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How Do I Hire Employees, Let Alone Retain Them?

When living in daily instability, there are not enough resources for today, let alone for tomorrow. In such an environment, relationships are a driving force, and employees make their decisions based on relationships and survival.

When hiring in this highly competitive market, the following points are important to remember when hiring under-resourced employees.

Concrete Vs. Abstract

When an employee lives in the present and makes decisions for today, life is concrete and is about what can be touched, felt, seen, smelled, and tasted. When an employee lives in stability, life can be abstract. You may find that under-resourced employees have a harder time understanding abstract concepts, such as initial public offerings and marketing plans.

Both concrete and abstract thinking drive policy and procedure in the workplace. Under-resourced employees will respond to short-term rewards like hiring bonuses, one-week bonuses, and gas cards or bus passes for the first week of work. The objective is to make it through the day. A bonus offered after six months of employment does not make much of an impact on an entry-level employee who lives in daily instability.

For stable, resourced employees, long-term benefits like health insurance are meaningful. If under-resourced employees’ health benefits aren’t in line with their wages, then that’s a benefit that won’t be utilized, and employees will still be absent due to illness.


We know that the $300 federal stimulus was only a small portion of why employees were not returning to work. Affordable childcare is a large issue for many people seeking work. A strong alternative for employers is onsite subsidized childcare; this option allows parents to report to work with the option of dropping in on children during breaks and lunchtime.

Scheduling Flexibility

Starting a workday at 9 AM instead of at 8 AM might allow for a better bus schedule or for the ability to care for elders. Working during school hours can allow parents time to drop off their kids and pick them up at school. Offering work hours that are flexible for college students, such as evenings, can be helpful.


What is the word on the street about your company? What is your company known for? Fairness, respect, a caring culture? Relationships come first for under-resourced employees, and whether you want to believe it or not, this makes an impact when you hire and try to retain employees.

Resource Networks

Consider having a “coach” visiting your business. This person is to help solve life problems while an under-resourced employee is at work. Companies that offer this benefit have seen a huge difference in stability, productivity, and retention of all employees. Check out for more details.

Changing a few policies and procedures while working to hire and retain retaining lower-wage entry-level employees can make all the difference in increasing retention rates and the bottom line for your company.

About the Author: Ruth K. Weirich, MBA, is an author, trainer, and management professional experienced in business operations efficiency and profitability. She is also a past president of aha! Process, an education and training company specializing in economic class issues. Contact:


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