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How to Overcome Staffing Issues Once and For All

With a strong building market and a shortage of skilled workers, hiring and retaining quality tradesmen can be a constant challenge. In fact, many of our clients within the real estate and construction industry name staffing issues as one of their primary concerns.

Thankfully, there are things hiring managers can do to ensure access to top talent whenever there’s a position to fill. Here are a few tips we’ve shared with our clients.

1. Develop a long-term recruiting strategy
Filling a vacant position requires more than simply going through the motions and hoping for the best. It requires a long-term recruiting strategy.

Your strategy should focus on institutions or organizations from which good employees are known to come, such as schools or trade associations. Get involved within these communities by building relationships and attending functions. Strive to become a recognizable face and name. (Be creative!)

Another key piece of your recruiting strategy should be the definition of your brand. Be clear about what sets you apart from the competition.

2. Determine your needs first
In addition to developing a long-term recruiting strategy, determine your immediate needs before posting an open position. Having a clear understanding of the position’s duties and requisite skills and experience allows you to better identify prospects. Plus, it can go a long way toward establishing the groundwork for your new hire’s future success.

3. Offer incentives to employees
Did you know? Employee referrals make up approximately 25 percent of new hires in the workplace. Consider offering incentives or rewarding your employees for providing a referral for an open position.

4. Think through the interview process
When the time comes to sit down and interview potential hires, think through the process from beginning to end. Make sure you’ve addressed the following: Who should host the interview? What types of questions should we ask? Should multiple people be involved? Keep in mind: Getting perspective from peers (in addition to management) will help identify quality candidates.

5. Make employees feel valued
Making your employees feel valued is critical from day one. Make their transition a successful one by introducing them to the company’s culture and establishing a welcoming environment. Be quick to reward achievements or to address things that aren’t working.

Moreover, if any of your managers are turning over staff more quickly than the industry standard, consider providing them with training, or if all else fails, moving them along.

6. Offer a competitive compensation package
Your tax professional can assist you in determining the industry norm for salaries and benefits and developing incentives to entice quality workers. What’s more, your tax professional can also verify your compliance with labor and employment tax laws (federal and state) and help you take advantage of any available tax credits.

Judd Nordquist, CPA, is AEM’s Construction/Real Estate Industry Leader. When he’s not hunting down ways to help clients improve their bottom lines, he’s hunting for pheasants with his trusty canine companion. Judd can be reached at 952.939.3204 or

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