Home > Essays > One Vermont Employer Has No Problems Recruiting… and Higher Wages is Only Part of the Answer

One Vermont Employer Has No Problems Recruiting… and Higher Wages is Only Part of the Answer

August 1, 2021

A Vermont Digger article by Fred Thys profiled Twincraft Skin Care, a thriving business headquartered outside of Burlington, Vermont, that has encountered no difficulty in hiring staff during the pandemic. How did they succeed in their recruitment where other businesses failed? Providing decent wages helped… but after reading the article there are other elements that were equally important. Here’s a list in the order that they appeared in the article:

  • The company has never laid anyone off… and it now has over 300 employees!
  • They scheduled the work with employees’ needs– not efficiency– front and center.
  • They recruited based on word-of mouth
  • They recruited by targeting businesses that were closed (a local bakery) or under-employing staff members (restaurants and retail)
  • The company is locally owned and has no intention of selling to an outsider, which lures folks who were laid off when a nationally owned enterprise closed
  • They recruited and supported immigrants by offering ESOL and floating holidays so that the different traditions could take time off
  • They provide child care for infants in their first six months
  • They provide a four-day work week as the default schedule
  • they provide access to a clinic that offers free medical services
  • They provide turkeys to employees at Thanksgiving
  • They offer to provide Christmas gifts for children
  • They offer $500 for each employee to make a donation to the charity or church of their choice
  • They understand that child care costs are the biggest obstacle potential employees face and actively supported Vermont’s legislative efforts to address that need.
  • They have extraordinary leadership

It is evident from reading the article that Twincraft is not motivated solely by profit. If it were it would focus on efficiency in its operations, ignore the needs of its employees in favor of increasing the bottom line, and would lobby for deregulation and lower taxes instead of increased stat4e funding for child care. Employees have a visceral sense that their employers care… and when one of their friends tells them of the favorable working conditions at a workplace AND the relatively higher wages it seems foolish to stay where they are. When the day comes that employers understand how to treat their workforce they will find that recruiting becomes MUCH easier.

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