14 Ways to Attract the Best & Brightest Employees

Everyone wants to attract the best and brightest employees. After all, your team directly affects your ability to provide excellent customer service and that is essential to business success these days.

If you’re a very small business, you might not be looking for the best and the brightest but the willing and capable. That’s good too.

But either way, you want to attract good, quality employees just like everyone else. In today’s job market, with unemployment hovering around 3.6%, it’s a job hunter’s paradise and you’re likely hard-pressed to find the stars you want.

To further complicate that, those stars are likely already employed. So how do you become the kind of business that people want to work for? How do you get them to knock on your door instead of you having to chase them? Here are some ideas to help make you an employer of choice in your community.

Become an Employer of Choice and Potential Employees Will Seek You Out

The beauty of becoming an employer of choice–someone everyone wants to work for–is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money. It’s also a lot easier than you might think but there are a couple of things you need to do before we talk about the facets behind a great workplace.

You must know who you’re looking for

Before you recreate your business to attract quality employees, you need to know who those employees are. Are you looking for seasoned professionals or someone with little experience who you can mold? Are you looking for a “hunter” personality or a “nurturer”? Maybe you only want naturally curious people, for instance. Yes, some of these things are position specific, but others reflect the type of culture you want to build.

One note of caution: this tip is by no means suggesting you scout for a particular demographic. That can get you into trouble legally through discriminatory hiring practices.

However, there are overarching themes you should be looking for that help you build the type of environment that will contribute to the service you want to provide your customers.

Know what your competition is doing

While you should never use your competition’s actions to hold you back by thinking, “They’re not doing it yet. We don’t have to.”, you should keep an eye on their hiring and recruiting practices. You don’t want them to pass you up.

You need to talk about yourself

This is hard for a lot of employers but it is absolutely necessary in becoming an employer of choice in the community. But don’t be a bore about it. Don’t tell people how great you are. Show them. Post what you’re doing, what you value, and celebrate your people doing it well for all to see. That’s the kind of thing that will get people excited about working for you.

Speaking of that. let’s jump right in to how you can become a highly desired business in your community (even if you’re teeny tiny):

  • Be flexible with work hours and/or provide work at home opportunities. It needn’t be full-time just give the flexibility.
  • Offer flexible start times. There are some businesses that this does not work for but others can adopt a coordinated window of when people start. Parents really appreciate this perk.
  • Have an attractive work facility or public spaces.
  • Offer safe, ample parking.
  • Make professional development a key component of what you offer. The chamber may provide some very cost-effective options for helping you do this. As a chamber member, your employees can attend their programming.
  • Insist that everyone use their vacation time and don’t create such an intense environment that they feel they can’t.
  • Market your ideas behind work/life balance.
  • Let your personality shine through all of your social media posts, web copy, and business communications.

Tips for Hospitality, Food Service, and Retail

These industries are notorious for the revolving door and it’s difficult to become an employer of choice in many of them because the things that office employers can do (like flexible start times) can’t be accomplished in these industries. But here are a few things you can offer such as:

  • Pay a higher wage for the area.
  • Schedule samplings and trial times. For instance, host paired tastings for employees after the restaurant closes or host a mini fashion show with paired items your employees put together from the store. It will make them better salespeople when they are suggesting dishes or outfits.
  • Celebrate your best employees and help everyone become your best.
  • Ask for employee suggestions and listen to them.
  • Empower them to do better by the customer.
  • Don’t make them feel secondary to the customer. Instead, help them feel like they are pivotal to customer experience and without them, there wouldn’t be customers.

With today’s low unemployment rate, finding quality employees can be a struggle. You will do much better in recruiting and hiring if they notice you and seek you out. As an employer of choice in your community, you will have your pick of future employees and that’s a good spot to be in.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.  

Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

Oregon Legislative Update 5-21-19

Week 17 – State Legislative Update

Activity on Major Issues

  • The $2.8 billion Commercial Activity Tax (HB 3427) was signed into law by Governor Brown. Starting on January 1, 2020, all businesses doing business in Oregon will see:
     
    • A gross receipts tax rate of 0.57% on Oregon sales over $1 million;
    • A 35% deduction from taxable sales for labor OR business inputs, whichever is higher;
    • An exemption for groceries (defined as those that qualify for ‘SNAP’) and transportation fuel.
  • Cap-and-Trade (HB 2020). On Friday, HB 2020-A passed its first major milestone. After three hours of debate, the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction adopted the -94 amendments on a party line vote and sent the bill to the Joint Committee on Ways & Means for further deliberation. Democrats voted down all other amendments that were brought forward, although it was widely acknowledged that rural Oregon would suffer job loss and economic hardship under the bill.

