Session Highlight: Navigating a Tight Labor Market. Find. Retain. Augment.

November 1, 2022 by ESX

When it comes to tight labor markets, not only is there recently a workforce shortage but as competition for skilled labor increases, so do wages and benefits. Coupled with remote, hybrid, and flexible work policies, employees have more options in the current workforce environment. Because of this, employee acquisition and retention are becoming competitive differentiators.  

In Fort Worth, TX in June 2022, Dee Ann Harn, CEO of RFI and Gretchen Gordon, CEO of Boost Profits led the “Navigating A Tight Labor Market – Find. Retain. Augment” peer-to-peer educational session at the Electronic Security Expo (ESX). Together they brought their years of expertise and explored key points that position your company for success during this industry trend. 


According to Dee Ann and Gretchen, the first key point is to attract the right employees. Using job ads properly can be extremely powerful. Ads are always huge in any industry, but it is important to put the right information out into the world. The right information includes demonstrating your company brand, culture, and values. It is crucial to have these identified in advance to hiring new team members. If this is accomplished it will be much more transparent for you as a manager, to identify who will be well suited for the company and the culture. However, a lot of companies fail to consider what attracts a valuable employee
and forget that the hiring process goes both ways. Dee Ann and Gretchen emphasize making sure your company is living out its culture in a tangible way
to the employee,
which leads us to retention. 


It is important to think about your company values and culture and think of the value proposition from the perspective of the employee. Is this a good work environment? Would someone enjoy working for your company and why? 65% of job seekers say that a company’s reputation influences their decision on whether they chose to apply to a job and 64% of job seekers say that reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed influence their perception of what it’s like to work at that company.  

When employees feel seen and valued, they are less likely to look for different work opportunities. In this day and age, many young employees are choosing positive and healthy work environments over simply having a career and good salary. Now, people are looking at the package deal. Salary, benefits, PTO, remote and hybrid opportunities, flexibility and so much more. The days of living to work are far behind us and many young people are choosing to work to live instead, with many still wanting to have a healthy work-life balance lifestyle available to them.  


It is crucial for companies to identify who fits with the company and to be transparent from the beginning. Using accurate job descriptions is one part of doing this. Employees should know what they are getting into so a month or two in, they aren’t struggling, surprised, or at risk of resigning. Ensuring there is growth in the company plays a big role as well. Employees want to know that they can grow and succeed within a company long-term, and that they have the resources available to them to do so.  

Overall, with the right tools and resources, employers should be able to be successful in hiring long-term candidates who can bring success not just to the company but to their own career as well. Companies should firstly solidify their brand, use that brand to advertise to a specific target of job seekers, identify from applicants who is well-suited for the company culture and lastly be able to offer that employee proper tools and resources to succeed.