Pre-COVID Pay Rates Just Won’t Cut It…

While the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread unemployment, that doesn’t mean employers shouldn’t consider raising their pay rates. Competitive salaries are critical for attracting top talent, and, today, employers don’t just have to outdo their competitors; they also have to outshine the government.

In response to COVID-19, unemployment compensation was boosted. Along with extending eligibility, allowing people to claim benefits for longer, funds were directed to provide unemployed individuals with more income. If you aren’t exceeding what people can receive without having to work, you might not capture attention from candidates.

Luckily, there are some simple moves you can make to ensure your post-COVID rates and benefits make sense. If you want to attract top talent, here’s what you need to know.

Reevaluate Starting Pay

Generally, entry-level or low-experience positions are most likely to need a pay boost in a post-COVID world. That way, they can exceed what a person gets through unemployment benefits, increasing interest in the position.

For example, your warehouse positions may need to start at $15 per hour. Since forklift jobs require a specific skill, begin those at $17 per hour. Then, if you operate beyond a single shift, consider a shift differential to make less desirable schedules enticing.

Stabilize Schedules

If a person can make ends meet on unemployment, they aren’t going to settle on just any job. Most professionals don’t like instability in their schedules, including changes to their start and end times or short-notice mandatory overtime.

While you may not be able to avoid some changes entirely, aim to stabilize employee work schedules as much as possible. Try to keep start and end times consistent. If overtime is an issue, consider having some contingent workers you can bring in or a part-time, weekend shift to cover it instead.

Offer Flexibility

COVID-19 is still an issue, creating a degree of uncertainty in daily life. Employers who can offer some flexibility, as a result, will be favored, as they support workers who may need to navigate something unexpected.

For example, have policies in place that help employees who may have trouble if a childcare center or school has to close unexpectedly due to the virus. Expand sick leave use options to cover more COVID-related scenarios, including the need to voluntarily quarantine after possible exposure.

Focus on Safety

Safety has been thrust into the spotlight due to COVID-19. Establish clear policies and strict procedures to ensure your workforce is as protected as possible. If you require PPE, try to make it available to your staff at no cost to them. Communicate openly about your efforts, as well as provide information should a situation develop at your workplace.

Update Screening Requirement

Reducing barriers to entry could increase your talent pool, allowing you to reach candidates who may have what it takes to thrive but would typically be screened out. Consider focusing on potential instead of existing hard skills, for example. If an employee has the right attitude, they can often be trained in a task, so keep that in mind when choosing candidates.

If you’d like to learn more about how to adapt your hiring practices to a post-COVID world, the team at The Advance Group can help. Contact us today.






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