Employers Continue to Be Challenged with Attracting & Retaining Employees

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According to the results of the 2011 ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices Survey, hiring and retaining employees is the most prominent challenge faced by Northeast Ohio organizations. 

Results of the survey, conducted by ERC in collaboration with Smart Business Magazine, show a trend regarding the recruitment, hiring, and retention of qualified candidates as the top organizational challenge faced by organizations for nearly a decade.  While the poor economy was cited as a primary challenge for employers the from 2009, hiring and retention has emerged once again as the top challenge for local businesses.

Additionally, the survey results show that organizations are investing more in hiring and retaining talent, as a result of this challenge. Specifically, employers reported spending a higher percentage of their recruiting budget on online advertisements (33.7%) and are increasingly using internet job boards to find candidates (77.8%). Also, more employers are providing financial assistance for training and development (90.7%) than in past years.

In recent years ERC has seen an increase in both the use of our member-based resources and our fee-for-service areas related to hiring and retaining employees.  Despite the economy, employers continue to be focused on retention-boosting programs like training, employee development, and employee engagement initiatives.

To access more information about the ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices Survey, please click here.

More Employers Invest in Training, Survey Says

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According to the results of the 2011 ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices Survey, the percentage of organizations providing employees with financial assistance for employees to upgrade their skills increased from 2008. In 2011, 91% of organizations report providing such assistance – the highest it has been since 2007. 2010 showed that the percentage of employers paying for training and development decreased, but now appears to be rising again.

While employers continue to use classroom training, tuition assistance, and other traditional avenues to develop their employees’ skills, they are increasingly leveraging web-based methods and e-learning for training. Specifically, 71% of respondents indicated that they used web-based training for employee development, a significant increase of 39% from 2007 and 43% since 2004.

“This survey shows that a growing number of organizations recognize the value of providing financial assistance for employees to upgrade their skills. Employee training programs are a vital part of developing and retaining top talent at all levels of an organization,” says Kelly Keefe, President of ERC.

ERC provides customized training courses for organizations across the nation.

Train Your Employees

Employers Increasingly Offering Health Savings Plans

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According to the results of the 2011 ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices Survey, the percentage of Northeast Ohio employers offering health savings plans continued to increase from its current 35% – the highest percentage reported by the survey since 2003. The survey, conducted in partnership with Smart Business Magazine, showed a steady increase in the percentage of Northeast Ohio employers offering health savings plans over the years, indicating that this benefit is increasing in popularity.

The results of the survey also showed that health insurance premiums were continuing to rise, and more employers said that health insurance costs are a growing challenge for their businesses. Specifically, organizations report a 10% increase in health insurance premiums from 2010, an increase of 1% from 2010, and the highest increase from 2007 based on the survey results. Employers appeared to be turning to alternative health care options, such as health savings plans, to manage rising costs.

 “The increase in Health Savings Plans (HSA’s) is not surprising as more employers are seeking ways to balance providing competitive benefits with gaining more control over rising health insurance costs,” says Patrick Perry, President of ERC.

To download the free results of this survey, please click here

Few Local Employers Laying Off Employees, Outsourcing Jobs

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According to the results of the 2011 ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices Survey, only 5.6% of organizations are anticipating layoffs in 2011, the lowest percentage reported by the survey in the preceding 11 years. Additionally, the results show that the percentage of employers outsourcing jobs overseas had also declined.

Results from the preceding eleven surveys, conducted by ERC in collaboration with Smart Business Magazine, show that while the percentage of employers projecting layoffs since 2001 had widely fluctuated and spiked in 2009 (54.2%), most employers were not expecting any layoffs in 2011.

In addition, the survey results showed that the percentage of organizations outsourcing jobs overseas had decreased two years in a row to 6.7%. This also suggests that jobs are staying in Northeast Ohio, and may have indicated an upturn in the local economy from the two years before.

“We are pleased to see that Northeast Ohio employers are keeping jobs in the region and that the percentage of employers projecting layoffs is the lowest since we began conducting the survey. In other surveys we’ve conducted, we’ve seen more employers also indicate that they are hiring and providing pay increases this year as compared to the past two years. These are all positive signs for our local economy,” says an ERC Representative in 2011.

ERC partners with Aztek to provide members web marketing solutions

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NORTHEAST OHIO – ERC has partnered with Aztek (www.aztekweb.com), one of Northeast Ohio’s oldest and most prominent web services firms, to offer its members discounted pricing on Aztek’s web services. ERC members will receive a preferred rate on the following services:

  • Website design and development
  • Web application design and development
  • Mobile application design and development
  • Web Marketing (Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media)
  • Hosting

Aztek’s time-tested methodology (Aztek’s Process) for developing sophisticated business solutions is a guarantee to fit your business model. From manufacturing to nonprofit, from extreme sports to conservative law firms, Aztek has worked with over 550 clients, hosts several thousand websites and has the flexibility, as well as the experience, to customize a solution to fit your business needs. 

“We’re very excited to partner with Aztek and offer this savings to our membership,” said Pat Perry, President of ERC. “Their experience and array of web services make for a great fit with our organization.” 

