“Because of a shrinking labor force, you’re seeing wage pressures that are impacting companies,” Hobbs said.
Day Air Credit Union recently raised its starting wage to $14 per hour to attract and retain the best employees, said April Higgins, human resource director at the credit union. The minimum wage increase has brought in higher quality candidates with more experience. It has also kept steady the number of applicants, where other businesses struggle to find workers, Higgins said.
“In today’s economy, (job candidates) have the upper hand, but we also want to make sure we’re getting the best of the best,” Higgins said.
Pioneer Automotive Technologies of Springboro also recently announced it was raising long-term, hourly wages by 10 percent and would offer newly hired and contract employees up to six days of earned time off at its facility.
“Employers have to look at the work force differently today. They have to look at what’s motivates an employee to want to take a position,” Hobbs said.
Other area employers are also looking for new ways to attract and retain workers, including more flexible schedules, staggered shifts, better work environments and different training methods.
"We've all seen that (millennials) like to be involved in a part of something," said Mitch Heaton, vice president of economic development for the Dayton Development Coalition. "It really doesn't take a lot to get somebody engaged in what you're doing."
To make young talent feel like a part of something larger, many employers are offering opportunities for community engagement through downtown cleanups, programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters and activities like paying a few dollars to wear jeans on Fridays that will be donated to a charity.
»BIZ BEAT: Forget self-driving cars, Boeing’s autonomous air vehicle took its first flight
Dayton-area businesses are also offering incentives like trips and gifts for high performance and awards for milestones with companies. Employers recognize that oftentimes retaining employees is more affordable than training someone new when they leave, Heaton said.
“Before somebody goes and thinks the grass might be greener on the other side, it might be worth sitting down with your employer or your boss to ask, ‘what do you have in the works for me,’” Heaton said.
Healton said companies could have larger plans in the works or options for employees when their bosses want to keep them on staff.
An outside offer could also be used to leverage a promotion or raise from a current employer, Lipsitz said.
But some major economists have suggested a recession may be coming in the next year or two where job growth will slow and workers won’t have as many options, Lipsitz said.
• Springfield UAW votes to ratify local Navistar contract
• Here’s why you may have extra room on your next flight
• Niche store at The Greene to close later this month
• Amazon tests traffic management system for drones
• Starbucks expanding delivery pilot with Uber Eats
Economy at a glance:
110,000: Jobs added in Ohio in last year
3.9%: U.S. unemployment
4.5%: Ohio unemployment
4.7%: Montgomery County unemployment
4.8%: Clark County unemployment
4.2%: Butler County unemployment