    As currently written, if this bill were to pass in its current form, transportation costs will increase. Natural gas costs will increase. Propane costs will increase. Local food processors and manufacturers will face a real competitive disadvantage. Small businesses and households will see increases in transportation and energy costs.
    OSCC still believes there are still opportunities to change this bill in the Ways & Means Committee.  

What happened last week?

  • The state revenue forecast added $770 million to state coffers for the upcoming 2019-2021 biennium. Just from the last forecast in March, every metric grew by eye-popping numbers due to a historic influx of revenue over the tax season.

    In addition to the influx of $770 million into the upcoming budget cycle, the kicker almost doubled in size.  It’s now projected at $1.4 billion. Net reserve funds are now nearly $3.5 billion.

    But the real impact of the historic revenue forecast is that it will tamp down on talk of additional tax revenue for the remainder of the 2019 legislative session.
  • The legislature’s attempt at PERS reform was unveiled with Senate Bill 1049. SB 1049 contains the following provisions:
     
    • Tier 1 and Tier 2 members, who are public employees who entered the PERS system before 2004, would have 2.5% of their salaries diverted from their individual retirement accounts into paying off the system’s debt.
    • Workers hired 2004 or later (PERS Tier 3 and Tier 4), would face a lower diversion – 0.75% of their salaries.
    • Public employees earning less than $30,000 a year would be exempted.
       
    • A reduction in assumed interest rate for retirees who use the “money match” method of calculating their pension benefits.
    • Most significantly, legislators seem to have abandoned efforts to raid SAIF to cover PERS liability, which is a good development for Oregon employers. 

The future of SB 1049 is uncertain. Although it is only a modest cost-saving measure, the unions oppose it in force and it is unlikely that majority Democrats can carry the issue themselves.

  • Equal Pay Technical Fixes (SB 123-A). On Tuesday, the Oregon Senate passed SB 123 unanimously. The bill includes several important technical fixes to give employers clarity in implementing Oregon’s Equal Pay Act. Oregon’s law is the most comprehensive in the country, and it has been difficult for many employers – large, small, and seasonal – to implement. We anticipate rulemaking later this year to address several other issues identified by Sen. Kathleen Taylor and Sen. Tim Knopp.

Other key issues coming up this week.

  • Prevailing wages in enterprise zones (HB 2408). We are expecting the Senate Workforce Committee to take up HB 2408 this week. In its current form, the bill requires prevailing wages to be paid on private enterprise zone projects of $20 million or more. OSCC is actively opposing and lobbying the legislation.
  • Lawsuit Damages (HB 2014). We are expecting the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote on HB 2014 this week. HB 2014 would repeal Oregon’s legal limit of $500,000 on non-economic damages in personal injury and negligence lawsuit claims. OSCC, health care groups, and business organizations are opposing this legislation because it is a significant factor in driving up health care costs and general liability costs for employers.
  • Paid Family Leave is still under discussion. The last remaining bill alive looks something like this – Details of this are being worked out now.  More like the Washington state model.  Business has asked for it as long as it more clearly mirrors the Washington model. Current scenario.  – Employer employee split 40/60, 12 weeks for serious medical conditions, birth. Same qualifying factors for OFLA, business under 25 employees, exempt, but employees have to pay in those businesses.  Only those (businesses) who pay into system are available for training grants to cover those employees on leave.  Leave requirements apply to any employee down to 1 employee, even if exempt as under 25 employees.  Employer plans we need to meet or exceed these benefits to get a waiver.  More details as we get them.

There are fewer than 45-days before session adjourns, and NOW is the time to make your voice heard.

Start/Grow Your Business

Numerous resources exist to help you with growing your business in addition to your membership in the Tigard Chamber.  Here are just a few!  Many are also available in both English and Spanish. 


