Attracting and retaining employees in this competitive market

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 6.7 million job openings in the U.S. on the last business day of June, and a total of 5.7 million hires were reported.

There are more jobs openings than workers to fill them, so it is an ideal time for those entering the workforce or searching for a new job.  

So, how are Arizona employers attracting and retaining employees in this market?

Kristi DeWitt, Delta Dental of Arizona director of small market sales and service, said that small businesses that offer benefits have a leg up when it comes to hiring suitable employees and avoiding turnover.

“The price of a plan, the premium, is XYZ, right? But, what’s the cost? What’s the cost of not offering a plan? Will you lose employees?” DeWitt said. “If a plan is not offered, that will sometimes hurt that business. You’re trying to balance that budget versus what’s going to make them successful in retaining and attracting employees.”

Not only does Delta Dental of Arizona provide dental and vision insurance plans for Arizona businesses, it also works to understand the unique needs of small businesses.

DeWitt explained that finding a benefits plan is “not one size fits all” and “in our small business arena, we have some customization to help those employers kind of find that balance between cost and coverage.”

She went on to explain “a lot of businesses don’t know that they can afford dental. What we’ve done for our small business plans, we really offer options for any budget. We look at flexible funding arrangements. This allows business owners to contribute as much or as little as they want to their employees’ dental care.”

With the abundance of available jobs in Arizona, keeping good employees can be difficult. Providing competitive benefits and promoting healthy living can entice an employee to stay, and avoid costly turnover for a business.

“Quite simply: happy, healthy employees stay. Healthy employees are happy and more productive,” said DeWitt.

AGM Container Controls (AGM), a manufacturing company headquartered in Tucson, also understands the importance of valuing its employees’ needs.

AGM has a college reimbursement program that provides full reimbursement for students who earn an ‘A’ or ‘B’ grade, and 75 percent reimbursement for a ‘C’ grade. Not only does AGM help with school payments, its CEO and President Howard N. Stewart also encourages employees to go back to school.

“I like to see people pursue their passion,” said Stewart.

Stewart said AGM likes to promote from within and encourages students to pursue an education that pertains to the business if desired, but employees are strongly encouraged to pursue their dreams. He said, “you don’t have to do it for our business, just go back to school and see what you can do.”

Stewart went on to explain that the college reimbursement program is only one of the factors contributing to the company’s success and “we’re actually experiencing some of the best retention in our company’s history.”

Sierra Ciaramella

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