The latest workforce statistics are great for the United States at large, but they’re terrible for business owners.  United States unemployment is at four percent (it’s slightly lower in the Triangle), and jobless claims are at a 48-year low.  Retention is difficult, and hiring qualified candidates is extremely hard.

In short, it’s a great environment if you’re fully staffed.  Here are three things you can do to delay hiring to backfill a position, or avoid it entirely.

The Kill List (Tasks) – If your company is more than a few years old, the odds are good that employees are doing certain tasks because they’ve always been done – not because they’re a good use of their time.  In fact, the person doing the work might be surprised to learn that it’s not being used by the person who is receiving it.  Regularly meeting with the recipients of work and making sure that it’s still valuable can land several tasks on a ‘kill list’, freeing up hours in a week that can be put towards more pressing work that’s being delayed or avoided entirely.

Stress Management – Many people talk about stress management as a way to improve retention by keeping employees happier.  It’s true that retention will be better at a company where people enjoy coming to work than it will in a pressure cooker environment.  However, a lower-stress environment also has a direct impact on productivity.  High-stress environments lead to less productive employees, which means that if your work environment is high-stress, reducing it will lead to more productive work from your current staff.  What causes stress?  Bad managers, a lack of control, and of course, job responsibilities.

Succession Planning – At many companies, when an employee leaves, there’s no documentation of what their job responsibilities were and which current employee will receive those responsibilities.  This leads to panic – which can lead to a ‘fast hire’.  Fast hires often turn out to be bad hires, because they’re hired out of desperation rather than company fit.  Fast hires are even more likely to be bad hires when the unemployment rate is low, because there are fewer highly-qualified candidates hunting for jobs at any given time.

Ensuring that your employees document how they complete their primary job responsibilities can help to mitigate this challenge.  If they face an unexpected health scare or other life challenge that forces them to take an unexpected leave of absence, they’ll also be able to leave their job behind temporarily without worrying about how it will impact their co-workers.

To learn how WingSwept can help you improve your efficiency through better use of technology, call us at 919-779-0954 or email us at