Conference held to help hire and retain employees in West Alabama

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 3:57 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - These days it doesn’t matter if the business is big or small, many of them are facing the same challenges when it comes to hiring and retaining employees during the pandemic.

The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and West Alabama Works organized the 2021 Talent Conference. Business owners, human resource managers and others discussed problems and solutions to the current workforce crisis during this stage of the pandemic.

“The challenges that the pandemic created was new to both employers and applicants, so we had to be patient. We had to be educated. We had to understand the risks and requirements to be successful in the new environment,” explained Russell Dubose, Vice President of Human Resources for Phifer Incorporated.

Challenges included people more willing to work from home than the office. Also, childcare posed more of a problem with kids learning remotely. A panel that was organized for the conference made suggestions that could apply in many work settings.

“Maintain your principals. Get involved in the community and give back so that people will want to work for you and then train them,” according to Gary Nichols, President Emeritus of McAbee Construction.

“We have fun at work and we care about our team members. And by caring about them, each individually, that has made a difference, and you can see it in the recruiting,” Ashley Gill, the Owner of Chick-Fil-A Northport told WBRC.

The panelists also suggested that business owners and others really understand what their companies core values are and try to work with their employees through these values to help them achieve their goals and stay with the company.


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