Employers, including those in Arizona, find recruitment and retention of employees as the top challenge to profitability, according to an Enterprise Bank and Trust survey of corporate clients.
In the survey, 80 percent of respondents said recruitment was among their top three challenges. For companies with less than $1 million in revenue, 83 percent said recruiting qualified workers was the most difficult issue.
Mike Brewer, president and CEO of Phoenix-based plumbing company Brewer Cos., called the labor shortage a “crisis,” and said his firm has adjusted strategies to hire more high school graduates and increased advertising for open positions. Construction and distribution employers reported the most challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified workers, according to the survey.
“We’ve recently hired a training program manager to help us find and train talent,” Brewer said in a statement. “This person is a professional coach and educator and has direct connections to new graduates.”
Michelle Shaw, vice president of human resources at Phoenix-based SmartPractice, a health-care services company, said potential employees become interested in the company after discovering its offered amenities, such as an onsite clinic, gym, counseling and educational opportunities.
“Turnover is costly for many reasons, which is why we heavily focus on developing and engaging our current staff,” Shaw said in a statement. “This benefits our bottom line and supports the livelihood of our culture.”
Low unemployment rates were cited as a factor for recruitment challenges, as well as a shortage of skilled laborers and different employee expectations for new jobs. Arizona’s unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in May. Phoenix’s unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in May, the most recent numbers available.