Businesses ramping up benefits to attract, keep employees

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been putting a strain on the workforce.

That’s why some businesses are starting to become more accommodating to attract and keep employees.

Roger Hershman, the president of National Logistics Associates, says the pandemic has made the work environment more uncomfortable and has his company competing for labor.

"We have paid higher wages than our competition," Hershman said.

National Logistics is also offering a sign-on bonus, and Hershman says he’s paying contractors to help filter resumes to increase chances of getting a worker. And, when they get a new employee, the company hopes an additional paycheck will help keep them around.

"We also pay performance bonuses, which helps us to, it provides an incentive for people to do their job and for people to — employees to stay," he said.

"I think that’s where they’re going to see the biggest changes, right? We’ve already seen that, like, wages are rising, businesses have to get a lot more creative," Brigid Tuck, a senior economic analyst at the University of Minnesota, said.

Tuck says employers have to consider being more flexible with their employees to get people back to work.

"I think we will see some of those changes become more permanent because workers have been asking for these things for a long time and now they have a little more power, so to speak, to get some of those," Tuck said.

"Because our labor force isn’t growing as quickly as it used to be, so we were headed for this tight situation but with labor force participation rates dropping, we really are seeing that a little more sharply than maybe we had anticipated," she added.

Some businesses told KSTP that, since unemployment benefits ended, they’ve already seen a dramatic increase in applicants.