A skilled and engaged workforce is the heartbeat of any company. Developing top talent and keeping great employees over the long term is crucial. This allows companies to avoid turnover costs and instead allocate precious time and limited resources to growth.

In this blog post, we offer practical talent management strategies tailored to the unique needs and constraints of small business owners and managers in St. Mary Parish. Whether you lead a five-person shop or a 50-person company, you will gain actionable tactics to build an even stronger workforce positioned for long-term growth.

Current Workforce Landscape in St. Mary Parish

St. Mary Parish boasts an abundant talent pool for local businesses seeking skilled workers. Over 60 percent of parish residents possess at least a high school diploma or equivalent, constituting a solid foundation of employees with essential capabilities.

Additionally, over 8 percent hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, enabling businesses to hire workers with more advanced qualifications.

St. Mary Parish also maintains excellent partnerships with nearby higher education institutions such as South Louisiana Community College, Nicholls State University, and Fletcher Technical Community College. These schools offer academic programs aligned with key industry workforce demands within the parish. 

Strategies for Hiring Talent in St. Mary Parish

Even with a robust talent pool in the parish, small business owners sometimes struggle to hire the right candidate. However, there are several effective strategies that small business owners in St. Mary can use to recruit qualified talent.

Let the Employees Come to You

One approach is to attract talented candidates by showcasing your company’s positive attributes. Small businesses can highlight their culture and values on their website or social media pages. Promoting a compelling employer brand can entice qualified candidates to apply for open positions. 

Referral Programs

Another useful hiring strategy for small business owners is implementing a referral program. Your current employees likely have connections within their networks who could be excellent matches for job openings. 

Partner with Local Organizations

Small businesses can take advantage of available resources offered by government or local organizations, such as St. Mary Economic Development. These organizations have the resources to identify skilled talent suitable for the needs of small businesses, often at no charge. 

Strategies for Retaining Employees for St. Mary Parish Businesses

Hiring the right talent is just the first step. Once small business owners find qualified candidates, the next challenge is retaining those employees long-term.

While competitive pay may initially attract applicants, true employee retention requires nurturing engagement, fulfillment, and loyalty. The good news is that small companies have the opportunities to foster strong connections with staff and cultivate a personalized, supportive work culture.  

Solid Onboarding Program

The onboarding process makes a critical first impression on new hires. A strong onboarding program welcomes new staff members and helps them become productive members of the team.

Investing time upfront to smoothly integrate employees sets the tone for their future experience. Effective onboarding can lead to higher job satisfaction and longer employee tenure. 

Competitive Compensation and Benefits

Offering pay and benefits comparable to industry standards also helps retain top talent. This includes bonuses, health insurance, retirement contributions, paid vacation days, and other perks.

If businesses cannot provide comprehensive benefits, provide alternatives like reimbursement programs to allow workers to spend funds as they see fit.

Professional Development Opportunities

Investing in ongoing training and skills development makes small business employees feel supported in their careers and motivates them to continually progress.

Support for professional advancement boosts morale and shows employees that their growth matters to the company.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts

Fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture ensures employees feel safe being their authentic selves. Businesses can take active steps toward understanding different experiences and perspectives to make workers feel valued and respected. 

Consistent Recognition

Consistent acknowledgment of employees’ contributions is also a key piece of the retention equation. Small gestures like thanking staff for their hard work or praising specific accomplishments stick in their minds. Appreciation motivates employees to keep performing for a company that recognizes their daily efforts.

Finding and keeping great employees is vital for any small business, but it’s not easy to do alone.

That’s why we encourage local business owners here in St. Mary Parish to take advantage of our workforce support services offered by St. Mary Economic Development. We have a stellar team and bundles of resources to help you recruit and retain top talent, totally free of charge.

If you’re a small business owner in St. Mary Parish needing talent support, reach out, and let’s talk about how the St. Mary Development Corporation team can help take your hiring and retention to the next level. Our team is standing by to help local enterprises grow and fuel our regional economy. Contact us to get started.

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