“We are very pleased to become a new Preferred Partner with ERC. It will be a true compliment to the other Preferred Partner opportunities available to ERC members,” said Kevin Latchford, Aztek’s COO.

ERC is one of Ohio's leading organizations dedicated to HR, workplace programs and practices, training, health insurance and consulting. ERC membership provides employers access to HR information, expertise and cost savings that supports the attraction, retention, and development of great employees. We also host the nationally recognized NorthCoast 99 program and sponsor the ERC Health insurance program.

Employers Develop Younger Workers

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Cleveland– According to the 2011 ERC/NOCHE Intern & Recent Grad Pay Rates & Practices Survey, most Northeast Ohio employers invest resources in training, development, and performance management activities for younger workers, particularly new graduates.

The survey shows that over 70% of employers provide new graduates with an orientation during their first week (72%), conduct performance evaluations (71%), and provide regular feedback and coaching (71%). Additionally, more than half of employers provide formal training (56%) and access to a mentor (52%). Fewer (20%) offer management in training programs for new graduates, however.  All of these developmental activities were more commonly offered by non-manufacturers than manufacturers. Similarly, larger organizations tended to be most likely to provide these, although they were still commonly used by small and mid-sized organizations.

Specific training and development opportunities provided to their new graduates as cited by respondents included: on-the-job training, corporate culture training, product/industry/market training, mentoring, shadowing, and targeted leadership development programs.

The results of the survey show that organizations are making investments in training and development for their younger professionals and emerging leaders. These organizations understand the benefits of on-boarding and developing younger employees early in their careers for their businesses and in developing a pipeline of talent.

View the Intern & Recent Graduate Pay Rates & Practices Survey

This survey reports data from Northeast Ohio employers about their internship and recent graduate employment and pay practices.

View the Results

Internships Growing in Northeast Ohio

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According to the results of the 2011 ERC/NOCHE Intern & Recent Grad Pay Rates & Practices Survey, more Northeast Ohio organizations are planning to grow or maintain internship programs compared to those planning to reduce or eliminate their interns.

Results from the 2009-2010 surveys, conducted annually by ERC in collaboration with the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE), highlight a trend in the overall percentage of organizations that plan to increase their number of hired interns from 23% in 2009 to 35% in 2011.  In addition, survey results show a steady decline in the number of organizations who plan to reduce or eliminate their internship programs over the same period.

Organizations Planning to Make Modifications to Internship Programs

Results also show that an increased percentage of organizations find value in hiring interns to (among other cited reasons) develop a talent pipeline, assist with special project work, test potential employees before hiring them, obtain affordable workforce support, increase exposure at local colleges and universities, and to improve retention of new college graduates in Northeast Ohio.

View the Intern & Recent Graduate Pay Rates & Practices Survey

This survey reports data from Northeast Ohio employers about their internship and recent graduate employment and pay practices.

View the Results

Over 2/3 of Local Employers Still Offer Incentives/Bonuses

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The results of the 2011 ERC Pay Adjustment & Incentive Practices Survey show that the majority of employers are still offering an incentive/bonus plan. However, the percentage is down from the past few years.  

The survey reports that 67% of organizations surveyed have an incentive/bonus plan, compared to 79% in 2010 and 89% in 2007. Although this is the lowest percent reported in years, it’s important to note that the majority of respondents continue to offer an incentive/bonus plan.

The survey also shows that incentives including annual bonuses, profit sharing, spot-achievement awards, and individual incentives remain the most common incentives offered by employers. Gain-sharing, small-group incentive pay, and stock options continue to be less common.

Additional Resources
More info about this survey and other compensation surveys: click here

Some HR Management Jobs See Salary Increases

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The results of the 2011 ERC Salary Survey show the rising of some HR management salaries – mainly those specializing in a certain aspect of HR such as compensation, training, and recruiting.

According to the survey, the median salary for a Compensation/Benefits Manager rose 32% from 2009 and 12% from 2010. Additionally, the median salary for a Training Manager increased 24% from 2009 and 3% from 2010. Recruiting Managers also experienced a modest increase of nearly 7% from 2009.

The survey, however, shows that salaries for HR Managers continue to remain flat. The median salary for HR Managers showed no significant change from 2009 or 2010, remaining around $65,013.

Median HR Management Salaries

Additional Resources

More info about ERC Salary Surveys: click here
Other compensation surveys: click here

Three-Quarters of Employers Offer Supervisory/Management Training

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According to the results of the 2011-2012 ERC Policies & Benefits Survey, most employers in Northeast Ohio provide supervisors and managers with training in supervisory and managerial skills. Most commonly, 75% of local employers say that they use employers association supervisory/management development courses to train employees compared to only 32% of employers that use college supervisory development courses.

“The survey’s results suggest that local organizations find value in the supervisory/management training provided by employers associations like ERC. Within the training we provide, participants learn how to apply a variety of managerial and interpersonal skills including dealing with the everyday challenges of being a manager and also receive a variety of resources to support them in their managerial roles,” says Chris Kutsko, Director of Learning and Development at ERC.

She adds, “Many of our clients find tremendous value in the quality, delivery, support, and affordability of our supervisory and managerial training beyond what other providers offer.”

Additional Resources

More information about this survey: click here
Upcoming training and programs on this topic: click here