As I drive around Bozeman I can’t help but notice the increasing number of help wanted signs. Under normal circumstances this would be a good thing.

But when there’s already a low unemployment rate existing it puts an additional burden on the business owner to compete for quality help.

How Much Is A Job Worth?

I recently replaced the furnace in my home and the owner of the company was explaining how hard it is to find people who want to make $70,000 a year working for him — with benefits.

I was amazed as he told me that even finding people to train is a challenge. And keeping them on the job is even harder.

He’s even hired people who never showed up on their first day of work.

We have a college full of warm bodies that are happy to do the low paying retail jobs either full or part time. But even those jobs are no longer minimum wage.

There’s currently a bidding war for workers in Bozeman.

And the higher the entry level pay becomes the more increases are necessary for those more experienced workers that have been with you for a while.

The Employer’s Challenge

The employer must walk a fine line between keeping quality employees and being competitive in the marketplace.

Payroll is the largest single expense for many business owners and good employees expect to be paid their worth.

At the same time customers want low prices and quality service. Not as easy a line to walk as you might think.

Some Final Thoughts

There’s no cookie cutter magic formula for finding and keeping good employees. Jobs have to be a win-win for both employee and employer.

Many people miss this thinking that an employee is not much more than a slave who gets as little as possible.

This was the condition at one time but no longer. Competition for employees has changed all that.

Employees have value, experience, and expertise. Those qualities are not easy to find and hard to keep. They come at a cost. Comments below.