to see the value and the camaraderie of working together as one cohesive unit.

Tip #3: Provide great benefits

Add a benefits package that is above the industry norm. Did you know that providing your staff with a stellar employee benefits package that includes a retirement program, maybe a gym membership, and a vision care package will make for a happier and healthier employee? Employees that get these add-on perks may stay with you. It’s costly to lose a key employee, especially one that’s trusted and valued.

Over 200+ people applied to our part-time remote bookkeeping position. After reviewing all of those resumes, it was apparent that many people are employed but looking for part-time remote work.

We are fortunate to have a staff of all women and moms. When we were searching for our new team member, we soon realized that many were moms looking for a way to care for their children and have the flexibility of working from home. We understand when a child is sick or when you have to dash off for soccer practice. Our job is flexible and sought after in this post-COVID world.

I’d like to end this article this way. How would I want to be treated as an employee? It’s something to consider. I still remember when my children were young, and I needed that time off to care for them. Recently I had to care for my mom, who has Alzheimer’s.

Hiring today has changed. The current world we live in is changed, and let’s hope that all of this “Great Resignation” creates a positive result in the way we approach handling our employees and staff by treating them less like employees and more like family.

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