SCORE Portland – Non-profit dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground. SCORE offers free one-on-one business mentoring, a business resource center, and free workshops and webinars.  SCORE in English,  SCORE En Espanol

10 Steps to Starting a Small Business Guide (City of Tigard) – English, Espanol

Small Business Administration Portland – The U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. – SBA in English,  SBA En Espanol

Small Business Development Center – Oregon’s SBDCs deliver our services to anyone who owns or operates a business or is planning to start a business. We work with businesses in every industry and at every stage of growth, from startups to well-established companies, from one employee to 500. In addition to no-cost confidential advising, we offer training and online courses that cover a wide range of business topics. Portland Center (English)  Portland Center, SBDC Latino Outreach Program

More Resources for Starting and Growing Your Business – English,Recursos Para Empresas

Leadership Tigard Class of 2019 Hosts Chelsea’s Closet Fundraiser for Service Project

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
April 18, 2019

Lauren Scott
Leadership Tigard Class of 2019
503-718-2595
laurens@tigard-or.gov

Tigard, Ore. – Tigard Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Tigard’s program goal is to inspire rising leaders to participate in the life of their community through education and experience in a broad range of activities.  This year’s Leadership Class, made up of local entrepreneurs, downtown business owners, government employees and residents, has chosen the Chelsea Hicks Foundation as their service project.

What: Chelsea’s Closet Fundraiser
Where: Beach Hut Deli (12436 SW Main St. Tigard, OR 97223)
When: 5-9pm
About: Serving up food and beverages with 20% of the proceeds from sales, and 100% of all backyard beers, raffle prizes and sponsorship dollars benefiting Chelsea’s Closet programs. The event will also feature raffle prizes (tickets for purchase) including a weekend trip to Palm Springs, bespoke eyewear designed by downtown business and Leadership Tigard participant EDA Frames (Frameabl), restaurant gift cards, and more. 

Tigard-based Chelsea’s Closet works to transform lives of children and families facing illness by including therapeutic dress-up and play with their hospital experience.

“After learning about the work Chelsea’s Closet was doing and hearing Allison’s story about her own daughter’s illness,” said Kris Barrett, Fairway Independent Mortgage Loan Officer and 2019 Leadership Tigard class member, “it became clear that this was a cause we wanted to support.”

After spending volunteer hours at the costume storage warehouse at Chelsea’s Closet, this year’s class decided to host a fundraiser in order to fund a needed computerized barcode inventory system. Making it easier for staff and volunteers to find specific costumes and accessories requested by hospitalized children.

“It was important to our Leadership Tigard Class that we not just volunteer for a day, but that we were able to make a lasting impact on this organization.” – Taylor Sarman, Chief of Staff for State Rep. Margaret Doherty and 2019 Leadership Tigard Class member. 

Tigard-based Chelsea’s Closet works to transform lives of children and families facing illness by including therapeutic dress-up and play with their hospital experience. They do this by offering children and their siblings the chance to select a costume and accessories from its mobile costume closet at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. Research shows that active therapeutic play can promote normal development and significantly reduce the psychological and physiological stress for children facing serious medical challenges.

“Because of my own daughter’s illness, I know first-hand the horrors of watching a child go through numerous rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery only to see it dampen their spirits and change their body,” says Alison Hicks, Chelsea’s Closet Co-Founder and CEO. “Remembering that they are children before they are patients, Chelsea’s Closet empowers them to be anything they want to be – transforming them with costumes, play, and imagination into the Superhero or Princess to combat their disease.”

The Leadership Tigard Class of 2019 hopes that others will come out and support this cause at their fundraiser on Friday, April 26th from 5-9pm at Beach Hut Deli.

About Leadership Tigard

Leadership Tigard is a program of the Tigard Chamber of Commerce and educates rising leaders on the issues impacting business and their community and on the resources in the community, allowing one to become part of solutions as a more informed and engaged citizen. When you invest in Leadership Tigard you invest in the community and our future.

Chelsea’s Closet

Media Contact: Alison Hicks                   alison@chelseahicksfoundation.org

503-941-5229                                     www.chelseahicksfoundation.org

$2B Oregon Business Tax Plan Released


We know there is widespread anticipation and concern regarding the new $2 billion business tax being promoted by legislative leadership.

Last evening, the detailed plan was finally made public.

https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Downloads/ProposedAmendment/15752

At a high level, it is a 0.49% gross receipts tax with a 25% deduction for either business inputs or labor costs, whichever is greater. The tax applies to all business entities with gross sales in excess of $1 million.

Although this is a new 25-page tax bill that undoubtedly has many complexities, our understanding is that legislative leadership intends for the process to move quickly. There may be limited opportunity for input or to amend the bill.

In another area of concern, we also believe that the Governor/Governor’s office will be presenting her PERS pension reform package today at the noon hearing for Ways & Means Capital Construction subcommittee. We have reason to believe that a raid on SAIF resources and reserves will be a part of that discussion, but the particulars are not clear. We also anticipate their will be other fund “sweeps” to help buy down escalating PERS rates, particularly for schools.

Please stay tuned to our blog, facebook and email for other business impacting legislative updates.