Childcare Is a Deal-Breaker Holding Back Top Talent from Applying at Your Company. Here’s How to Help



I recently met with a really great job candidate who checked all the boxes for the open role. She was organized, resourceful, and a growth player. When I asked her why she was leaving her current position, she explained that her son’s school decided this past year to go to a four-day-a-week model, meaning that she was now unable to work on Fridays. When she inquired about daycare, she found that the cost of daycare was more than she would make for a day’s work, which made it cost-prohibitive to continue working there.

Her situation made me wonder how many other great candidates are out there who are unable to apply for open positions due to the increasing cost of daycare. How can we, as business owners, offer flexibility and support to these new hires to help them find a position that is a great fit for them both personally and professionally?

The hiring market is competitive right now as there aren’t as many job applicants and those that are in the market may have limitations as to when and how they can work. That said, I wanted to share ways that you as a business owner can help improve the odds of finding and keeping a new hire.

Pay fairly.

First and foremost, you want to make sure that you are paying your team fairly. Call around to a few daycare centers near you and find out what the cost is for a young child to attend.

Would your new hire be able to afford to send their child to daycare? If not, then it’s time to start looking at your starting wages and your flexibility with a few of the items mentioned below. 

Let staff work from home.

If you are able to offer higher salaries for your team, remote work is by far the easiest way to help support working parents. Be clear on the expectations and discuss responsibilities with your new hire to make sure that you are on the same page from day one. Giving parents the flexibility to be at home with their children while working will save them hundreds if not thousands each month and really open up the candidate pool. 

Be flexible.

In addition to remote work, consider switching up your workweek and allowing your new hire to work a more flexible schedule. For example, maybe they can swap child care time with another co-worker or family member at home so that they are able to work on alternate schedules. If you are willing and able to work with your team, you may be surprised at the outcome. 

Offer childcare benefits.

If your team must be in the office, consider reaching out to a local daycare or after-school facility to see if you could get a bulk discount for your team members or provide them with a daycare stipend as an employee benefit. Providing them a discount could be the difference between keeping a good hire and losing one. 

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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