Biz Beat

How Upstate South Carolina Businesses Can Attract and Retain Top Talent

By Karen Knuckles, Express Employment Professionals Owner

As a result of Upstate South Carolina’s growing economy, the quest to secure and retain talented people has become a challenging objective for local businesses. To thrive in today’s competitive landscape, businesses must enhance recruitment and workplace culture to attract job seekers.

What Makes Upstate South Carolina So Competitive?

Historically, Upstate South Carolina tends to foster a lower unemployment rate with Anderson County currently at 3.3 percent. Over recent years, South Carolina has been experiencing remarkable economic growth, attracting an increasing number of businesses and entrepreneurs who are setting their sights on the area for business development.

For many business owners, Upstate South Carolina is a prime location. Situated comfortably between Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia, and benefiting from an inland port, many businesses have migrated to the region. This influx has contributed to the region’s sustained low unemployment and has heightened competition among local businesses aiming to expand their workforce.

Standing Out from the Competition

According to a survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals, 45 percent of hiring managers have open positions they cannot fill. Hiring can be particularly challenging in a competitive region like Anderson County, where many businesses are vying for employees. 

Businesses striving to strengthen their hiring process should begin by tapping into their key differentiators to establish their company story and understand how these qualities can appeal to prospective employees. Encourage current staff members to spread the word of their positive experience with the company, through online reviews or word-of-mouth, which can also inspire others to apply.

Refining the hiring process is a major challenge, and many companies might find the most success by outsourcing this task to the professionals. Staffing agencies like Express Employment Professionals have expertise in helping job seekers find work and helping businesses find qualified employees. If hiring has become a time consuming, overwhelming task, it may be time to hire one.

Employee Retention

It wasn’t long ago we were living through the Great Resignation. While quitting has slowed down, Pew Research reports only 51 percent of employees are satisfied with their job.

Undoubtedly, salary is one of the most critical elements in attracting and retaining talent. Comparable to the rise of inflation, wages have also been on the upswing. Fortunately for small businesses, money isn’t everything. Smaller companies operating without the budget of larger corporations can implement alternative strategies for employee retention. For example, promoting a culture where employees feel valued, appreciated, and have opportunity for growth and development will enhance their satisfaction and loyalty in their workplace. Flexibility is another competitive advantage that can help retain talent. It’s crucial to create an environment where employees feel welcomed the moment, they enter a company. 

Overall, one of the best ways for businesses to retain employees is to start by hiring the right employees. Throughout the hiring process, ensure each candidate fits the company’s culture and remember that not every employee needs to hit the ground running. Instead, hire employees with a positive attitude and eagerness to learn, and provide them patience and appreciation as they develop in their role. A thoughtful approach to staffing will allow employees to find fulfillment in the workplace and promote a cohesive environment that equally benefits both employees and the company.